The personalization of politics and elite polarization have attracted considerable scholarly attention. We conducted an online experimental survey on policy proposals and voters’ evaluations of candidates during the 2020 Taiwanese presidential election. We see an elite effect on voters’ policy attitudes when controlling for party-related factors. The effect shows up as a negative cue but not as a positive cue. Moreover, the negative effect varies by candidate. These findings suggest that in policy attitude formation, opposition to a candidate has a stronger effect than liking a candidate. Overall, this study extends our understanding of the elite effect from the perspective of personalized politics with evidence from the Taiwanese electoral context. This information is critical not only for understanding the political consequences of polarization but also for understanding how it relates to opinion formation among citizens.

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