Candidates & campaigning


Though voters may identify with a particular campus political party, they don’t always let these affiliations determine their final votes. For three of this year’s partisan executive races, Student Action and CalSERVE each advanced a candidate, creating ample opportunity to observe both party loyalty and party betrayal.

ASUC hopefuls employ a variety of methods to secure the support of their own party constituencies, steal voters from the opposing party and win the coveted independent vote. During election season, students are inundated with campaign materials on their Facebook news feeds and on their way to class. Whether these efforts are fruitful, however, is a matter for debate — do most candidates win supporters primarily from their friends and acquaintances, or does an intense campaign pay off when votes are cast?

We asked students how they found out about the candidates for whom they voted in addition to which factors were most influential in their final choices. Below are our findings related to party loyalty, campaign methods and voter decision-making.


Q1.3   President

Party

While Dejen captured 17 percent of votes from the opposing party, Student Action, Razavi won less than 2 percent of votes from respondents who identified with CalSERVE. Overall, Dejen enjoyed a higher degree of party loyalty, receiving 91 percent of CalSERVE’s votes, while Razavi secured 73 percent of Student Action’s support.

Supporters of Student Action were more likely to choose Dejen as their second-ranked choice for the presidency, unlike members of CalSERVE’s constituency, who preferred CalSERVE, SQUELCH!, BASED. and DAAP’s candidates over Razavi.

Rank Student Action CalSERVE SQUELCH! None
1 Razavi (1.57) Dejen (1.21) Fineman (2.16) Dejen (2.35)
2 Dejen (3.20) Fineman (3.76) Dejen (2.80) Razavi (2.86)
3 Chaurasia (3.39) Chaurasia (3.84) Razavi (3.49) Chaurasia (3.32)
4 Fineman (3.97) Cortez-Mejia (4.19) Chaurasia (3.82) Fineman (3.78)
5 Jaber (4.75) Razavi (4.21) Jaber (4.29) Jaber (4.60)
6 Cortez-Mejia (4.78) Jaber (4.84) Cortez-Mejia (5.35) Cortez-Mejia (4.65)
Political affiliation

Dejen won the majority of support from respondents who identified as either very liberal or liberal. While Dejen also earned support from 28 percent of voters who identified as conservative or very conservative, only 7 percent of very liberal voters ranked Razavi as their first choice.


Q1.4   How did you find out about your first-choice candidate for president?

While 51 percent of Razavi’s supporters said they knew him as a personal friend, Dejen drew most of her support from party affiliation and online campaigning.


Q1.5   Executive Vice President

Party

Among CalSERVE executive candidates who ran against Student Action competitors, executive vice president-elect Lavanya Jawaharlal drew the greatest degree of party loyalty, receiving support from 94 percent of voters who identified with CalSERVE. In comparison, EVP candidate Paul Lee of Student Action won 62 percent of his party’s support.


Q1.6   How did you find out about your first-choice candidate for EVP?

While more of Lee’s support came from in-person campaigning than his competitor, Jawaharlal, like the other CalSERVE executive candidates, found more success online, with 56 percent of her supporters citing online campaign materials as a source of exposure to the candidate.


Q1.7   External Affairs Vice President

Party

Of Student Action’s executive slate, external affairs vice presidential candidate Vinay Ramesh earned the most support from his party. The breakdown of votes from each candidate’s own party, opposing party and independent voters was similar for Ramesh and CalSERVE EAVP-elect Marium Navid.


Q1.8   How did you find out about your first-choice candidate for EAVP?

Like Dejen, Navid won voters through online campaign materials and party affiliation, with 55 and 50 percent of her supporters citing those methods, respectively, as their first exposure to the candidate.


Q1.9   Academic Affairs Vice President

Party

Academic affairs vice president-elect Melissa Hsu won 97 percent of votes from CalSERVE supporters and 60 percent of votes from Student Action supporters, whose party did not run a candidate for the position.


Q1.14   How influential was each of the following in helping you decide who to vote for?

Party

Across all parties, candidate platforms were the most influential factor in determining voter decisions for each position. Party affiliation and candidate experience were also important criteria, while in-person campaigning and the Daily Cal endorsement tended to be less influential.

Rank Student Action CalSERVE SQUELCH! None
1 Platforms (3.10) Platforms (3.43) Platforms (3.24) Platforms (3.16)
2 Party affiliation (2.65) Experience (3.10) Party affiliation (2.57) Experience (2.62)
3 Experience (2.39) Party affiliation (2.89) Experience (1.77) In-person campaigning (3.32)
4 In-person campaigning (2.11) In-person campaigning (1.88) In-person campigning (1.59) Party affiliation (1.74)
5 Daily Cal endorsement (2.11) Daily Cal endorsement (1.88) Daily Cal endorsement (1.59) Daily Cal endorsement (1.77)