This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.

Congressmen's Voting Decisions, 1969 (ICPSR 33301)

Principal Investigator(s): Kingdon, John, University of Michigan


The core of this data collection is a set of interviews with a stratified random sample of members of the House conducted during the first session of the Ninety-First Congress in 1969. Rather than asking respondents in general about how they make decisions, the interviews concentrated on some specific vote or votes that were currently or very recently under consideration. The interview sought to develop a life history of each member's decision, including the steps through which the representative went, the considerations which he weighted, and the political actors who influenced him. These interview data were supplemented by a good deal of immersion in the process: repeated conversations with staff, lobbyists, and journalists, the reading of documents, and observations of committee meetings and floor debates.

Each of the sampled members was interviewed several times during the course of the session on different votes. It should be emphasized that the unit of analysis is the decision, not the congressman, or in other words, the number of representatives multiplied by the number of decisions on which each was interviewed. All interviews were conducted face-to-face in Washington D.C. in 1969. To minimize recall deficiencies, respondents were interviewed at the time of the vote or within the following few days.

For more information on the study, including detailed sampling and method information, please refer to Kingdon, J.W. (1989). Congressman's voting decisions. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.

    One or more files in this collection have special restrictions .


DS1:  Coded Interview Data (Public Use) - Download All Files (7.186 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    R    ASCII    Excel/TSV
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS2:  Interview Writeups (Restricted-Use)
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description


Kingdon, John. Congressmen's Voting Decisions, 1969. ICPSR33301-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-04-16. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR33301.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR33301.v1

Export Citation:

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


This study was funded by:

  • Social Science Research Council
  • Ford Foundation
  • Brookings Institution

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    congressional committees, congressional voting, decision making, legislative issues, legislative process, legislators, United States Congress

Geographic Coverage:    District of Columbia, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1969

Date of Collection:   

  • 1969

Unit of Observation:    Decision of the congressman

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Part 1 contains quantitative data compiled by the primary investigator in the form of coded interview notes, which were taken during the interviews of the congressmen. Part 2 contains all the raw interview notes, both handwritten and typed, of the original interviews. The raw interview notes are available only under a restricted-use data agreement.


Sample:    Stratified random sample of the House of Representatives. The strata are three partisan categories (Southern Democrats, Northern Democrats, and Republicans) and three categories of length of service in the House.

Weight:    There are no weights present in the data.

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview

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:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2014-04-16

Related Publications



Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics