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Survey of United States Congressional Candidates, 1976 (ICPSR 7570)

Principal Investigator(s): United States Federal Election Commission


This data collection contains the results of a survey of the candidates who ran for United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives in 1976. By surveying such candidates, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was attempting to collect systematically the views of those directly affected and regulated by the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) as it was amended in 1974 and 1976. Those amendments called for significant changes in the rules for campaign contributions and expenditures, restrictions on independent expenditures and in-kind contributions, and public disclosure of all federal campaign activity. The survey was conducted by Decision Making Information of Santa Ana, California, and Hart Research Commission in the first two months of 1976. In all, 850 respondents (candidates, campaign managers, and other campaign representatives) were interviewed by mail or in person. The survey questions focused on seven major topics: (1) actual characteristics of the campaigns and the candidates covered by the survey, (2) experiences during the 1976 election, (3) finances in 1976, (4) impact of the FECA on campaign organization, (5) the role played by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as an information source for, and regulator of, campaigns, (6) which items dealt with by the FECA were favored or opposed by candidates and campaign managers who participated in the 1976 election, and (7) the respondent's overall feelings about what should be done in the future.

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.


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Study Description


U.S. Federal Election Commission. SURVEY OF UNITED STATES CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES, 1976. ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 197?. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07570.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07570.v1

Export Citation:

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

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    campaign contributions, campaign expenditures, campaign finance reform, campaign strategies, candidates, congressional elections, Federal Election Campaign Act, financial disclosure, fundraising, national elections, opinions, political campaigns, regulation, United States Congress

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1976

Date of Collection:   

  • 1976-01-14--1976-02-26

Universe:    The 2,150 United States House of Representatives and United States Senate candidates in 1976 whose names appeared on a primary or general ballot. Those candidates who filed a statement with the FECA but failed to run in 1976, as well as those who failed in 1976 to complete reporting requirements for an office sought in preceding years (1974 or 1972) were eliminated from the universe.

Data Type(s):    survey data


Sample:    Stratified random sampling was done. The 850 respondents represented an accurate cross-section of House and Senate candidates, chosen by random interval selection methods and stratified by several factors: Senate/House campaigns, primary/general campaigns, party affiliation, and geographic regions.

Data Source:

personal interviews, and mailback questionnaires

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:   1984-05-08



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