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United States Senate Campaign Strategies and Media Analysis, 1988-1992 (ICPSR 3269)

Principal Investigator(s): Kahn, Kim F.; Kenney, Patrick J.


This study consists of surveys of campaign managers (Part 1), and of content analyses of televised political advertisements (Part 2) and newspaper articles (Part 3) on the 97 contested races for election to the United States Senate in 1988, 1990, and 1992. Through telephone interviews, campaign managers and appropriate staff were asked a series of questions regarding the main themes stressed by their campaign and those stressed by their opponent, including policy positions, personal characteristics, and political ideology. Their views were sought on the media coverage of the campaign, including the policy issues and personality traits emphasized by the media. Additional questions assessed the effectiveness of their campaign strategy in communicating with the voters. Part 1, Survey of Senate Campaign Managers, also includes data on candidate spending patterns, based on reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Part 2, Content Analysis of Television Ads, examined televised political advertisements for the same elections. Areas of investigation included type of advertisement, and the presence of a photograph, partisanship, endorsements, criticism of opponent, and candidate's and opponent's political ideology and personality traits. Newspaper coverage was examined between September 1 and Election Day during each campaign (Part 3, Content Analysis of Newspaper Articles). Areas of investigation included the tone of the article, the mention of criticisms of the candidate and his/her opponent, poll results, the political horse race, endorsements, and the candidate's and opponent's campaign resources, political ideology, personality traits, debate outcome, policy issues, and political advertisements.

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.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Survey of Senate Campaign Managers - Download All Files (2.434 MB)
DS2:  Content Analysis of Television Ads - Download All Files (2.812 MB)
DS3:  Content Analysis of Newspaper Articles - Download All Files (7.581 MB)

Study Description


Kahn, Kim F., and Patrick J. Kenney. UNITED STATES SENATE CAMPAIGN STRATEGIES AND MEDIA ANALYSIS, 1988-1992. ICPSR version. Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University [producer], 1995. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03269.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03269.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SBR: 9308421)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    campaign costs, campaign issues, campaign strategies, elections, media coverage, political candidates, United States Senate

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1991-11-01--1993-07-01

Data Collection Notes:

(1) The data are provided as SPSS portable files. (2) For detailed information about these data, including sampling and response rates, please refer to Kim Fridkin Kahn and Patrick J. Kenney, "Measuring the Content and Consequences of Political Campaigns," Chapter 2 of THE SPECTACLE OF U.S. SENATE CAMPAIGNS (1999). (3) 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), data files have been converted to non-platform-specific formats, and variables have been recoded to ensure respondents' anonymity. (4) 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.



Original ICPSR Release:   2001-10-01

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File CB3269.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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