Congressmen's Voting Decisions, 1969 (ICPSR 33301)

Published: Apr 16, 2014 View help for published

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

Version V1

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.

Kingdon, John. Congressmen’s Voting Decisions, 1969. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-04-16.

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Social Science Research Council, Ford Foundation, Brookings Institution
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

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.

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.

Decision of the congressman
survey data



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Kingdon, John. Congressmen's Voting Decisions, 1969. ICPSR33301-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-04-16.

2014-04-16 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.

There are no weights present in the data.


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

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

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