Paper written for the Institute for Popular Democracy. Many thanks to the Institute for Popular Democracy, especially Gladstone Cuarteros, Patrick Patiño and Joel Rocamora of the Political Reform team, Orville Tatco and Lambert Ramirez of the National Institute for Policy Studies, the staff at Liberal Party headquarters, Nina Lucia and Archie Reyes and Gov. Ed Panlilio of the office of Gov. Panlilio, Roy Loredo of Pepe, and Ginno Jaralve, Michael Rico and Lester John Lomeda for their assistance with the data.

Abstract:

The paper is divided into two parts. The first is a regression analysis with percent voter turnout as the dependent variable and the socioeconomic variables of total popuation, voting age population, gender, urban/rural classification, municipal income classification, education, age, percent overseas Filipino workers, religion, marital status and household size as the independent variables. This test was run for all municipalities in the Philippines. Statistically significant positive relationships were found for percent voter turnout and municipal income class, education level, percent OFW, some religious groups and household size. Statistically significant negative relationships were found for percent voter turnout and urban classification and the Iglesia ni Kristo religious group. The second section held these socioeconomic variables as the independent variables, but tested percent support for gubernatorial candidates identified as “new entrants” or “reform” candidates in the 2007 elections. Except for the factor of age for Gov. Tupas of Iloilo, these tests failed to yield statistically significant results. These results indicate that socioeconomic characteristics are related to voting behavior, as there are clear relationships with voter turnout, but who certain groupd do or do not vote for is still unclear. This disconnect suggests the failure of campaigns to target voters based on social groups, and suggests that doing so may be an effective alternative to traditional campaign methods.

Election Forensics – The Effect of Socioeconomic Characteristics on Voter Behavior in the Philippines

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