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Using Exit Poll Data from Kenya to Explore Ethnicity and Government Performance in Vote Choice. What Explains the African Vote?. Clark C. Gibson James D. Long. Department of Political Science UC San Diego.

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what explains the african vote

Using Exit Poll Data from Kenya to Explore Ethnicity and Government Performance in Vote Choice

What Explains the African Vote?

Clark C. Gibson

James D. Long

Department of Political Science

UC San Diego

slide2
What Explains the African Vote?What are the determinants of voter choice in the December 2007 Kenyan elections?
plan of talk
Plan of talk
  • Back story: Six months of silence
  • Theory: Approaches to African voting behavior.
  • Background: Kenya’s 2007 election context.
  • Data: Exit poll.
  • Tests and results:

a.) descriptive and cross tabs

b.) multivariate tests

c.) survey experiment

6. Wrap-up

slide4

Back story

  • Six months of silence
kenya the mysterious exit poll allafrica com 1 15 8

What's Really Going On in Kenya?

And why didn't a U.S.-funded group release its exit-poll data?

Slate Magazine, 1/2/08

Kenya: The Mysterious Exit Poll AllAfrica.com 1/15/8

Kenyan president lost election, according to U.S. exit poll

McClatchey newspapers1/14/08

“IRI will not release any polling results unless and until we are confident in the integrity of the data.”

International Republican Institute 1/15/08

slide7

U.S. Ambassador Ranneberger:  “…it is my understanding that this ‘exit poll’ was part of a training exercise and was never intended for publication.”

America.gov 3/8/08

Kenya winner lost, U.S. poll indicates

Belated tally suggests election was stolen

Chicago Tribune 7/9/08

Testify before the Kriegler Commission 7/15/08

exit poll results presidential race
Exit Poll Results:Presidential Race

Raila 46.07%

Kibaki 40.17%

Kalonzo 10.22%

N = 5,495

Margin of error = 1.32

slide9

2. Theory:

Approaches to explaining voting behavior in Africa

approaches to voting behavior in africa

Approaches to voting behavior in Africa

Identity/Expressive voting (Horowitz)

Elections become ethnic head counts

May even vote against their policy preferences

Policy voting (Hechter, Bates, Bratton, Mattes)

Co-ethnics care about same policies

Giving your co-ethnic a break on policy evaluation

Can be observationally equivalent to identity

identity and policy are incomplete explanations for kenya s electoral outcomes

Identity and policy are incomplete explanations for Kenya’s electoral outcomes

Kibaki’s (Kikuyu) and Raila’s (Luo) groups cannot win election alone. Must at least have coalitions.

Some ethnic groups split their presidential votes.

Leaders from same ethnic groups join multiple coalitions.

approaches to voting behavior in africa1
Approaches to voting behavior in Africa
  • Government performance
    • Retrospective evaluations – throw the rascals out (Fiorina)
    • Prospective evaluations – who will do best looking forwards (Fearon)
    • Spatial voting – select the candidate nearest to you on the issues (Downs)
    • But ethnicity means something in Africa
applying theory to africa
Applying theory to Africa
  • Not clear what “performance” means in the African context.
  • What is the relationship between ethnicity and performance? Do voters use an ethnic filter on this info as akin to party ideology in the U.S.?
  • Observational equivalence of theoretical predictions.
approaches to voting behavior in africa2
Approaches to voting behavior in Africa
  • Information (Popkin, Ferree, Dawson)
    • Like policy, but less direct link between interests and behavior
    • Uncertainty pushes voter to seek cognitive shortcuts:
      • Leaders (co-ethnic or not gives information)
      • Past performance of ethnic groups
      • Campaigns / issues
      • Parties
argument government performance affects african kenyan voting behavior
Argument: Government performance affects African (Kenyan) voting behavior
  • Kenyan elections clearly not ethnic headcounts
  • Information comes from:
    • Ethnicity – hardcore
    • Ethnic filters – policy history / filters (including retrospective and prospective thinking)
    • Government performance
    • (Candidates, campaigns, and issues only indirectly tested in this paper)
hypotheses
Hypotheses

Hypothesis 1.(Identity voting) If a voter has a co-ethnic candidate, she will vote for that candidate (if possible).

Hypothesis 2.(Policy voting)

  • Co-ethnics are more forgiving for poor policy performance (in this paper)
  • Co-ethnics vote to secure favored policy (not).

Hypothesis 3.(Government performance) If a voter believes that the government has performed well, she will be more likely to vote for the incumbent.

background ethnic groups

Background: Ethnic groups

Kikuyu22% (President Kibaki’s group)

Luhya14%

Luo13% (Odinga’s group)

Kalenjin12%

Kamba11% (Musyoka’s group)

Kisii6%

Meru6%

Other African 15%, Non-African 1%

background the players
Background: The Players
  • Mwai Kibaki (Kikuyu) running for a second term; Kikuyu long dominant in Kenyan politics
  • Raila Odinga (Luo) is main challenger
  • Musyoka (Kamba) a distant third
  • All three candidates members of the same coalition in 2002!
  • 2007 is fourth multiparty election (1992, 1997, 2002)
background the issues
Background: The Issues
  • High expectations for Kibaki after 2002 victory
  • Economy grows (7%)
  • Delivers free primary education, promises free secondary
  • Shuffling of ECK
  • Rendition of Muslims
  • Raila says Kibaki unfulfilled promises, failed performance
  • Failures in reform, corruption, poverty, unemployment, service delivery
  • Majimbo (federalism)
slide21

4. Data:

Exit poll

exit poll origins

Exit Poll: Origins

  • UCSD, International Republican Institute (IRI), Strategic Research with USAID grant to study determinants of the Kenyan vote.
  • Allows researches to match attitudes and government evaluations with vote choice.
exit poll sampling issues

Exit Poll: Sampling Issues

5,495 surveys, nationally representative:

8/8 provinces; 69/71 districts; 179/210 constituencies.

Good for provincial estimates (“25% in 5 provinces” rule).

Multi-stage cluster sampling proportionate to size, using final ECK published registration.

Random selection of polling stations within constituencies, random selection of respondents (every 5th person).

slide24

Exit Poll: 30 Questions

Demographics

Process and timing of voting

Performance of local, parliamentary, and central government

Attitudes about policies, issues and ethnicity

Vote choice for local, MP, president

logit model for kibaki vote
Logit Model for Kibaki Vote

sig * p<0.05; ** p<0.01; ***p<0.001

Coefficients shown.

Constants and controls suppressed.

slide41

Survey experimentPercent all respondents saying very or somewhat likely to vote for that candidate; random assignment of ethnicity and performance

slide42

Survey experimentPercent all respondents saying very or somewhat likely to vote for that candidate; random assignment of ethnicity and performance

slide43

Survey experimentPercent all respondents saying very or somewhat likely to vote for that candidate; random assignment of ethnicity and performance

slide44

6. Wrap up:

What Explains the African Vote?

what explains the african vote1
What Explains the African Vote?
  • Hundreds of millions of $ spent on democracy promotion – be we don’t even know what motivates African voters!
  • Ethnicity
  • Performance through filters
  • Performance
  • Future work
    • Ghanaian elections (December 2007)
    • South African elections (Spring 2008)
    • Campaign speeches
slide46

"IRI is the sole funder, producer,

and/or source of the exit poll"