過去的研究指出在 1996 至 2008 年臺灣四次總統選舉中，認同是一個影響選民投票抉擇的重要因素，在 2012 年的總統選舉中，認同是否仍然為一個重要的影響因素，是本文的主要探討問題。本文首先從認同理論的界限設定觀點，討論臺灣認同的階段，提出臺灣認同已從第一階段的「省籍」對立，到第二階段的「臺灣意識/中國意識」之爭，而在兩岸恢復交流後，因為認同界限的改變(臺灣 vs.中國)，進入到第三階段的「國家認同」層次。在第三個階段，臺灣與中國之間存在文化聯繫與政治差異的問題，本文就測量認同(Measuring Identity)一書所提出之集體認同是群體內成員對於認同 「內容」(content)的共識與「爭論」(contestation)過程的研究架構為根據，整合量化及質化研究資料的分析結果，將臺灣與中國在文化認同與政治認同的共識與歧見運作化，建構一個程度 1-5 的「臺灣認同指標」，並用以探討民眾的認同類型及分布，以及臺灣認同在 2012 年總統選舉中的作用。
資料分析的結果發現:雖然有超過一半(55%)的臺灣民眾的臺灣認同意識相當高，但在不同群體中，仍舊存在著差異，顯示臺灣民眾對於認同的 內容，尚未達到共識，仍處於爭論的過程當中。就認同在 2012 年總統選舉中的作用而言，隨著臺灣認同程度的升高，投給蔡英文的比例也有跟著升高的趨勢，而投給馬英九的比例則隨著下降;但整體而言，馬英九較普遍地得到各種不同程度臺灣認同者的支持，僅有認同程度最高的程度 5 之受訪者較支持蔡英文。就選票基礎來看，蔡英文的支持者高度集中在認同程度 4 與 5 的民眾，而馬英九則普遍得到占較多數的 2、3、4 認同程度者的支持。 Logistic Regression 分析則顯示，政黨認同是對投票抉擇最具解釋力的影響因素，但模型也確定臺灣認同指標是解釋選民投票抉擇的一個有效變數，顯示認同因素在 2012 年的總統選舉中仍然扮演重要的角色。
Previous studies show that identity is an important factor in voting choice in the past four Taiwanese presidential elections between 1996 and 2008. This paper aims to explore whether identity still retains its impact on voting choice in the 2012 presidential election. The author starts with the discussion on the development of the Taiwan identity. Theoretically, identity can be regarded as a type of boundary setting and its development includes three stages. The first stage is the distinction between Benshengren and Mainlander. The second stage is the Taiwan consciousness vs. Chinese consciousness. After Taiwan and China began official communications, due to the changing boundary (Taiwan vs. China), the author argues that the Taiwan identity has come to the third stage: national identity. At the third stage, the distinction between Taiwan and China includes the cultural ties and political difference. The analytic framework was suggested by Measuring Identity: “the collective identity as a social category that varies along two dimensions – content and contestation.” The author operationalizes the content and contestation of cultural and political relationships between Taiwan and China in Taiwanese society, develops a “Taiwan identity” index (level 1-5)to explore the Typology and distribution of the Taiwan identity as well as its effect in the 2012 presidential election.
The results show that although more than half(55%)of Taiwanese people have very high degree of Taiwan identity, different demographic groups have different opinions toward identity. The distribution of the Taiwan identity suggests that the content of the Taiwan identity is still in the process of contestation and has never reached any consensus. Regarding the effects of Taiwan identity index on voting choice, there is a tendency that the higher the Taiwan identity level, the probability to vote for Tsai Ing-wen increases, while the probability to vote for Ma Yin-jeou decreases. However, in general, people who report the highest level of the Taiwan identity tend to vote for Tsai Ing-wen. People who report the index score of 1-4 are more likely to support Ma Yin-jeou. From the aspect of support bases, Tsai Ing- wen’s supporters are mainly those who have score 4 and 5 on the Taiwan identity index while Ma Yin-jeou is supported by the majority(degree 2, 3, and 4). The Logistic Regression models show that partisanism is still the most powerful variable in predicting voting choice, but the Taiwan identity index has additional explanatory power. In short, the result indicates that identity still plays an important role in the 2012 Taiwanese presidential election.
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