A prominent question in comparative electoral studies concerns the so-called personal vote. Typically, scholars approach this question at a cross-national as opposed to a cross-party level. In this article, in contrast, the author focuses on the characteristics of parties, as opposed to the characteristics of electoral systems, as determinants of candidates' personal vote seeking. The author argues that a candidate's adoption of an individualistic or collective strategy depends largely on centralized or decentralized nomination control in his party, his party's alliance options, and his access to and control over funding and patronage. The author explores the Brazilian case, testing his claims at the national and district level using multiple regression analysis. Furthermore, he explains how one party, the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers' Party, PT), has overcome the incentives of the electoral system.
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