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    1/39Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2002166

    Crafting Mass Partisanship at the Grass Roots, from the Top

    Down.

    Cesar Zucco

    Rutgers University

    [email protected]

    David Samuels

    University of Minnesota

    [email protected]

    This version: February 26, 2012

    Abstract

    How does mass partisanship emerge? We explore the varying fates of parties in Brazila de-

    cidedly anti-party environment in which social-cleavages and historical legacies cannot explain

    the emergence of partisanshipand highlight a heretofore unexplored mechanism of crafting

    mass partisanship that sets the PT (Workers Party) apart from other parties: its deliberate

    efforts to reach out to organized elements in civil society by expanding its local-level organiza-

    tion. We show that the PT invested where civil society was organizationally dense, and that

    this led to increased party identification and improved electoral performance. Other parties, for

    path-dependent reasons, did not adopt this tacticand in the context of weak socio-cultural

    cleavages, have failed to gain partisan support.

    Thanks to Oswaldo Amaral, Kosuke Imai, Rachel Meneguello, Andre Oliveira, Pedro Ribeiro, Taylor Boas,

    Kathryn Hochstetler, and to staff at the IBGE (Juarez Silva Filho), CESOP (Rosilene Gelape), and Datafolha (AnaCristina Cavalcanti de Souza).

    1

    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]
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    Zucco & Samuels February 26, 2012

    How does mass partisanship developparticularly in the absence of deep socio-economic or

    cultural cleavages? In this paper we revisit one of the most venerable questions in comparative

    politics by examining variation in the evolution of mass partisanship in contemporary Brazil, focus-

    ing on the trajectory of the Brazilian Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT). The ability

    of a party to lay down deep roots in society, given Brazils social and institutional environment,

    represents a theoretical puzzle in its own right. This suggests that the study of the evolution of

    partisanship in Brazil offers a useful case for advancing the comparative study of the sources of

    cleavage-formation.

    According to the classic formulation of the social cleavage theory of party-system emergence and

    evolution, party systems reflect deep historical societal divisions.1 This view highlights a bottom-up,

    grass-roots approach to the emergence of mass partisanship. Reflecting theoretical dissatisfaction

    with this approach, other scholars have emphasized political rather than sociological factors in

    party-system emergence and evolution.2 This view focuses on the role of strategic politicians in

    crafting partisan attachments from the top-down.

    Brazil offers a compelling case for theory development. In comparative perspective, Brazil has

    below-average aggregate levels of mass partisanship.3 About 45 percent of Brazilians identify with

    one of the 19 parties that currently have at least one seat in its legislature. However, even this figure

    is somewhat misleading, as most parties remain weakly-sedimented in society.4 More specifically,

    since 1989 (when surveys asking a partisanship question were first taken) only three parties have

    ever commanded the sympathy of more than 5 percent of voters. In fact, as Figure 1 reveals, only

    one partythe PThas managed to capture a significant number of partisans.

    Figure 1 shows the proportion of voters who identify with any party (the gray shaded area)

    as well as the share of Brazilians who have identified with the three largest parties: the PT,

    the PSDB (Party of the Brazilian Social Democracy), and the PMDB (Party of the Brazilian

    Democratic Movement)5

    [Figure 1 about here.]

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    means that we lack an intuitive explanation for any observed elective affinity between voters and

    partiesand also means that we have no simple explanation for variation on the dependent variable,

    the rise of partisanship for the PT and the stagnation of partisanship for its main rivals. Where

    does mass partisanship come from, if the institutional incentives perpetuate already-weak cultural

    and political cleavages?

    The usual alternative to the grass-roots explanation for the rise of mass partisanship focuses

    on strategic elites. However, the mechanism scholars typically point to driving this top-down

    process also cannot explain the PTs success and its rivals stagnation. Scholars have suggested

    that party elites try to forge partisanship by articulating a distinct ideological message and/or

    programmatic platform. Unfortunately this approach also leaves the puzzle unexplained, because

    the PTs partisan base grew even though its leaders deliberately toned down its leftist rhetoric,

    entered a confusing array of electoral coalitions with parties to its left and its right, and grew in-

    creasingly pragmatic in its approach to winning elections and governing.10 Parties that deliberately

    dilute their own message might gain votes, but we do not expect them to gain partisan identifiers,

    particularly given the already-crowded center of Brazils party system.

    A clue towards explaining why the PT succeeded in capturing a large slice of partisans while its

    rivals failed to do so comes from Samuels,11 who suggested that petistas are activist-pragmatists,

    individuals who are particularly interested in and engaged in politics. At first glance this still

    leaves unanswered the question of how the PT created so many partisans while other parties

    didnt, because political engagement in Brazil is highly correlated with partisanship for all parties.

    However, this suggestion does point to the crucial remaining distinction across Brazils major

    parties: a decision to invest or not in reaching out to organized civil society by building the partys

    local organization.

    We suggest that engaging civil society through party-building efforts can craft mass partisanship

    where none existed before. Variation in organizational investment strategies both explains variation

    across Brazilian parties in terms of levels of mass partisanship, and offers novel contributions to the

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    comparative study of party and party-system evolution. Although the connection between party

    strategy and organized civil societyrather than latent socio-cultural cleavagesfor the emergence

    of partisanship does resonate with scattered work on parties in established European democracies,

    it has never been the focus of researchand no scholarship has ever provided direct evidence of the

    mechanism at work, partly because appropriate data are extremely difficult to find. We provide

    such direct evidence, and for a difficult casewhere latent sociological cleavages are largely absent,

    something that hardly can be said for Western Europe. This suggests that the mechanism could

    be at work in both old and new democracies.

    In short, parties strategic development of local-level organization is a heretofore ignored top-

    down causal mechanism that can explain how political cleavages emerge. Whats more, as we

    explain below, this mechanism highlights that the bottom-up and top-down approaches to explain-

    ing mass partisanship are flip sides sides of the same coin: party elites must consciously invest

    in developing organizational links, but their efforts to transform vague sentiments into concrete

    political attachments will only bear fruit if the people they target are already actively organized

    in civil society, typically for reasons not directly related to partisan politics.

    In order to convincingly show this process at work, we privilege the relative precision in identify-

    ing a causal mechanism offered by high-quality data from one country, at the expense of broad com-

    parisons. However, our argument is not tied to Brazil. We seek to emulate influential case-specific

    comparative research on this topic12 in order to provide detailed insight into how a particular

    mechanism operates, in the hope that other work can identify similar processes elsewhere.

    The paper proceeds as follows. We first develop the causal mechanism in our argument about

    the sources of mass partisanship, and explain how it relates to other explanations. Then we

    describe the origins and growth of Brazils parties, focusing in particular on why the PT chose

    one organizational path while other parties did not, and derive hypotheses to test our argument.

    Subsequently we empirically demonstrate that the PT has strategically expanded where we expect

    it to: where civil society organization is relatively denser. The final two sections reveal the extent to

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    which this strategy has paid off, significantly increasing party identification and electoral support.

    Top-Down and Bottom-up Party Building Strategies

    Where do mass partisan cleavages come from? There are basically two views. The first is the

    classic demand side social-cleavages approach originated by Lipset and Rokkan13 to explain the

    origin of parties and party systems in Western Europe. According to this view, a political cleavage

    is a lasting division between social groups that may give rise to open conflict.14 This is a largely

    sociological view of parties, party systems, and mass partisanship, for it assumes that parties reflect

    and represent pre-existing interests, which emerge from below.

    A second view pays greater attention to the supply side of politics. In this view, socio-cultural

    divides do not become partisan cleavages unless self-interested strategic party elites figure out how

    to politicize them. How do elites accomplish this? Politicians face two sets of challenges when

    attempting to craft partisanship: First they must first create an appealing brand, and then they

    must disseminate it widely.

    In terms of creating a party brand, scholars have emphasized the importance of elites efforts

    to manipulate political rhetoric and symbols, in an effort to develop a coherent ideological or

    programmatic profile. Party leaders have incentives to strategically bundle a set of organizing

    principles and explanatory metaphors, in order to develop a convincing account for why a political

    problem exists and how to solve it. To achieve this goal, party elites craft political discourse, and

    develop coherent electoral platforms and policy proposals.15

    A classic example is Przeworski and

    Spragues argument that an economic cleavage became important in Europe only insofar as leftist

    parties highlighted class issues.16

    A second challengethe one into which we offer new insightis disseminating the partys

    brand. As Carmines and Stimson emphasize, most voters are fundamentally inertial and do not

    seek out party attachments if they do not already have one.17 The quandary scholars face is thus

    how to explain changea transition from an inertial state. Doing so requires insertion of a dynamic

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    set of strategic actors into any causal story. Scholars who adopt a strategic elites approach have

    thus far implicitly or explicitly assumed that national party leaders are the key agents who create

    and disseminate partisan images, suggesting that leadership capacityeloquence, charisma, and

    tactical skillis key to explaining the spread of partisanship.18

    Building on Carmines and Stimsons idea that party activists help explain issue evolution in

    American politics, our core claim is that top-down arguments should include a broader set of tactics

    party leaders can adopt to disseminate a party brand in their quest to craft mass partisanship.

    Specifically, parties canand often docreate partisans by investing in developing their local-level

    organization and cultivating ties to active non-partisan civil society groups.

    That is, we agree that party elites can craft partisanship from above by presenting themselves

    as credible standard-bearers for certain groups or on particular issues. However, rhetoric coming

    from a partys national leaders may be insufficient to generate partisan attachments. And even if

    broad preexisting latent forms of identity offer simple and easy symbolic coordination points around

    which a party can focus a national media or election campaign, party elites also have incentives

    to take their struggle down to the grass roots. The more that a party can engage closely and

    consistently with average citizens day-to-day concerns, in their communities, the more likely they

    are to come to identify deeply with that party.

    There is good reason to believe that investing in local party organization can plant seeds that

    will bloom even in a partisan desert. Such a strategy may succeed by making the partys brand

    personally relevant to citizens who are active in civil society but who are not particizedbut

    who might have an elective affinity with the party doing the outreach. This strategy constitutes

    an effort to connect the party more closely with the issues and modes of political engagement that

    have already mobilized certain individuals. By bringing its its brand down to the grass roots, a

    party consistently highlights the differences between itself and others, and demonstrates that it

    is more receptive to grass-roots concerns. In this way, opening a party branch may craft mass

    partisanship from abovebut at the grass roots.

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    This argument clearly resonates with longstanding findings from comparative parties research.

    Echoing Duvergers distinction between elite and mass parties, for example, scholars of Imperial

    Germany have long differentiated between notables politics (Honoriatorenpolitik) and mass

    politics (Massenpolitik).19 Local politics in the former was dominated by self-appointed local elites,

    who only activated largely informal local-level organizations around election time and deactivated

    them immediately thereafter, relying largely on personal connections and/or clientelistic relations

    with voters.

    In contrast, mass parties developed strong, centralized organizationsbut also sought to de-

    velop a permanent and continuously active organizational presence at the local level. In Imperial

    Germany the Social Democrats (SPD) were the first to try to leverage local organization as an elec-

    toral tool. Over time, other parties sought to emulate the SPDs observed successa phenomenon

    that Duverger called contagion from the left.20

    It is important to recall that not all leftist parties adopted this organizational approach, and

    that many elite parties continued to rely on their traditional approachsome with more success

    than others. Some parties considered but never adopted this strategy. For example, the British

    Liberal Party in the period just after World War I considered and explicitly rejected expanding its

    local-level organizational presence, sticking instead with an organizational structure that resembled

    a decentralized federation. As a consequence, the party depended on the ad hoc personal and

    commercial relationships of local businessmen and other self-selected bourgeois notablesa tactic

    that ultimately failed in the face of competition from the better-organized Labour Party.21

    Our argument also finds echo in research on recent party politics. Scholars have demonstrated,

    for example, that local-level organization helps parties recruit quality candidates22 and mobilize

    their own supporters.23 In addition, as the example of the Argentine Peronists suggests,24 by

    investing in local-level organization parties can perpetuate existing affective voter linkages, even if

    the party abandons its original policy stances. Such research assumes that local party organizations

    can add value where partisans already exist. To our knowledge, however, no researcheither on

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    historical or contemporary party politicshas ever demonstrated that parties can leverage local

    organization to actually create partisan identities.

    The connection between party organization and organized civil society constitutes a missing

    link in existing theories of the emergence and evolution of mass partisanship. If we could go back

    in time and find the appropriate data, it would be no surprise to find that the European socialist

    parties that experienced the greatest success were not those that emerged where there were many

    blue collar workers, or even those that emerged where unions had organized those workers, but

    were those that had opened party branches where the unions were well-organized. We would

    expect a similar result for Christian Democratic partiespartisanship would be strongest not just

    where there were many Catholics, but where parties reached out to both churchgoers and lay

    groups that were well-integrated into local communities.25 Parties that create organizational links

    with already-mobilized elements in society should succeed at the pollsand in crafting partisan

    identities.

    Organizational Strategies in Brazil

    The case of Brazil is compelling for the top-down approach because preexisting socio-cultural

    and economic divides are comparatively absent. This gives us little reason to expect partisan

    identification to emerge naturally, without explicit crafting from above by self-interested politicians.

    Among Brazils parties, the PT offers an excellent example of how a party can successfully solve the

    twin challenges we described above. However, the PTs main rivals have never sought to develop

    a strong brand name, and have not emulated the PTs organizational-development strategy. This

    means we have considerable variation on our main independent variable within Brazil. In this

    section we first consider the PTs solution to the branding challenge, discuss its strategic effort

    to disseminate its brand by reaching out to organized civil society through local party-building

    efforts, and then consider why its main rivals have never adopted a similar tactic.

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    Branding: Samuels26 described how the PT developed and consolidated its party labela delib-

    erate effort to set itself apart from Brazils other parties by developing a strong brand name. To

    limit individualism and promote the partys collective image, the PT threatened to expel elected

    officials who bucked the party line after an internal voteand it followed through on this threat on

    several occasions. Unlike all other Brazilian parties, the PT also requires all elected officials and

    political appointees to donate between 2 percent and 20 percent of their salary to the party (the

    percentage is determined on a sliding scale). These rules, as well as several others, dissuaded all

    but the most committed politicians from entering the PT, and clearly differentiated it from other

    Brazilian parties, particularly its main competitors, the PMDB and PSDB.

    Given Brazils institutional context, the PT adopted this approach to bind individual politicians

    to the partyto guarantee to its heterogeneous base of support among social movements that it

    would remain a distinct actor over the long run. By enforcing group cohesion and promoting its

    label, the PT also created a political identity that could be easily marketed to a broad spectrum

    of individuals and groups.27 Although the PT has moderated its leftist discourse since the late

    1990s,28 even after winning the presidency in 2002 its brand remains distinct from other parties. In

    particular, it has retained an emphasis on clean and participatory governance, and has consistently

    encouraged its candidates to weave these themes into local campaigns. Its distinctiveness today

    stems not from its leftism, but from its focus on radicalizing the process of democracy in Brazil,

    on promoting average citizens engagement in politics.

    Petistas today do not differ much from other Brazilians in terms of ideology,29 but they do

    differ in terms of their understanding of and engagement in politics. According to a 2006 survey30

    (the only available recent survey that asks such questions)petistas differ from non-partisans in

    agreeing that democracy is the best form of government, politics is important to me, and

    participatory processes are important. In contrast, Brazilians who identify with the PMDB or

    the PSDB do not differ from non-partisans on these questions. In short, the PT created a brand

    early on, and its image has remained distinct. We now turn to the question of how the party

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    cultivated new supporters as it grew.

    Distribution: The PT would not have had success in cultivating a mass partisan base without a

    deliberate effort to expand its organizational reach. Since it was founded, it has not only sought to

    develop a strong central organization and enforce cohesive legislative behavior. Its self-advertised

    difference was that it was a party of the workers. Although workers in the sense of organized

    labor constitute a relatively small proportion of Brazils population, the PT intended to signal

    that it could not be co-opted like other, older labor parties in Brazils historythat it was led by

    and served the interests of average Brazilians. This image aimed to distinguish the PT from other

    historical models of Brazilian party politics: the elite-led populist left and traditional centrist and

    conservative parties, which thrived on clientelistic connections to the state, as well as the vanguard

    revolutionary leftist parties that downplayed the importance of a large membership base. The

    PT sought to distinguish itself by cultivating and engaging a large and active membership base.

    Organizational consolidation at the center and the development of local party branch offices have

    both been part of this strategy.

    In particular, since the 1990s the PT has prioritized investing resources in expanding its orga-

    nizational reach.31 For example, in 1995 the party affirmed at its National Meeting that it needed

    to increase its organizational capillarity by opening additional local branch offices. This effort

    explicitly sought to increase membership, improve the partys vote total, and cultivate deeper

    partisan attachments,32 goals that have been reaffirmed at all subsequent national meetings.33

    The targets of the PTs outreach efforts have remained consistent over the years: Brazilians

    already engaged in social activism. To attract support in its early years, the PT explicitly drew

    upon a Gramscian notion of gaining hegemony in social movements,34 and cultivated connections

    to NGOs, labor unions, and Catholic lay activists.35 This connection between PT membership and

    social-movement activism has remained constant as new generations of petistas entered the party.

    In 2007, for example, the proportion of delegates at the PTs National Conference who were active

    in an NGO was about 80 percent. This proportion did not vary with delegates age, suggesting that

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    the connection between activism and PT membership has remained constant over time, regardless

    of whether someone joined in 1980 or 2007.36 Although the PT has grown closer to the state as

    it won national power, it has not grown distant from organized civil society. Instead, civil society

    actors still see the PT as open to their demands, and willing to support their proposals. 37

    The PT brand remains potent, 30 years after its founding and long after the party had mod-

    erated its ideology. It has pursued a strategy of cultivating mass partisanship both when it was

    an insignificant opposition party as well as when it held Brazils presidency. Meneguello was per-

    haps the first to note that the PT performed well where it had a solid organizational presence,38

    and observational evidence certainly suggests that this connection persists: the PT elected city

    councilors in 47 percent of all municipalities in 2008, as compared against only 12 percent 20 years

    earlier.39 Furthermore, in terms of party ID, it seems obvious that this expansion effort has paid

    off, as mass partisanship for the PT has continued to grow.

    If the PTs strategy has paid off (a hypothesis we confirm below), has there been contagion from

    the PT in Brazil? The simple answer is no: Neither the PMDB nor the PSDBthe PTs main

    rivalshave adopted similar branding and organizational strategiesa fact that helps explain their

    inability to attract more partisan adherents. A powerful indicator of these parties strategic choices

    comes from the fact that after persistent inquiries with both parties national offices, we confirmed

    thatin contrast to the PTneither the PMDB nor the PSDB keep any records of the extent

    of their own local-level organizational presence. Quite simply, a party cannot act strategically to

    expand its local presence if it has no information about where it exists and where it does not. Of

    course, this begs the question of why these parties pursued different tactics.

    The answer lies partly with the path-dependent effects of organizational culture.40 The PMDB

    is the successor to the sanctioned opposition party under Brazils 196485 military regime. How-

    ever, subsequent events revealed this connection between the PMDB and anti-regime activism to

    be circumstantial and ephemeral. With the return to democracy the one thing that united the

    PMDB disappeared, and the party degenerated into a federation of state-level electoral machines,

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    dominated by politicians who cultivate clientelistic relationships with voters.41 The PMDB does

    have an extensive paper organizational presence, but it follows the elite party model in that its

    actual local-level organizational presence ebbs and flows with the electoral calendar. Its links to

    organized civil society are also relatively few, and weakand as a result the party lacks a clear

    brand name. Given this organizational weakness and failure to develop a coherent brand, mass

    identification with the PMDB has declined as time weakens the memory of the partys origins

    under the dictatorship. The PMDB has had this profile since the early 1980s. Although it has lost

    partisan identifiers, it remains one of Brazils most competitive parties due to the persistence of

    electoral clientelism across much of Brazil. This provides few incentives for party elites to change

    their tactics and emulate the PT.

    As for the PSDB, its meteoric electoral success generated powerful disincentives to invest in

    organizational development.42 The PSDB emerged as a breakaway faction from within the PMDB,

    in 1988and by 1994 it was in control of the federal government. It was born a resource-rich party,

    dominated by experienced office-holders from the state of Sao Paulo, Brazils largest and wealthiest.

    Yet despite winning the 1994 and 1998 presidential elections, the PSDB has never superseded its

    regional nature, and it has made no effort to emulate the PTs organizational strategy. Upon

    its formation it adopted a structure similar to its parent party, and to this day it remains a loose

    association of professional politicians, with a relatively weak local presence and relatively few active

    rank-and-file members.43 Like the PMDB, the PSDB remains a powerful political player because

    of the popularity and experience of its leaders rather than because it has developed a coherent

    vision for Brazil or because it has cultivated connections to elements of organized civil societya

    fact acknowledged by its leader Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Brazils president from 19952002. 44

    In interesting ways the PSDB resembles the British Liberal Party in the early 20th century, in that

    it eschewed cultivating ties to civil society, instead believing that its leaders image as efficient and

    effective would continue to carry the party to victory.45

    In Brazil, only the PT has deliberately chosen to engage organized civil society. The other main

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    parties have chosen fundamentally different tactics to achieve electoral successclientelism in the

    case of the PMDB, and a general appeal to liberal principles of leadership quality, efficiency and

    clean government in the case of the PSDB. These tactics, we suggest, help explain the variation

    observed in Figure 1. Neither the PMDB nor the PSDB have focused on crafting mass partisanship

    from above or from below, while the PT has. As such, they may win elections, but they do not

    develop mass partisanship.

    In the next sections we test our main claim that the PT has engaged in strategic organizational

    outreach efforts, and these efforts explain the growth of mass partisanship for the PT. Specifically,

    if our argument about the sources of mass partisanship is true, we expect the following: First,

    that the PT will expand where organized civil society is denser, a hypothesis we test in the next

    section. Second, that the PT will reap benefits from this strategy, in the form of increased party

    identification and increased vote for the party in legislative elections.

    Determinants of Party Expansion

    We expect the PT to expand organizationally in places where there existed organized civil society.

    In this section we examine the association between the density of civil society and patterns of

    PT expansion.

    To test our causal claim about the determinants of party organization, we exploit the fact that

    the party has been continuously expanding geographically, establishing itself in new municipalities

    over time. More specifically, we derive inferences via counterfactual logic, contrasting municipalities

    in which the PT established itself after 2001 with those in which the party could have established

    a presence, but did not.

    We use 2001 as the reference point because this is the first year for which systematic data

    on PT local presence are available. This provides a conservative test of our argument, for two

    reasons. First, by 2001, the PT was already present in about half of Brazils approximately 5500

    municipalitiesmostly the larger and wealthier ones. That is, the PT had already established

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    itself where it was relatively easy to do so. Second, after 2002 the PT was the incumbent party

    at national level, giving it far more wealth and power than in its early years. In such a situation,

    the party had relatively weaker incentives to deepen its ties to civil society. If we can demonstrate

    that the PT continued its organizational expansion after 2001and can then demonstrate that

    this strategy continued to pay offwe will have provided strong evidence in favor of our main

    argument that the party strategically crafted partisanship from above, at the grass roots.

    Data and Methods: In this section we exploit an extremely rare form of data on party or-

    ganization. Since 2001, the PTs national headquarters has kept detailed and accurate records

    of local-level organizational presence across Brazil. For each municipality, these records describe

    whether a legally-recognized party branch office exists or not, andif a branch existsthe number

    of eligible and voting members in the partys internal primaries, called the Processo de Eleicoes

    Diretas (PED), also for each municipality.46

    Our dependent variable is dichotomouswhether or not the PT established a local presence

    between 2001 and 2009. We first discarded all municipalities in which the PT was already present

    in 2001, with presence defined as whether at least one PT member voted in the partys 2001 PED.

    We then defined the PT as having established itself or not depending on whether at least one

    member voted in the 2009 PED. Established was coded as a 1, while municipalities in which the

    PT continued to have no presence were coded as 0. Using these criteria, in 2001 the PT had no

    presence in 2958 of Brazils 5564 municipalities. By 2009 it had opened a branch in 1894 of these.

    Using PED data is conceptually superior to simply counting whether a party has a legally-

    registered local branch office, because we want to measure the partys effective presence. Holding a

    PED is a higher threshold than simply registering a local branch with the national electoral court

    or having members on the partys books who do not even bother to vote in a PED. We also chose

    to code party presence as a dummy because what matters conceptually is the difference between

    having no presence and having some presence. Parties cannot open multiple branches in the

    same municipality, but opening a local branch should provide a jolt to local-level mobilization

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    efforts.47

    The main independent variable in this part of our analysis is another rare form of data, on

    local-level civil society density. We derived this indicator from a census of Non-Governmental

    Organizations (NGOs) published in 2002 by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatstica

    (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, IBGE).48 These are actual counts of legally-

    registered NGOs in every municipality in Brazil, and also include the number of people employed

    in each of 14 categories of NGOs in each municipality. We dropped organizations in two of these

    categories: notary publics and condominium resident associations, which were unrelated to our

    concept of civil society.49

    As with party presence, we are interested in the impact of actual civil society activity, and not

    merely its paper presence. NGOs can exist legally but not have much of an effective presence. Yet

    if an NGO actually employs people, we have better reason to believe that it performs some real work.

    As such, we measure civil society density as the (log of the) number of people employed in qualifying

    NGOs per 1000 residents in each municipality. It is true that many NGOs rely on volunteers,

    something our more stringent measure does not capture. However, our operationalization of civil

    society density should pick up the effect of voluntary mobilization, which is likely to be highly

    correlated with the presence of NGOs that have employees paid to mobilize volunteers.

    As an initial test we estimated the association between civil society density and the probability

    that the PT opened a branch with a logit regression, in which we controlled for several possible

    confounding variables. These include municipal population, whether the states governor belonged

    to the PT (a dummy), and the municipalitys distance from the state capital in kilometers, which

    controls for the fact that parties and NGOs are more likely to establish themselves in state capitals

    first and expand from there. We also controlled for socio-economic factors using the municipal

    human development index (HDI-M), computed for the year 2000 by the IBGE and United Nations

    Development Program. The HDI-M is a composite indicator of per capita income, years of edu-

    cation, and life expectancy measured for each municipality. This controls for the likelihood that

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    the less-developed a municipality, the less likely are parties and NGOs to have a presence, all else

    equal.50

    The greatest obstacle to a causal interpretation of our results is that municipalities are not

    randomly assigned different levels of civil society density. Hence, our indicator of civil society

    density could be capturing other unobserved differences that exist between municipalities. To gain

    confidence in our findings, we also analyzed the data using a generalized propensity score (GPS)

    matching approach51a matching procedure that can be employed when the causal variable of

    interest is continuous.52

    This involves a two-step estimation process. We first estimated a regression in which we pre-

    dicted the treatment variablecivil society densitywith a set of pre-treatment covariates that

    included municipal population, HDI-M, distance to the state capital, squared and cubic terms of

    these three variables, dummies for each of Brazils regions, and the PTs performance in the pre-

    vious legislative election. The predicted values of this regression are the propensity scores. As per

    Imai and van Dyk,53 we partitioned the full sample into ten strata of similar municipalities based

    on their propensity scores, and estimated a logit regression for each stratum in which opening a

    party branch is the dependent variable and actual civil society density is the main independent

    variable, controlling for the propensity score, region, and the PTs prior performance in legislative

    elections. The treatment effect is the average of the effect across strata.

    Results Table 1 reports partial results of our logit model using the full sample and after match-

    ing.54 To ease interpretation of results we exclude control variables from presentation, and report

    only first differences for our causal variable of interest plus the baseline result. Results for civil

    society density are both statistically significant and substantively important in both models. A

    change in from the 25th to the 75th percentile on our scale of civil society density increases the

    probability that the PT would open a branch by 0.075, a 12 percent increase over the baseline. 55

    [Table 1 about here.]

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    The magnitude of the effects after matching are very similar, and remain statistically significant

    in two otherwise similar municipalities, moving from the 25th to 75th percentile in of civil society

    density increases the probability of the PT opening a branch by 0.075, a 13 percent increase. Over-

    all, both models provide solid evidence supporting our hypothesis that the PT sought to expand

    where it had the most promising connectionswhere civil society was relatively better-organized.

    This significant effect of civil society on the probability of opening a branch after we matched

    municipalities on the PTs past electoral performance and controlled for performance at the start

    of the period of interest suggests that civil society density has a direct effect on the partys decision

    to open a branch. But does the PT actually benefit from setting up shop? Can we tell, for instance,

    whether any observed improved electoral performance is simply an effect of pro-PT conditions in

    the municipality that also lead to opening a branch? In the next two sections we adopt a different

    empirical strategy to answer these questions, and demonstrate that the PTs partisanship and vote

    totals grow after the party opens a local branch.

    Party Organization and Party Identification

    Having confirmed that the PT strategically expanded its organizational presence where organized

    civil society was denser, we now must examine the extent to which this strategy paid off. In this

    section we explore the hypothesis that the PTs local-level organizational expansion strengthens

    its ties with voters, which should be reflected in higher levels of party identification.

    Data & Methods: We seek to assess the growth in partisan identification for the PT in mu-

    nicipalities where it established itself relative to municipalities where it never established a local

    organizational presence. The causal connection between local organization and party identification

    is theoretically relatively straightforward, but there are many challenges in empirically evaluating

    this link. As noted above, we possess indicators of the PTs municipal-level organizational presence

    since 2001. Unfortunately, no comparable measure of the extent of party identification among all

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    voters at the municipal level exists for all municipalities across Brazil.

    To get around this problem, we combine data from different nationally-representative surveys

    to estimate partisanship levels under different conditions. Each survey we used asked respondents

    the same question about whether they identified with a particular political party, and each survey

    also identified the municipality in which the respondent was interviewed. Unfortunately, only those

    surveys fielded after March 2002 identify respondents municipality, which restricts our analysis of

    the effects of opening a branch on party identification to the 20062010 electoral cycle. 56

    Each municipality falls into one of four conditions depending on whether the PT was present

    (held a PED in which at least one member voted) at the start and at the end of a time-period or

    not. We labeled as never the condition where the party did not have a presence in 2005 and did

    not establish a presence by 2009. Always refers to municipalities where the party had a presence

    at the start and kept it until the end. In turn, closed designates municipalities where the party

    had a branch at the start but was absent at the end, and opened applies to municipalities where

    the party did not have a presence at the start but did so by the end.

    Figure 2 reports levels of party identification by each condition. These values were obtained by

    pooling surveys taken around 2005 (t0) and 2009 (t1). Clearly, identification with the PT increases

    relatively more in municipalities where it opened a branch (dashed line) than in any of the other

    three categories. This figure provides preliminary evidence supporting our hypothesis.

    [Figure 2 about here.]

    The increase shown in the dashed line in Figure 2 has to be assessed against a baseline. Munic-

    ipalities where the PT never established itself provide the best counterfactual to what would have

    happened in the municipalities where the party did open a branch, had it not done so. Hence,

    our comparison of interest is between the never and opened conditions. The definition of

    causal effect we employ, and the estimates we report in the remainder of this paper, rest on this

    comparison.

    We implemented a standard differences-in-differences (DiD) design to determine whether the

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    changes in levels of party ID from the start to end of the cycle in the treatment groupwhere the

    PT opened a branchdiffer significantly from any changes in the baseline control groupwhere it

    did not open a branchover the same period. We stress, at this point, that although we use the

    language of experimental studies the treatment is clearly not as if randomly dispensed. 57 Yet by

    combining both before-and-after and cross-sectional contrasts, we add a within-subjects element

    to our analysis that can strengthen the causal interpretation of our results.58 More importantly, we

    undertake robustness checks, below, which move us closer to a quasi-experimental setup, putting

    us on firmer grounds for causal inference.

    The DiD analysis is very simple: we regress an indicator of party identificationcoded as 1 if

    individual i in municipality j at time t identifies with the PTon two dummy variables and their

    interaction. The first dummy indicates which period the observation corresponds to, and is coded

    as zero if it is from t0 and 1 if the observation is from t1. The second dummy is an indicator of

    the treatment, coded as 1 if the PT opened a branch in that municipality during the election cycle

    (opened), and zero if it did not (never). The coefficient on the interaction term is therefore

    the estimate of the causal effect of opening a branch in a treated municipality at t1.

    We estimated treatment effects using linear probability models. Since the independent variables

    are dummies that define subgroups of observations, the coefficients are the mean values of the

    dependent variables in each such subgroup. In our case, the dependent variable is a dichotomous

    indicator of identification with the PT, so coefficients can be directly interpreted as proportions

    of voters in the subgroups defined by the dummies. A linear probability model is appropriate

    even though our dependent variable is dichotomous because the two dummies and their interaction

    define all possible subgroups in the datai.e. the model is saturated.59

    Although our designwith one pre-treatment and one post-treatment observationis quite

    simple, the hierarchical nature of our data does deserve some attention and statistical adjustments.

    By pooling responses from different surveys in 2005 and 2009, we obtain 35,539 individual-level

    observations. This is not a panel of individuals, as each respondent is sampled only once. More

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    importantly, because the treatment (opening a PT branch) is dispensed at the level of municipal-

    ities, we are actually using individual-level observations to estimate the proportion of respondents

    in municipality in each condition who identify with the PT during each period (t0 and t1).

    That is, we can directly observe whether individuals identify with the party or not, but we

    cannot observe whether any particular person becomes a petista. Instead, we can estimate

    the effect of opening a branch by comparing the proportion of individuals who identify with the

    PT in municipalities in the control group against the corresponding proportion of individuals in

    municipalities in the treatment group. This means that we only use the relatively smaller share

    of individuals who were sampled in municipalities in the never and open conditions. In short,

    what we are doing is contrasting municipalities (and not individuals) in different conditions.

    We adjusted for this hierarchical structure of our data in two ways: first, by clustering standard

    errors by municipality (which accounts for the fact that individuals are not independent observa-

    tions but are clustered in municipalities); and second, by employing a random-effects model (which

    allows treatment effects to vary across municipalities). We also estimate a third model, demon-

    strating that our results hold up when individual-level controls are also included. In this last

    variation, instead of a linear probability model we estimated a logit with random effects, because

    the model is no longer saturated.

    Results: Table 2 reports treatment effects and the baseline levels of party identification for these

    three models. For the two linear probability models, we report the the intercept and the coefficient

    on the interaction term, which can be directly interpreted as the baseline proportion and treatment

    effect, respectively. In the logit model we report the predicted baseline probability and marginal

    effects of the treatment for an average individual in an average municipality.

    All estimates are similar. Overall, the share of respondents in a municipality who identify with

    the PT grew considerably more where it established a branch relative to where it did not. The

    growth is almost 10 percent, which represents a dramatic jump given that the baseline levels of

    partisanship at the start of the time-period were under 14 percent. In the logit model the in-

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    clusion of controls picks up some of the variance, which leads to narrower standard errors. The

    marginal effects of treatment, however, are almost identical to the average treatment effects esti-

    mated through the linear models. These results provide strong support for our main hypothesis:

    that the PTs strategy of attempting to strategy craft mass partisanship at the grass roots pays

    off handsomelyeven outside of large and wealthy urban areas, where the party has its historical

    roots.

    [Table 2 about here.]

    Party Organization and Electoral Performance

    Our results support the contention that parties can strategically craft partisanship from the top-

    down, by reaching out to organized civil society. However, we recognize that measuring party

    ID with survey data imposes restrictions on our analysis. For this reason, we wish to provide

    additional evidence that the PTs strategy pays off. That is, if the logic of our argument is correct,

    then the PTs strategy should not only craft mass partisanship, it should also improve the partys

    vote total in legislative elections. Electoral performance, however, fluctuates from election to

    election for reasons having nothing to do with organizational expansion. We again deal with this

    challenge with a DiD design. In contrast to the preceding analysis, however, here we observe the

    treatment and outcome variables at the same levelthe municipality. This considerably simplifies

    the analysis and allows us to examine two electoral cycles. In addition, the availability of more

    and higherquality data allows us to perform robustness checks that increase our confidence in the

    link between local organization and party performance.

    Data & Methods: The dependent variable here is the PTs share of votes for candidates and the

    party label in lower-chamber national legislative elections, measured at the level of the municipality.

    Brazil has an open-list proportional representation system in which the countrys 27 states function

    as constituencies of varying district magnitude. Voters have one vote, and can choose individual

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    candidates or the party label.

    Figure 3 echoes Figure 2, providing the PTs average vote share in municipalities in each

    condition at the start and at the end of each electoral cycle. In both periods the party increased

    its vote share relatively more in municipalities where it opened a branch (the dashed line) than

    in any of the other three categories. In the 20022006 cycle this contrast is particularly striking,

    as the PTs performance was negative or flat in all categories except where it established itself.

    In the 20062010 cycle the party improved its performance in all types of municipalities, but the

    improvement was most pronounced where it established a local presence. As with our analysis of

    party ID above, these figures again provide prima facie evidence supporting our hypothesis.

    [Figure 3 about here.]

    To confirm this relationship, we estimated a model for each election cycle that explores changes

    in proportions. This approach echoes what we did in the previous section, although the hierarchical

    structure of the data is now absent and the outcome variable in each cycle is now continuous,

    representing the PT vote share observed at the beginning and the end of each cycle. Once again the

    dependent variable (vote share) is regressed on a dummy indicating the period of the observation,

    a dummy indicating whether the municipality was in the treatment condition (open), and an

    interaction between these two dummies. The interaction is the estimate of the treatment effect. To

    simplify presentation of results, we focus on this last coefficient and the baseline vote share in the

    control group at the start of the cycle, so that the substantive magnitude of the treatment effect

    can be assessed.

    Results: We report estimates from saturated linear probability models as well as a placebo

    test, which we discuss below. (We also estimated a logit with controls, but do not report those

    results. Results were highly similar, and are available from the authors.) Results in Table 3 reveal

    that in both cycles the PT performs significantly better in municipalities where it establishes a

    branch prior to the election. The estimate is statistically significant, and amounts to a 1.5 and 2.0

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    percentage point increase in the partys vote share in each cycle relative to the partys performance

    in the control group. Given that the PT obtained just under 8 percent of the votes on average in

    municipalities in the control group at the start of each cycle, opening a branch has a substantively

    large effect, increasing the PTs vote share by roughly 18 to 27 percent compared to its baseline

    vote share, in both years.

    [Table 3 about here.]

    Robustness Checks: Do these results really indicate a causal association between local presence

    and electoral performance? The crucial identification assumption in a DiD design is that the

    counterfactual trend would be the same in both treated and untreated observations. In our case,

    this means that the model assumes that in the absence of opening a branch, the average change

    on the dependent variable would be the same in both the treatment and control groups. The

    main threat to this assumption is that the decision to open a municipal-level party branch is

    potentially endogenous to certain municipal-level characteristicsmost obviously, NGO density

    and past party performance. And if these same characteristics also affect the partys subsequent

    electoral performance, our causal inference will be flawed. We approached this problem in two

    ways, and rule outor at least minimizethe chance that we are observing a spurious association.

    First, we conducted a placebo test for the results from the first cycle. This involves re-estimating

    the DiD model using the subsequent periods treatment indicator. Party organization cannot

    logically have an effect on subsequent vote performance prior to being established. However, the

    same municipal characteristics that might lead to the opening of a party branch in the first cycle

    could also lead to opening a branch in the second cycle. It is here that our research design most

    approaches a proper quasi-experiment,60 in that municipalities in which the PT established itself

    in the first cycle are likely to be similar to those in which the party eventually establishes itself

    in the second. Opening a branch in the future is thus a perfect placebo for estimating whether

    some omitted determinant of opening a branch in the present (rather than the observable fact of

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    actually opening a branch) is driving the PTs improved performance. If results reported above

    were simply capturing the effect of unobserved municipal characteristics on PT performance

    rather than actually capturing the effects of the PTs organizational presencethe placebo should

    yield results similar to those of the actual treatment. However, results on the placebo in Table

    3 show that its effect was small and statistically insignificant. This suggests that establishing an

    organizational presence does have an independent causal impact on vote share.

    Our second robustness check relies on a matching procedure. Although DiD is typically used in

    natural experiment settings where treatments are rarely (if ever) truly randomly assigned, scholars

    usually assume that the treatment is exogenously assigned to units by processes unrelated to the

    treatment itself. Exogeneity is often debatable, but it is clearly not present in our case. As

    discussed above, civil society density predicts where the PT will open a branch. And although

    evidence thus far suggests that opening a branch boosts the PTs electoral performance, the true

    cause of improved electoral performance could be higher civil society density rather than setting

    up a branch. Our placebo test suggests that this is not the case, but does not explicitly control for

    this possibility.

    To address this possibility, we matched treated and untreated municipalities on pre-treatment

    observables, particularly NGO density and past electoral performance. We required exact matches

    on region and on coarsened versions of PTs electoral performance in the previous presidential

    and legislative elections.61 In addition, we performed nearest-neighbor matches on population size,

    electoral performance two elections earlier, HDI-M, distance to capital city, and on the original

    (continuous) values of the coarsened variables mentioned above.

    Matching was done for each period separately, and the resulting balance between treatment and

    control groups in each cycle was very good (See the supplemental materials for more information).

    The stringent requirements of exact matches on several variables means that we are comparing

    pairs of municipalities that resemble each other in nearly every respectexcept for the crucial

    variable of whether or not the PT opened a party branch. Table 4 reports the DiD estimates.

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    For the first election cycle, nominal effects are slightly larger than those obtained with the

    complete (unmatched) data set. Estimates for the cycle ending in 2010, on the other hand, are

    considerably larger than those reported earlier. In short, our best estimates, after conducting

    a stringent matching procedurewhich comes as close as possible using observational data to

    eliminating potential endogeneity effectsprovide solid support for our causal claim, that the

    PTs strategy of organizing where civil society is relatively denser pays off in terms of votes for the

    partys legislative candidates.62

    [Table 4 about here.]

    Discussion & Conclusion

    The emerging partisan cleavage in contemporary Brazil has been fundamentally crafted from the

    top downin particular, by the PTs strategic efforts to consolidate support at the mass level

    by engaging organized civil society. The PT is the only Brazilian party to have undertaken such

    efforts, and the result is a party system in which most people who identify with any party identify

    with the PT.

    The PT has always had a selfimage as a party of activist citizens, Brazilians who want to

    engage in politics to help change politics and society. Since the 1980s it has sought to develop and

    consolidate this brand. Its success, however, is due to more than creation of a brand. The PT

    also engaged in a deliberate effort disseminate its brand through an organizational development

    strategy that aimed to cultivate the partys connection to individuals in organized civil society.

    PT leaders focused their efforts where they believed this strategy would generate the highest

    returns: where civil society was relatively well-organized. Such an effort fit with the PTs roots, and

    demonstrates the extent to which the party and its label still resonate with activist Brazilians. Over

    the last 30 years, the partys efforts helped it cultivate fruit in a desertwhere partisan identities

    were thin on the groundand improved its performance in legislative elections. Importantly, the

    PT pursued this strategy both when it was in opposition and when it controlled the government,

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    suggesting that creation and dissemination of a brand name are not tools exclusive to small,

    resource-poor opposition partiesthey can be part of a political strategy for consolidating power

    over the long term.

    Our argument seeks to emulate other research that focuses on one particular instance or case to

    offer theoretical insights into important and broad comparative politics questionsin this case the

    origins of mass partisanship.63 The strength of our argument lies with extending the conceptual

    range of the strategies parties can adopt to craft mass partisanship, and by carefully documenting

    the causal impact of this mechanism.

    Specifically, although many scholars have highlighted the autonomy of politics in the process

    of cleavage-formation, such research has focused on elites national rhetorical, electoral and policy-

    making efforts.64 We suggest that party elites have at least one other tool in their kit to help

    instantiate their brand at the mass level: opening party branch offices, in an effort to reach out to

    like-minded individuals active in organized civil society. This causal impact of this tactic follows

    the same logic as that articulated by Torcal and Mainwaring: by developing local organization,

    parties reach out and personally engage individuals and groups in political experiences that directly

    forge collective memories and identities (ibid.).

    Local party organization is a missing link between top-down supply side and bottom-up

    demand side arguments about the origins of partisanship and party systems. As such, the

    strong evidence that such a tactic works in practice carries broad comparative implications

    both for understanding party-system development in historical perspective and for understanding

    contemporary party-system evolution. Our findings suggest that parties can supply their product

    their brand nameand reap profit in votes and partisan support if they reach out not merely to

    a set of individuals, but to individuals who are already enmeshed in activist social networks.

    This strategy is not newbut to our knowledge, partly due to the difficulty of finding reli-

    able data on civil-society density and on local-level party organization, this paper offers the first

    demonstration of the tactics effectiveness in practice. As noted, the PTs strategy resembles the

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    tactic many Socialist and Christian Democratic parties pursued long ago. In established Western

    European democracies, parties on both the left and the right sought to connect not just to to

    like-minded individuals, but to individuals who were already enmeshed in mobilized social net-

    works. Likewise, the decision of the PTs rivals not to pursue a similar strategy echoes the choices

    other parties have made, in different countries and in different historical eras. Overall, the contrast

    between the tactics Brazils parties chose echoes decades-old discussions of the extent to which we

    observe organizational contagion from the left.

    This extensive literature suggests that there is no necessary reason why parties in other countries

    today could not pursue a strategy similar to the PTs. Parties can lay down rootscrafting

    partisan identities from aboveby linking up with organized civil society. It is true that such a

    party-building strategy demands institutional innovation, but the fact that the PT built its brand

    name in a country with anti-party electoral institutions and weak socio-cultural cleavages suggests,

    at a minimum, that parties elsewhere (or even in Brazil!) could pursue a similar approach.

    Around the world, many politicians rely on clientelistic access to government resources. Others,

    in turn, focus on their personal charisma and leadership qualities. Both of these strategies generate

    elite-run electoral machines, with relatively weak party organization, minimal ties to organized

    civil society, and tenuous partisan identification among voters. This model is Duvergers classic

    elite party, and it remains prevalent across new democracies in particular.65 However, many

    parties may find the tactic of reaching out to elements in civil society a profitable strategy. Future

    scholarship should investigate further the conditions under which and ways that parties and civil

    society interact to form partisan cleavages.

    Notes

    1Seymour M. Lipset and Stein Rokkan. Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross National Perspectives. New

    York: The Free Press, 1967.

    2Giovanni Sartori. Politics, Ideology, and Belief Systems. In: The American Political Science Review63.2 (1969),

    pp. 398411; Adam Przeworski and John D. Sprague. Paper stones: A history of electoral socialism. Chicago:

    28

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    Zucco & Samuels February 26, 2012

    University of Chicago Press, 1986; Mariano Torcal and Scott Mainwaring. The Political Re-crafting of Social Bases

    of Party Competition: The Case of Chile 1973-1995. In: British Journal of Political Science 33.1 (2003), pp. 5584.

    3John Huber, Georgia Kernell, and Eduardo Leoni. Institutional Context, Cognitive Resources, and Party At-

    tachments Across Democracies. In: Political Analysis 13.4 (2005), pp. 36586.

    4Herbert Kitschelt et al. Latin American Party Systems. Cambrige: Cambridge, 2010.

    5Data are from surveys conducted by Datafolha, one of Brazils largest polling companies, which since 1989 has

    routinely asked voters the open-ended question Which is your preferred political party? A collection of these

    surveys are available from UNICAMPs Center for the Study of Public Opinion (CESOP).

    6Rachel Meneguello. PT: A formacao de um partido, 1979-1982. Sao Paulo: Paz e Terra, 1989; Margaret Keck.

    The Workers Party and democratization in Brazil. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992.

    7David Samuels. Sources of Mass Partisanship in Brazil. In: Latin American Politics and Society 48.2 (2006),

    pp. 127.

    8Scott Mainwaring and Timothy Scully. Building Democratic Instituions: Party System in Latin America. Stan-

    ford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995.

    9e.g. Scott Mainwaring. Rethinking Party Systems in the Third Wave of Democratization. Stanford: Stanford

    University Press, 1999; David Samuels. Incentives to Cultivate a Party Vote in Candidate-centric Electoral Systems:

    Evidence from Brazil. In: Comparative Political Studies 32.4 (1999), pp. 487518; Barry Ames. The Deadlock of

    Democracy in Brazil. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001.

    10Wendy Hunter. The Normalization of an Anomaly: The Workers Party in Brazil. In: World Politics 59.3

    (2007), pp. 440475.

    11Samuels, Sources of Mass Partisanship in Brazil, see n. 7.

    12Pradeep Chhibber and Mariano Tocal. Elite Strategy, Social Cleavages, and Party Systems in a New Democracy

    Spain. In: Comparative Political Studies 30.1 (1997), pp. 2754; Torcal and Mainwaring, see n. 2; Margit Tavits.

    Party Organizational Strength and Electoral Performance in Post-Communist Europ. In: Journal of Politics 74.1

    (2012).

    13Lipset and Rokkan, see n. 1.

    14Torcal and Mainwaring, see n. 2, p. 57.

    15Torcal and Mainwaring, see n. 2, p.59.

    16Przeworski and Sprague, see n. 2.

    17Edward G. Carmines and James A. Stimson. Issue Evolution: Race and the Transformation of American Politics .

    Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.

    18

    James L. Sundquist. Dynamics of the party system: alignment and realignment of political parties in the United

    29

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    States. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1983, p.43.

    19See e.g. Jonathan Sperber. The Kaisers Voters. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997; Margaret Ander-

    son. Practicing democracy: Elections and political culture in Imperial Germany. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University

    Press, 2000.

    20Maurice Duverger. Political Parties. New York: Wiley, 1954, p. xxvii.

    21Ross McKibbin. The ideologies of class: social relations in Britain, 1880-1950. Oxford: Oxford University Press,

    1990. isbn: 9780198221609, p. 90.

    22John P. Frendreis, James L. Gibson, and Laura L. Vertz. The Electoral Relevance of Local Party Organizations.

    In: American Political Science Review 84.1 (1990), pp. 225235.

    23Paul F. Whiteley et al. Explaining Party Activism: The Case of the British Conservative Party. In: British

    Journal of Political Science 24.1 (1994), pp. 7994; P. Whiteley and P. Seyd. How to win a landslide by really

    trying: the effects of local campaigning on voting in the 1997 British general election. In: Electoral Studies 22.2

    (2003), pp. 301324.

    24Steven Levitsky. Transforming labor-based parties in Latin America: Argentine Peronism in comparative perspec-

    tive. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

    25Stathis Kalyvas. The Rise of Christian Democracy in Europe. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996.

    26Samuels, Incentives to Cultivate a Party Vote in Candidate-centric Electoral Systems: Evidence from Brazil,

    see n. 9.

    27Samuels, Incentives to Cultivate a Party Vote in Candidate-centric Electoral Systems: Evidence from Brazil,

    see n. 9, p. 511.

    28Wendy Hunter. The Transformation of the Workers Party in Brazil, 1989-2009. Cambridge: Cambridge Uni-

    versity Press, 2010; Daniela Campello. Whats Left of the Brazilian Left? Unpublished Manuscript, Princeton

    Unviersity. 2012; Timothy Power and Cesar Zucco. Elite Preferences in a Consolidating Democracy: The Brazilian

    Legislative Surveys, 1990-2009. Unpublished Manuscript, Oxford Univeristy. 2011.

    29

    Samuels, Sources of Mass Partisanship in Brazil, see n. 7.

    30Fundacao Perseu Abramo. Cultura Poltica BRASIL06.MAR-02483. Interviewed 2379 people between on

    March 10-16, 2006. In: Banco de Dados do Centro de Estudos de Opiniao Publica. http://www.cesop.unicamp.b

    r/site/htm/busca/php, accessed on 09/01/2008: CESOP-UNICAMP, 2006.

    31Pedro Ribeiro. Dos sindicatos ao governo: a organizacao nacional do PT de 1980 a 2005. Sao Paulo: UFS-

    Car/FAPESP, 2010, p. 245; Oswaldo Amaral. As Transformacoes na Organizacao Interna do Partido dos Trabal-

    hadores Entre 1995 e 2009. Ph.D. Thesis. Campinas: Unicamp, 2010, p. 73; Celso Roma. Organizaciones De Partido

    En Brasil: El PT y el PSDB Bajo Perspectiva Comparada. In: America Latina Hoy 44 (2006), pp. 153184.

    30

    http://www.cesop.unicamp.br/site/htm/busca/phphttp://www.cesop.unicamp.br/site/htm/busca/phphttp://www.cesop.unicamp.br/site/htm/busca/phphttp://www.cesop.unicamp.br/site/htm/busca/php
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    32Partido dos Trabalhadores. Resolucoes de encontros e congressos: 1979-1998. Sao Paulo, 1998, p. 637.

    33Ribeiro, Dos sindicatos ao governo: a organizacao nacional do PT de 1980 a 2005, see n. 31, p. 245; Partido dos

    Trabalhadores. Resulucoes do 3o Congresso do Partido dos Trabalhadores. Porto Alegre: PT, 2007, p. 104.

    34Pedro Ribeiro. Changing for Victory (and Government): Understanding the Transformation of the Workers

    Party via an Organizational Approach (1980-2010). Presented at the Workshop The PT from Lula to Dilma,

    Oxford University. 2012, p. 16.

    35Meneguello, see n. 6; Keck, see n. 6.

    36Amaral, see n. 31, p.99.

    37Amaral, see n. 31, p.218.

    38Meneguello, see n. 6.

    39Fundacao Perseu Abramo. Eleicoes: PT cresce e vence 559 prefeituras. Teoria e Debate n. 79. 2009.

    40Angelo Panebianco. Organization and Power. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

    41Frances Hagopian. Traditional politics and regime change in Brazil. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

    42Roma, Organizaciones De Partido En Brasil: El PT y el PSDB Bajo Perspectiva Comparada, see n. 31.

    43Daniel Bramatti and Julia Dualibbi. Filiados tucanos desconhecem partido. In: Estado de Sao Paulo (Jan 29,

    2012), A12; Celso Roma. A Institucionalizacao Do PSDB Entre 1988 E 1999. In: Revista Brasileira De Ciencias

    Sociais 17.49 (2002), pp. 7192, p. 79.

    44Fernando Henrique Cardoso. O Papel da Oposicao. In: Interesse Nacional 4.13 (2011), pp. 1019.

    45McKibbin, see n. 21.

    46Partido dos Trabalhadores. Dados Oficiais do PED. Excell Spreadsheet. 2011.

    47We explored continuous definitions of party presence, but found that although significant differences exist between

    no presence and some presence, different levels of presence were indistinguishable from each other. Results

    are available from the authors.

    48IBGEInstituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatstica. As Fundacoes Privadas e Associacoes sem Fins Lucrativos

    no Brasil, 2002. Estudos E Pesquisas: Informacao Economica 4. Rio de Janeiro, 2004.

    49See the supplemental materials for more information on these data.

    50All of our control variables are publicly available online from the Brazilian Institute of Applied Economic Research

    (IPEA), the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), or the IBGE.

    51Kosuke Imai and David van Dyk. Causal Inference With General Treatment Regimes: Generalizing the Propen-

    sity Score. In: Journal of the American Statistical Association 99.467 (2004), pp. 854866.

    52Matching is not a perfect substitute for random assignment of the causal variable of interest, because it cannot

    rule out the existence of associations between the treatment variable and unobserved variables. Nevertheless,

    31

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    balancing the data set before estimating the regression takes us a step closer to the experimental idealcomparing

    units that vary on some treatment variable only against others that are very similar in every observed respect.

    53Imai and van Dyk, see n. 51.

    54For a discussion of the balance achieved after matching, see the supplemental materials.

    55Some control variables are also significant predictors of opening a branch. See supplemental materials for details.

    56Details about the surveys used can be found in the supplemental materials.

    57Thad Dunning. Improving Causal Inference. In: Political Research Quarterly 61.2 (2008), pp. 282293.

    58Gregory Robinson, John E. McNulty, and Jonathan S. Krasno. Observing the Counterfactual? The Search for

    Political Experiments in Nature. In: Political Analysis 17.4 (2009), pp. 341357.

    59Joshua D. Angrist and Jorn-Steffen Pischke. Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricists Companion. Prince-

    ton and New York: Princeton University Press, 2009.

    60Dunning, see n. 57; Robinson, McNulty, and Krasno, see n. 58.

    61Following guidelines in Stefano M. Iacus, Gary King, and Giuseppe Porro. Causal Inference without Balance

    Checking: Coarsened Exact Matching. In: Political Analysis 20.1 (2012), pp. 124, to ensure that municipalities are

    only matched to similar municipalities we created ordinal versions of these continuous variables and required exact

    matches. This is analogous to our matching procedure in the previous section.

    62A placebo test for 2006 on the matched set again yields no effect (estimate +0.66, p-value= 0.39). See supple-

    mental materials for extended results.

    63e.g. Daniel Posner. The Political Salience of Cultural Difference: Why Chewas and Tumbukas are Allies in

    Zambia and Adversaries in Malawi. In: American Political Science Review 98.4 (2004), pp. 529545; Thad Dunning

    and Lauren Harrison. Cross-cutting Cleavages and Ethnic Voting: An Experimental Study of Cousinage in Mali.

    In: American Political Science Review 104 (2010), pp. 2139.

    64Torcal and Mainwaring, see n. 2, p. 84.

    65Ingrid van Biezen. On the Internal Balance of Party Power: Party Organizations in New Democracies. In:

    Party Politics 6.4 (2000), pp. 395417.

    32

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    1990 1995 2000 2005 2010

    0

    10

    20

    30

    40

    50

    ShareofRespondents

    PT

    PMDBPSDB

    Any ID

    Figure 1: Party Identification in Brazil (19892010)

    Figure shows a moving average of levels of party identification, as computed by Datafolha. White vertical lines

    indicate presidential elections. The question was worded exactly the same in all surveys.

    33

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    0.1

    0

    0

    .15

    0.2

    0

    0.2

    5

    0.3

    0

    never

    close

    openalways

    20042005 20092010

    PartyID

    Figure 2: Identification with the PT by Party Situation in the Municipality (By Electoral Cycle)Figure shows the share of survey respondents that report identifying with the PT, aggregated by condition of themunicipality. Open is the condition of interest.

    34

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    0.0

    5

    0.1

    0

    0.1

    5

    0.20

    never (1509)

    open (1449)

    close (405)

    always (2201)

    2002 2006

    PT

    Legislative

    Vote

    Share

    (a) 2006

    0.0

    5

    0.1

    0

    0.1

    5

    0.20

    never (974)

    close (392)

    open (940)

    always (3258)

    2006 2010

    PT

    Legislative

    Vote

    Share

    (b) 2010

    Figure 3: PTs Electoral Performance by Party Situation in the Municipality (By Electoral Cycle)Results refer to elections for the lower chamber of the national legislature. Numbers of municipalities in each conditionare shown in brackets. Open is the condition of interest.

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    Table 1: Effect of Civil Society Density on Establishing Local Presence (First Differences)

    Logit Logitw GPS Matching

    Baseline 0.615 0.539(0.031) (0.054)

    Effect (First Differences) +0.075 +0.075

    (0.022) (0.028)0.001 0.005

    Notes: Table reports first differences computed from moving civil society density from the 25th percentile to the75th percentile. Complete results are reported in supplemental materials. Standard errors are shown in parenthesis,p-values in itallics.

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    Table 2: Effects of Party Organization on Party Identification (2010)

    OLSClustered SE

    OLSRand.Effects

    LogitRand. Effects

    Baseline at t0 0.138 0.137 0.107(0.021) (0.020) (0.027)

    Effect of Opening a Branch +0.096 +0.095 +0.094(0.047) (0.057) (0.040)

    0.041 0.097 0.007 Individual Level Controls No No Yes

    Table reports difference-in-differences estimates for the effect of opening a branch on party identification estimatedunder three different specifications. Standard errors of the estimates are reported in parenthesis, p-values of effectsare shown in itallics. The sample is composed of 1000 individuals in 42 municipalities in the never or in the openconditions.

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    Table 3: Effect of Establishing a Local Presence on Party Legislative Vote-Share, (Difference-in-Differences Estimates by Electoral Cycle)

    2006 2010

    Baseline t0 7.83 7.46(0.21) (0.31)

    Effect of Opening a Branch +1.46 +2.03(0.42) (0.63)

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    Table 4: Effect of Establishing a Local Presence on Party Legislative Vote-Share (Differences-in-Differences Estimates on Matched Sample, By Electoral Cycle)

    2006 2010

    Baseline t0 7.84 7.66(0.33) (0.49)

    Effect of Opening a Branch +1.40 +3.03(0.67) (0.98)

    0.04