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The Timeline of Presidential Election Campaigns

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Wlezien, Christopher (Nuffield College and Oxford University)
  • Erikson, Robert S. (Columbia University)
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Science Foundation
Free Keywords
presidential campaigns; presidential elections; voter preferences; voting behavior
  • Abstract

    The research addresses the evolution of electoral sentiment over the campaign cycle. The researchers translate general arguments about the role of election campaigns into a set of formal, statistical expectations, then outline an empirical analysis and examine trial-heat poll results for the 15 United States presidential elections between 1944 and 2000. The analysis focuses specifically on two questions. First, to what extent does the observable variation in aggregate poll results represent real movement in electoral preferences (if the election were held the day of the poll) as opposed to mere survey error? Second, to the extent polls register true movement of preferences owing to the shocks of campaign events, do the effects last or do they decay? Answers to these questions tell us whether and the extent to which campaign events have effects on preferences and whether these effects persist until Election Day. The answers thus inform about whether campaigns have any real impact on the final election outcome.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Collection Mode
  • The files submitted are WlezienErikson2002.xls, an EXCEL file containing daily trial-heat poll data for the 15 presidential elections between 1944 and 2000, inclusive and a codebook, WlezienErikson2002codebook.doc. These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

Funding insitution(s): National Science Foundation (SBR-9731308).
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 1304 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR01304.v1
  • Wlezien, Christopher, Erikson, Robert S.. The Fundamentals, the Polls, and the Presidential Vote. PS, Political Science and Politics.37, (4), 747-751.2004.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Wlezien, Christopher, Erikson, Robert S.. The Timeline of Presidential Election Campaigns. Journal of Politics.64, (4), 969-993.2002.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Wlezien, Christopher; Erikson, Robert S. (2004): The Timeline of Presidential Election Campaigns. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.