Why Do Voters Change Their Evaluations of a President? A Taiwanese Case

Yen Chen Tang, Alex Chuan Hsien Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this paper, we analyze how citizens evaluate their president, especially focusing on why voters lower their evaluations at an individual-level perspective. We assert that citizens raise their evaluations of a new president when their expectations are met and lower their opinions when his or her performance disappoints them. Furthermore, the evaluations of the president are not only affected by a government's economic and diplomatic performance, but are also influenced by individual awareness of salient political issues, the contents of the news, and their own perceived influence on politics. We test the theoretical hypotheses using Taiwan's Election and Democratization Study (TEDS) panel survey data. The statistical results support our theoretical hypotheses and show that when President Ma's performance did not meet respondents' expectations of unification and economic prosperity, the respondents updated their evaluations of Ma. In addition, it also shows that the extent of respondents' media exposure and political efficacy are significantly associated with the change in their opinions of Ma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-321
Number of pages21
JournalJapanese Journal of Political Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • approval ratings
  • economic prosperity
  • efficacy
  • media exposure
  • Presidential popularity


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