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Eric Chen-hua Yu, Assistant Research Fellow, Election Study Center; Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science,
National Chengchi University.
The Impact of President's Performance on Taiwan's Local Elections - Analyzing the 2009 Magistrate Elections (in Chinese) Download
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Taiwan's ruling party, Kuomintang (KMT), handed a loss to the opposition party, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in the 2009 Magistrate Elections. The conventional wisdom suggests two competing arguments to interpret the election results-while some argued that the KMT's loss was mainly due to the lack of partisan mobilization within the KMT, some posited that it was because a significant proportion of voters changed their voting preferences from the KMT to the DPP between the 2008 national and 2009 local elections.In fact, both arguments share the same premise: there exists a linkage between the performance of the ruling party (in the central government) and its electoral prospect in local elections. Specifically, the performance of President Ma has a substantial impact on the 2009 local election. This study utilizes survey data to verify such premise. Our data analysis shows that a voter's assessments on President Ma's job performance as well as on general and personal economic conditions affect his/her voting intention. In other words, we found that the ”referendum voting model,” in which voters caste their votes in midterm elections on a basis of their evaluations of the ruling party, properly explains voting behavior in Taiwan's midterm elections such as the 2009 local elections.