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Presidential Campaign Impact on Voters: 1976 Panel, Erie, Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Patterson, Thomas E.
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
Carter, Jimmy; decision making; Dole, Bob; election campaigns; Ford, Gerald; mass media; McCarthy, Eugene; media influence; Mondale, Walter; news media; political advertising; political affiliation; political ideology; political interest; political issues; political participation; presidential campaigns; presidential candidates; presidential debates; presidential elections; primaries; social influence; vice-presidential candidates; voter attitudes; voting behavior
  • Abstract

    This study's purpose was to assess the impact of a presidential election campaign, particularly the media campaign, on the electorate. In order to do so, a panel survey was administered in several waves to the same respondents over the course of the 1976 presidential campaign year. Two samples of randomly selected adults, one each from the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, California, and Erie, Pennsylvania, were contacted for five personal interviews: in February, before the first primary was held, in April, during the early primaries, in June, during the late primaries, in August, during the conventions, and in October, before the general election. In addition, half the sample was interviewed by telephone after the first televised presidential debate and the other half interviewed after the second debate. Respondents were also interviewed by telephone after the election to determine whether they had voted and for whom. The surveys contained batteries of questions about each respondents's media use, such as exposure to national news, attention to this news, and interest in election coverage in particular. The surveys also provided measures of public orientations that might have been affected by the campaign, such as voting preferences, candidate images, candidate recognition, perceptions of the candidates' chances of victory, and issue salience. Other general information contained in the data collection concerns each respondent's party loyalties, interest in the election, ideology, and personal background.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1976
  • Collection date: 1976
Geographic Coverage
  • California
  • Erie
  • Los Angeles
  • Pennsylvania
  • United States
Sampled Universe
English-speaking adult United States citizens.
Respondents were selected randomly, but with known probability, through the method of block-household-individual random selection. There were 1,002 respondents in the first interview (February), and an additional 234 respondents were added during the second and third interviews, bringing the total number of respondents to 1,236.
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
  • 7990 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR07990.v1
  • Mayer, William G.. From the primaries to the general election: Does a divisive nomination race affect a candidate's forturnes in the fall?. In Pursuit of the White House 2000: How We Choose Our Presidential Nominees.New York, NY: Chatham House Publishers. 2000.
  • Palmquist, Bradley, Green, Donald P.. Estimation of models with correlated measurement errors from panel data. Sociological Methodology.22, 119-146.1992.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Conover, Pamela Johnston, Feldman, Stanley. Candidate Perception in an Ambiguous World: Campaigns, Cues, and Inference Processes. American Journal of Political Science.33, (4), 912-940.1989.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Conover, Pamela Johnston. The role of inference in the perception of political candidates. Political Cognition.Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. 1983.
  • Patterson, Thomas. Journalists' issues v. candidates' issues. Television Quarterly.18, 37-46.1981.
  • Patterson, Thomas. The Miscast Institution: The Press in Presidential Politics. Public Opinion.3, (3), 46-53.1980.
  • Patterson, Thomas E.. The Mass Media Election: Findings from a Panel Survey and Election News Analysis of the 1976 Campaign. American Political Science Association annual meeting.Washington, DC. 1980.
  • Patterson, Thomas E.. The Mass Media Election: How Americans Choose Their President. New York: Praeger. 1980.
  • Patterson, Thomas E.. The Role of the Mass Media in Presidential Campaigns: The Lessons of the 1976 Election. Items.34, (2), 25-30.1980.
  • Patterson, Thomas E.. Coverage of the 1976 Campaign. The Mass Media and the 1976 Election.Berkeley, CA: School of Public Policy. 1978.
  • Patterson, Thomas E.. The 1976 Horserace. Wilson Quarterly.1, 73-79.1977.

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

Patterson, Thomas E. (1984): Presidential Campaign Impact on Voters: 1976 Panel, Erie, Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.