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Party Elites in the United States, 1974: Democratic Mid-Term Conference Delegates and Sanford Commission Members (ICPSR 8206)

Principal Investigator(s): Jackson, John S. III; Hitlin, Robert A.


This data collection was designed to provide information on the personal and political backgrounds, political attitudes, and relevant behavior of party leaders. The data center on the Sanford Commission, a group of Democratic party leaders who were appointed by the National Committee Chairs to draft the party's basic charter, or constitution, and on the delegates to the 1974 Democratic Mid-Term Conference who ratified the charter. This dataset, then, permits a comparison of the two levels of party organization leaders. Questions focus on the "representativeness" of the party elites at both levels as well as on their views of the important "reform" provisions included in the charter and their basic concepts of what a national party is and should be. The representation of minorities and females in the process received particular attention. Specific variables include characterization of respondent's political beliefs on the liberal-conservative scale, length of time the respondent had been active in the Democratic party, and the respondent's opinions on minorities in the party, party unity, national- and local-level party strength, party loyalty, and on issues involved in developing the charter. Demographic characteristics are also supplied.

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Study Description


Jackson, John S. III, and Robert A. Hitlin. PARTY ELITES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1974: DEMOCRATIC MID-TERM CONFERENCE DELEGATES AND SANFORD COMMISSION MEMBERS. Carbondale, IL: John S. Jackson III, Southern Illinois University, and Robert Hitlin, Georgetown University [producers], 1975. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1987. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08206.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08206.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    conservatism, demographic characteristics, governing council, group political orientation, ideology, liberalism, minority affairs, party leadership, political activities, political attitudes and behavior, political elites, political parties, political system characteristics, racial attitudes, representation, women in politics, United States, loyalty

Universe:    The universe for Mid-term Democratic Conference delegates was all delegates certified as eligible to attend the Conference. There were 2,043 such delegates. For the Sanford Commission, the universe was all 161 official members of the Commission.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Certain variables have been recoded by ICPSR to protect the anonymity of respondents.


Sample:    A systematic random sampling scheme was used to sample the Mid-Term Democratic Conference delegates. The official delegate lists provided by the Democratic National Committee were entered at random starting points and every third name was chosen. For the Sanford Commission, mailed questionnaires were sent to all members of the Commission in two waves of mailing. Those who returned questionnaires constituted the sample.

Data Source:

self-enumerated forms


Original ICPSR Release:   1988-01-06

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