Presidential Campaign Impact on Voters: 1976 Panel, Erie, Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles (ICPSR 7990)

Published: Feb 16, 1992

Principal Investigator(s):
Thomas E. Patterson

Version V1

This study's purpose was to assess the impact of a presidential election campaign, particularly the media campaign, on the electorate. In order to do so, a panel survey was administered in several waves to the same respondents over the course of the 1976 presidential campaign year. Two samples of randomly selected adults, one each from the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, California, and Erie, Pennsylvania, were contacted for five personal interviews: in February, before the first primary was held, in April, during the early primaries, in June, during the late primaries, in August, during the conventions, and in October, before the general election. In addition, half the sample was interviewed by telephone after the first televised presidential debate and the other half interviewed after the second debate. Respondents were also interviewed by telephone after the election to determine whether they had voted and for whom. The surveys contained batteries of questions about each respondents's media use, such as exposure to national news, attention to this news, and interest in election coverage in particular. The surveys also provided measures of public orientations that might have been affected by the campaign, such as voting preferences, candidate images, candidate recognition, perceptions of the candidates' chances of victory, and issue salience. Other general information contained in the data collection concerns each respondent's party loyalties, interest in the election, ideology, and personal background.

Patterson, Thomas E. Presidential Campaign Impact on Voters: 1976 Panel, Erie, Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992-02-16.

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1976 (February, April, June, August, October, and November)

Respondents were selected randomly, but with known probability, through the method of block-household-individual random selection. There were 1,002 respondents in the first interview (February), and an additional 234 respondents were added during the second and third interviews, bringing the total number of respondents to 1,236.

English-speaking adult United States citizens.

personal and telephone interviews

survey data




  • 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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