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Behavior and political values of voters

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Abstract:

Scholars (see Dalton, 2002) have pointed to the growth of two types of voters in recent decades: the nonpartisan voter, cognitively sophisticated and mobilized over the issue of politics; and the partisan voter, who do not possesses a lot of cognitive resources and information on political affairs. These profiles contradict the descriptions of partisan and non-partisan voters of the sixties (Campbell, 1960). Thus we seek to apply the typology inspired by Dalton (2008), which classifies the voters according to two variables: party preference and cognitive sophistication on matters of policy. From analysis of surveys of the Brazilian Electoral Study, conducted in 2002 and 2006, this paper intents to ascertain whether the four types of voters differ in procedures of choice and in values involved in the making of their choices (ideological identification and party preference, degree of satisfaction with governments and evaluation of the image of politicians). The results show that there are some similarities regarding the procedures of choice: all the interviewed said that, in order to formulate their decision, they prioritize, firstly, issues and proposals; secondly, the past and the image of politicians; and, finally, the candidate’s party. There are many differences on the evaluation of government and mainly on the evaluation of the image of candidate Lula.

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