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Congressional Campaign Study, 1978

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, event/transaction data, medical records, survey data
  • Goldenberg, Edie N.
  • Traugott, Michael W.
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Science Foundation
Free Keywords
campaign expenditures; candidates; congressional campaigns; congressional elections (US House); congressional elections (US Senate); elections; political participation; presidential elections; voter preferences; voting behavior
  • Abstract

    The focus of this study is campaigns waged for election to the United States House of Representatives. A national sample of congressional districts in the continental United States in 1978 was chosen for investigation. The districts selected were those in which contested races were conducted for seats in the 96th Congress and in which interviewing for the American National Election Study of 1978 had occurred. The collection includes information obtained from personal interviews with the candidates' campaign managers, content analysis of newspapers in the districts, campaign expenditure data, and information about each district's makeup, history and recent electoral results. Four files comprise the collection. The first contains information acquired from interviews with the campaign managers of major party candidates in the 86 contested races. These interviews, conducted both before and after the election, focused on the development and implementation of campaign strategy and resource allocation. In this file the candidacy is the unit of analysis, with matching information contained in each data record for the 167 candidates and their opponents. Included is information on perceptions of campaign issues, tactics, fund-raising and expenditures, and events that affected the outcome of the race. A second file contains information identical to that in the first but analyzes 86 campaigns and is organized at the district level. Presented in each record is a series of variables for the Democratic campaign, followed by the same variables reported for the Republican campaign. The third file in the collection includes information about newspaper coverage of the congressional races obtained from news stories, opinion columns, editorials, letters to the editor, and advertisements in 33 different newspapers whose coverage included the districts that comprised this study. A total of 833 separate items appeared in these newspapers during alternate weeks of the campaign (October 3-November 6, 1978). The fourth file contains detailed reports of each discrete expenditure made by each of the 167 campaigns, as submitted to the Federal Election Commission. For each of the 21,913 reported expenditures in this file, information is recorded on the date, and the amount and purpose of the expenditure, as well as classification of campaign type (general or primary election) for which each expenditure was made.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Manager-Level File
    • DS2: District-Level File
    • DS3: Newspaper File
    • DS4: Campaign Expenditure File
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1978
  • Collection date: 1978
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Election campaigns for the United States House of Representatives.
Representative national sample of contested races in the United States House of Representatives in 1978.
Collection Mode
  • Some variables in the collection originally assembled by the principal investigators have been recoded or masked in the public use data file to protect the confidentiality promised to respondents and to prevent identification of the individual campaigns, candidates and campaign managers that were studied. Recoded versions of many of these variables are presented in the public use file. In addition, ICPSR will perform customized analysis at the request of researchers, in accordance with established ICPSR procedures.

Funding insitution(s): National Science Foundation (SOC-78-18710).
This study is freely available to ICPSR member institutions via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 8431 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Goldenberg, Edie N., Traugott, Michael W.. Campaigning for Congress. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press. 1984.
  • Wattenberg, Martin P.. From Parties to Candidates: Examining the Role of the Media. Public Opinion Quarterly.46, (2), 216-227.1982.
    • ID: 10.1086/268714 (DOI)

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

Goldenberg, Edie N.; Traugott, Michael W. (1985): Congressional Campaign Study, 1978. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.