United States Presidential Election Campaign Media Analysis, 1996 (ICPSR 3139)

Published: Jan 12, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
Marion R. Just; Ann N. Crigler; Tami Buhr


Version V1

This study consists of a content analysis of 12 different campaign information sources from the 1996 presidential election campaign. Each communication outlet (or medium) was analyzed using a consistent set of guidelines so the various kinds of media could be rigorously compared. The media include traditional news outlets, such as network and cable television news (CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN), news magazines (TIME magazine), newspapers (the NEW YORK TIMES and various other local newspapers), and political advertising, speeches, and debates. Other analyzed media include newer forms of campaign media, such as televised candidate interviews, candidate Web sites, and free televised candidate spots. Areas of investigation include type of news story, partisan focus of the story, control of the story, substantive focus of the story, election topics covered, sources of the story, issues revised, policy debate, reporting of the candidates' records and proposals, discussions of candidates' general political conduct, their personal background, and associates of the presidential candidates, and the political "horse race," in which reporters and sources assess the political strength or viability of each of the candidates. The information is presented in three types of files for each medium. The first file type is the Story-Level Data file, which is the master data file. It contains all of the variables coded, and the unit of analysis is the story, interview, ad, speech, etc. The second file type is the Multiple Story-Level Data file. In this file, topics span a number of units. For example, all issues mentioned in a "story" are coded, and each issue is considered a unit. This file contains the following coding blocks: polls, interview guests, topics, sources, issues, candidates' records, proposals and issue stands, sound bites, mentions of election-year players, correcting the record, and state contests/voting blocs. The third file type is the Statement-Level Data file. This file contains the following coding blocks: policy debate, evaluations of 1996 candidates, and horse race assessments. The unit of analysis in this file is the "statement," and each story is comprised of multiple statements. This file groups the statements by story and orders them by their placement within the story.

Just, Marion R., Crigler, Ann N., and Buhr, Tami. United States Presidential Election Campaign Media Analysis, 1996  . Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-01-12. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03139.v1

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1996-01-01 -- 1996-11-04

(1) The data are provided as an SPSS portable file. (2) This collection has not been processed by ICPSR staff. ICPSR is distributing the data and documentation for this collection in essentially the same form in which they were received. When appropriate, documentation has been converted to Portable Document Format (PDF), and data files have been converted to non-platform-specific formats. (3) The codebook is provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.



2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 37 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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