Do Money, Power, Family and Connections Really Matter in Politics? Analysing Factors of Success in the 2010, 2013 and 2016 Philippine Senatorial Elections



Myriad debates in electoral politics have drawn attention to the importance of and risks to genuine democracy brought about by factors such as campaign spending, incumbency, political party affiliation and political dynasties. However, only a few studies utilize integrative and multivariate approaches to understanding the contribution of these factors, and this is even rarer for studies on the Philippines of recent times, despite its being among the first and most vibrant democracies in Asia. Examining the relationships to senatorial candidates' total number of votes for the 2010, 2013 and 2016 elections findings reveal overall that total campaign expenditure has a very significant relationship with the number of votes, this being consistent for all of the elections covered by the study. Thus money matters a lot – even when compared with the traditionally highly regarded factors such as incumbency, political dynasty and membership to political parties. This article discusses the results in relation to the socio-political context of the Philippines and provides additional insights and implications of the findings.


electoral politics, campaign spending, political dynasty, political party, incumbency

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