Religion and Voting Behavior: Evidence from the 2017 Jakarta Gubernatorial Election

Saiful Mujani
* Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN) Jakarta, Indonesia

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14421/ajis.2020.582.%25p

Abstract


In voting behavior studies, the effect of religion on partisan choice relative to psychological factors and political economy has not been conclusively determined. In Indonesian politics, religion has frequently been understood as a typology of Muslim religiosity, i.e. santri versus abangan, or orthodox versus heterodox Muslim. This conception does not significantly predict election outcomes. The effect of religious identity, i.e. Islam versus other religion, on voting is not discernable so far because it has not been systematically tested. The 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election is a rare instance in which the contestants have different religious identities in an almost homogenous society. This setting is ideal. This essay reports the results of a test from public opinion surveys prior to and an exit poll on election day. The result verified that religion explains very significantly how the Muslim candidate won. Political economy and partisanship, however, save the incumbent from a big loss. These findings have more systematically revised the existing comparative and Indonesian literature on the relationship between religion and voting behavior.

[Dalam studi perilaku memilih, perbandingan pengaruh agama, faktor psikologis, maupun ekonomi politik, terhadap pilihan partai atau calon dalam pemilihan umum belum konklusif. Dalam politik Indonesia, agama sering difahami dalam tipologi keberagamaan santri versus abangan, atau Muslim puritan versus Muslim sinkretis. Konsepsi agama ini tidak punya pengaruh signifikan terhadap perilaku memilih dalam pemilihan umum sejauh ini. Sementara itu pengaruh identitas agama, yakni Islam versus agama lainnya, terhadap perilaku memilih sejauh ini juga tidak banyak terlihat karena belum teruji secara sistematik. Pemilihan gubernur DKI Jakarta 2017 adalah contoh kasus langka di Indonesia di mana calon-calon gubernurnya punya identitas agama berbeda sementara pemilihnya hampir homogen dilihat dari identitas agamanya. Keadaan ini ideal untuk menguji pengaruh identitas agama terhadap perilaku memilih. Artikel ini merupakan laporan hasil uji perbandingan pengaruh identitas agama, faktor psikologis, dan ekonomi-politik pada perilaku memilih gubernur, dan bersandar pada data survei opini publik sebelum dan di hari pemilihan. Hasilnya membuktikan bahwa identitas agama sangat mempengaruhi bagimana calon gubernur beragama Islam menang dalam pemilihan tersebut. Namun demikian, pengaruh ekonomi-politik dan identitas kepartaian menolong petahana yang non-Muslim dari kekalahan telak. Temuan-temuan ini merevisi referensi studi politik perbandingan dan Indonesia terkait hubungan agama dan perilaku memilih.]


Keywords


voting behavior, religion, political economy, personal qualities, partisanship, Jakarta gubernatorial election

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