Preparing the Terrain: Conditioning Factors for the Regionalization of the Vote for Federal Deputy in São Paulo


Bras. Political Sci. Rev.




This article proposes a new interpretation of the regional distribution of votes in the dispute for legislative offices in Brazil. The literature has traditionally understood regionalization to be evidence that politicians deliberately create zones of influences in certain areas. We argue, however, that other dimensions of the Brazilian electoral system, notably the large size and magnitude of electoral districts, reinforce the information that reaches voters and adds value to geographic aspects, such as the home city of the candidates, accounting for the spatial concentration of votes. Using new, previously unpublished, data on the hierarchy of cities, the results for São Paulo between 1998 and 2014 confirm this interpretation. This result suggests a new theoretical understanding about how the Brazilian political system works by introducing another explanation for how certain areas become influential, thereby revealing new research agendas.

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