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The Politicization of State Judicial Elections: The Effects of New-Style Campaigns on State Court Legitimacy in Kentucky, 2006 (ICPSR 31041)

Principal Investigator(s): Gibson, James L., Washington University in St. Louis


This study had three major subject areas covered by the data collection. These subjects included general political questions about the respondent's views on issues such as freedom, the respondent's personal voting habits, and political campaign advertisements respectively. Respondents were asked about the frequency of their political discussions with friends, dealing with opinions that are extremely different from their own, the value of freedom including free speech, the government's role in creating and implementing laws, and majority wants vs. minority rights. The respondent's personal voting habits section included questions pertaining to feelings asked Kentucky residents how they felt about the Kentucky legislature, Supreme Court, Christian fundamentalists, anti-abortion activists, and pro-abortion activists. These questions also asked about the Kentucky court system in general, the press in Kentucky, insurance companies and other large businesses. Additional questions asked about the three branches of government, specifically, if respondents knew how each branch worked and its role in checks and balances on the American government. Kentucky citizens were asked about lifetime appointment for judges, serving a specific number of years dictated by terms, and whether Kentucky judges had a lifetime appointment or were subject to terms. Citizens were further queried about their elected judges in terms of how they vote for their judges, and whether or not controversial issues and left-right self-placement plays a role in their decisions. Another topic was the importance and relevance of the Constitution and whose interpretation should matter (the people vs. judges). Political campaign advertisement questions asked about advertisements in terms of their fairness. Specifically, questions asked about advertisement effectiveness in terms of whether the advertisement made the respondent more or less likely to vote for a certain candidate. Demographic and other background information includes age, gender, ethnicity, highest grade or year of school completed, political affiliation, religious affiliation and participation, and television viewership.

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Study Description


Gibson, James L. The Politicization of State Judicial Elections: The Effects of New-Style Campaigns on State Court Legitimacy in Kentucky, 2006. ICPSR31041-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-08-17. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR31041.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR31041.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES 0451207)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    campaign contributions, democracy, elections, electoral issues, electoral systems, government, judge selection, judges, judicial decision making, judicial elections, legislative bodies, perceptions, political attitudes, political awareness, political campaigns, political ideologies, political issues, political participation, public opinion, social values, state legislatures, state supreme courts, trust in government

Geographic Coverage:    Kentucky, United States

Time Period:   

  • 2006

Date of Collection:   

  • 2006-06
  • 2006-11
  • 2006-12

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    Residents of Kentucky aged 18 years old and older.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

In order to conform to standard SAS, SPSS and Stata variable naming conventions, original variable names containing periods or "@" signs have been renamed; periods in these variable names have been replaced with underscore "_" and the "@" signs have been replaced with "_x".


Study Purpose:    The purpose of this project is to investigate the impact of campaign activity on public attitudes toward the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Study Design:    Based on a three-wave panel design, in which a representative sample of Kentuckians was interviewed well before the general election of 2006, during the election, and well after its conclusion.

Sample:    Random Digit Dialing. For further information about sampling, please review the "Producer Appendix" section of the ICPSR codebook for this study.

Time Method:    Longitudinal: Panel

Weight:    Please see the Producer Appendix for information regarding the weights.

Mode of Data Collection:    computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)

Response Rates:    Wave 1: 28.7 percent, Wave 2: 78.7 percent, Wave 3: 76.6 percent

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2011-08-17



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