This article studies how voters react when foreign powers support a particular political party in a fragile democracy. The article identifies which voters believe the intervention plays a positive role in the electoral process and which voters have the opposite opinion. The article argues that educated and politically sophisticated voters will reject such interventions because of the negative role those play in the democratization process.
What do voters think when outside powers become de facto participants in a country’s election? We conceptualize two types of foreign intervention: a partisan stance, where the outsider roots for a particular candidate slate, and a process stance, where outsiders support the democratic process. We theorize that a partisan outside message will polarize partisan actors domestically on the issue of appropriate relations with the outsiders: partisans who are supported will want closer relations with the outside power, and partisans who are opposed will favor more distant relations.