Dados is one of the most widely-read social sciences journals in Latin America. Created in 1966, it publishes innovative works, originating from academic research, by Brazilian and foreign authors. Edited by IESP-UERJ, it aims to reconcile scientific rigor and academic excellence with an emphasis on public debate based on the analysis of substantive issues of society and politics.
The aim of this article is twofold: on one hand, to explain why Bolivian and Uruguayan citizens casted ballots for Evo Morales and José Mujica, respectively, in the 2009 presidential elections, and, on the other hand, assess the extent to which factors that determine voting can outline a purported distinction between the 'two lefts' in Latin America. Using public opinion poll data concerning these two representative cases, this article shows that voter motivations were indeed different. In Uruguay, ideology and programmatic issues were more important, while in Bolivia the retrospective voting contributes more to explain the vote for the left. In both cases, the voting patterns are also structured by social and geographic cleavages. Yet, after discussing the results in light of the secondary literature on other South American cases, it is argued that the classification in terms of 'two lefts' does not hold considering the analysis of vote determinants. In methodological terms, the article uses binomial logistic regression and compares a series of statistical models.
Keywords: left, electoral behavior, Evo Morales, José Mujica, retrospective voting, ideology, issue votingWhy do People Vote for the Left ? Cleavages, Ideology and Retrospective Votes in Bolivia and Uruguay in Comparative Perspective