One vote, many Mexicos: Income and vote choice in the 1994, 2000, and 2006 presidential elections

Cortina, Jeronimo; Gelman, Andrew E.

Using multilevel modeling of state-level economic data and individual-level exit poll data from the 1994, 2000 and 2006 Mexican presidential elections, we find that income has a stronger effect in predicting the vote for the conservative party in poorer states than in richer states -- a pattern that has also been found in recent U.S. elections. In addition (and unlike in the U.S.), richer states on average tend to support the conservative party at higher rates than poorer states. Our findings raise questions regarding the role that income polarization and region play in vote choice. The electoral results since 1994 reveal that collapsing multiple states into large regions entails significant loss of information that otherwise may uncover sharper and quiet revealing differences in voting patterns between rich and poor states as well as rich and poor individuals within states.

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March 12, 2010