Main Article Content

Patricia Otero Felipe
University of Burgos
Araceli Mateos
University of Salamanca
Cristina Rivas
University of Salamanca
Vol. 9 No. 1 (2020), Articles, pages 119-150
Accepted: Mar 7, 2020
Copyright How to Cite


This study aims the political congruence in Latin American presidentialist democracies. It analyzes the levels of ideological congruence between parties and presidential candidates with their voters. The data used come from Americas Barometer at Vanderbilt University and Latin American Elites Project at the University of Salamanca for 11 Latin American countries between 2004 and 2014. The results conclude that the ideological links in Latin America are varied. Voters tend to be more congruent with the political parties they vote for in the legislative than with the candidates they vote for president, reinforcing the idea of dual legitimacy and dual representation in these countries. The radicalism, and the number, of parties and candidates appears as the most significant variables to explain ideological congruence.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details


Achen, C. (1978), 'Measuring Representation', American Journal of Political Science, XXII (3): 475-510. DOI: 10.2307/2110458. -

Andeweg, R. (2011), 'Approaching Perfect Policy Congruence: Measurement, Development, and Relevance for Political Representation', How Democracy Works: 39-52. DOI: 10.1515/9789048513369-004. -

Belchior, A. (2010), 'Ideological Congruence among European Political Parties', The Journal of Legislative Studies, 16 (1): 121-142. DOI: 10.1080/13572330903542191. -

Belchior, A. and Freire, A. (2013), 'Is party type relevant to an explanation of policy congruence? Catchall versus ideological parties in the Portuguese case', International Political Science Review 34(3):273-288. DOI: 10.1177/0192512112467215. -

Blais, A.and Bodet, M. (2006), 'Does Proportional Representation Foster Closer Congruence between Citizens and Policymakers?', Comparative Political Studies, 36: 1243-1263. DOI: 10.1177/0010414005284374. -

Buquet, D. and Selios, L. (2016), 'Political Congruence in Uruguay' in Joignant, A. et al (eds), Malaise in representation in Latin American countries. Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. Palgrave Macmillan: 187-210. -

Carreras, M. (2013), 'Presidentes outsiders y ministros neófitos: un análisis a través del ejemplo de Fujimori', Revista América Latina Hoy, nº 64: 95-118.

Cheresky, I. (2006), 'Elecciones en América Latina: poder presidencial y liderazgo político bajo la presión de la movilización de la opinión pública y la ciudadanía', Revista Nueva Sociedad, nº 206: 14- 26.

Crespo, I., Garrido, A. and Riorda, M. (2008), La conquista del poder. Elecciones y campañas presidenciales en América Latina, Buenos Aires, La Crujía/Junta Nacional de Elecciones.

Dalton Russell J. (1985), 'Political Parties and Political Representation: Party Supporters and Party Elites in Nine Nations', Comparative Political Studies, 18: 267-299. DOI: 10.1177/0010414085018003001. -

Dalton, R. (2017), 'Party representation across multiple issue dimensions', Party Politics: 1-14. DOI: 10.1177/1354068815614515. -

Efron, B. and Tibshirani, R.J. (1993), An Introduction to the Bootstrap, Chapman & Hall, New York. -

Golder, M. and Stramski, J. (2010), 'Ideological Congruence and Electoral Institutions', American Journal of Political Science, 54: 90-106. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2009.00420.x. -

Harbers, I.; De Vries, C. and Steenbergen, M. (2012), Attitude Variability Among Latin American Publics: How Party System Structuration Affects Left/Right Ideology. Comparative Political Studies, vol. 46 (8): 947-967. DOI: 10.1177/0010414012454409. -

Herrera, M. and Morales, M. (2018), 'Congruencia programática en el Cono Sur. Argentina, Chile y Uruguay en perspectiva comparada', Opinao Pública, Campinas, vol. 24, nº 2, maio-agosto, p. 405-426. DOI: 10.1590/1807-01912018242405. -

Holmberg, A. (2000), 'Scandinavian Stylistic Fronting: How Any Category Can Become an Expletive', Linguistic Inquiry 31: 445-484. -

Kitschelt, H., Hawkins, K. A., Luna, J. P., Rosas, G. and Zechmeister, E. J. (2010), Latin American Party Systems, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. -

Laakso, M. and Taagepera, R. (1979), 'E?ective Number of Parties: A Measure with Application to West Europe', Comparative Political Studies 12: 3-27. DOI: 10.1177/001041407901200101. -

Linz, J. (1990), 'The perils of presidentialism', Journal of Democracy, Vol.1, Nº1, winter: 51-69.

Linz, J. (1994), 'Presidentialism or Parliamentarism: Does it Make a Difference?', in Linz, Juan J. and Valenzuela, A. (eds.) The Failure of Presidential Democracy, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press.

Luna, J. and Zechmeister, E. (2005), 'Representation in Latina America: A Study of Elite-Mass Congruence in Nine Countries', Comparative Political Studies, 38 (4): 388-416. DOI: 10.1177/0010414004273205. -

Luna J.P. (2014), Segmented Representation. Political Party Strategies in Unequal Democracies. Oxford: Oxford Studies in Democratization. -

Lupu, N., and Warner, Z. (2016), 'Mass-Elite Congruence and Representation in Argentina', in Joignant, A. et al (eds), Malaise in representation in Latin American countries. Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. Palgrave Macmillan: 281-302. -

Lupu, N., Selios, L. and Warner, Z. (2017), 'A New Measure of Congruence: The Earth Mover's Distance', Political Analysis, vol. 25:95-113. DOI: 10.1017/pan.2017.2. -

Mainwaring, S. (2006), 'The crisis of representation in the Andes', Journal of Democracy, vol. 16, 3: 13-27. -

Mattila, M.and Raunio, T. (2006): 'Cautious Voters-Supportive Parties. Opinion Congruence between Voters and Parties on the EU Dimension', European Union Politics, vol. 7, nº 4: 427-449. DOI: 10.1177/1465116506069434. -

McAllister, I. and Studlar, D. T. (1991), 'Bandwagon, underdog, or projection? Opinion polls and electoral choice in Britain, 1979-1987', Journal of Politics, 53, pp. 720-741. DOI: 10.2307/2131577. -

Miller, W. and Stokes, D. (1963), 'Constituency Influence in Congress', American Political Science Review, 57: 45-56. DOI: 10.2307/1952717. -

Miller, W. et al. (1999), Policy Representation in Western Democracies, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Otero-Felipe, P. (2014), 'Party-voter linkages. A Comparative View of Ideology and European Integration', Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 146: 139-168.

Otero-Felipe, P. and Rodríguez Zepeda, J. (2010), 'Measuring Political Representation in Latin America: A Study of the Ideological Congruence between Parties and Voters', paper presented at the conference of the American Political Science Association, Washington D.C.

Otero-Felipe, P. and Rodríguez Zepeda, J. (2014), 'Vínculos ideológicos y éxito electoral'. Política y Gobierno, XXI (1), 159-200.

Pedersen, M. (1990), 'Electoral Volatility in Europe, 1948-1977', en Peter Mair (ed.), The West European Party System, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pierce, R. (1999), 'Conclusion: Mixed signals', Policy Representation in Western Democracies, ed. Warren E. Miller, Jacques Thomassen, Richard Herrera, Sören Holmberg, Peter Esaiasson and Bernhard Wessels, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Rodríguez Zepeda, J.A. (2017), 'Congruencia temática entre ciudadanos y representantes en América Latina: una perspectiva multidimensional'. Revista Debates, 11 (3), 29- 56. -

Ruiz, Leticia M. (2008): 'Programmatic Coherence', en M. Alcántara (ed.), Politicians and Politics in Latin America, Lynne Rinner (173-194).

Singer, M. (2016), 'Elite Polarization and the Electoral Impact of Left-Right Placements: Evidence from Latin America, 1995-2009', Latin American Research Review, vol. 51 (2), 174-194. -

Thomassen, J. and Hermann, S. (1999), 'Introduction: political representation and legitimacy in the European Union', in Hermann Schmitt and Jacques Thomassen (eds.), Political Representation and Legitimacy in the European Union, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press: 3-21. -

Trak, J. M. (2011), 'Partidos de gobierno, partidos y presidentes en 13 países de América Latina',

Weissberg, R. (1978), 'Collective vs. Dyadic Representation in Congress', American Political Science Review, 72: 535-547. DOI: 10.2307/1954109. -

Zechmeister, E. and Corral (2013), 'Individual and Contextual Constraints on Ideological Labels in Latin America', Comparative Political Studies, 46(6):675-701. DOI:10.1177/0010414012463880. -