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Senate, House, and Governor Race Candidates From Across the United States, 2002 (ICPSR 21000)

Principal Investigator(s): Latimer, Christopher, State University of New York at Cortland


This study considers the growing potential of the Internet in United States elections at the sub-presidential level and whether the Internet can be used as an effective tool in campaigns and elections. Internet sites for incumbents, challengers, and third-party candidates were closely examined and compared on several dimensions of quality. Using a sample of sites collected in the 2002 elections, a comprehensive tool was developed to assess Internet quality using both analytical criteria and statistical checks. Five dimensions were examined: content, interactivity, usability, transparency, and audience. This analysis of the 2002 United States election Web sites focuses on the contests for the House of Representatives, the Senate, and for governor in those states with scheduled elections. The dataset includes 111 separate races: 84 for the House, 12 for the Senate and 16 for governor. There are 245 individual House candidates, 62 gubernatorial candidates, and 45 individual Senate candidates. This dataset also explores the relationship between Internet quality and the political and demographic features of a district. Internet quality also is evaluated in relation to other significant resources in a candidate's campaign, e.g., years of service, incumbency, political party, competition, and campaign finance. House races were isolated in order to evaluate the relationship between Internet quality, these significant political resources, and demographic aspects of the districts. Shifting the level of analysis from the candidate to the district examined how short-term elements of campaigns, including a candidate's Web site, interact and correlate with political features of a contest and demographic features of a congressional district.

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Study Description


Latimer, Christopher. SENATE, HOUSE, AND GOVERNOR RACE CANDIDATES FROM ACROSS THE UNITED STATES, 2002. ICPSR21000-v1. Albany, NY: Christopher Latimer, State University of New York at Cortland [producer], 2004. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-05-08. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR21000.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR21000.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    campaign finance, campaign strategies, candidates, congressional districts, congressional elections, elections, gubernatorial elections, Internet, political campaigns, political parties, politics

Smallest Geographic Unit:    metropolitan area

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2002

Date of Collection:   

  • 2002-10-01--2004-09-01

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    Campaign Web sites from the 2002 election cycle.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) Missing variable labels were added. (2) Missing value labels were added, except for variables PartyBreakdown through Years3, for which no labels exist. (3) Variables StateGeographyBreak through ContributionHighLow and PartyBreakdown through Years3 were dropped from the dataset per instruction from the principal investigator.


Weight:    The Internet quality score was weighted based on the number of criteria under each dimension. The weighted dimensions are: content--25 percent, interactivity--25 percent, usability--20 percent, transparency--20 percent, and audience--10 percent.


Original ICPSR Release:   2008-05-08



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