Congressional Campaign Study, 1978 (ICPSR 8431)

Version Date: Feb 16, 1992 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Edie N. Goldenberg; Michael W. Traugott

Version V1

The focus of this study is campaigns waged for election to the United States House of Representatives. A national sample of congressional districts in the continental United States in 1978 was chosen for investigation. The districts selected were those in which contested races were conducted for seats in the 96th Congress and in which interviewing for the American National Election Study of 1978 had occurred. The collection includes information obtained from personal interviews with the candidates' campaign managers, content analysis of newspapers in the districts, campaign expenditure data, and information about each district's makeup, history and recent electoral results. Four files comprise the collection. The first contains information acquired from interviews with the campaign managers of major party candidates in the 86 contested races. These interviews, conducted both before and after the election, focused on the development and implementation of campaign strategy and resource allocation. In this file the candidacy is the unit of analysis, with matching information contained in each data record for the 167 candidates and their opponents. Included is information on perceptions of campaign issues, tactics, fund-raising and expenditures, and events that affected the outcome of the race. A second file contains information identical to that in the first but analyzes 86 campaigns and is organized at the district level. Presented in each record is a series of variables for the Democratic campaign, followed by the same variables reported for the Republican campaign. The third file in the collection includes information about newspaper coverage of the congressional races obtained from news stories, opinion columns, editorials, letters to the editor, and advertisements in 33 different newspapers whose coverage included the districts that comprised this study. A total of 833 separate items appeared in these newspapers during alternate weeks of the campaign (October 3-November 6, 1978). The fourth file contains detailed reports of each discrete expenditure made by each of the 167 campaigns, as submitted to the Federal Election Commission. For each of the 21,913 reported expenditures in this file, information is recorded on the date, and the amount and purpose of the expenditure, as well as classification of campaign type (general or primary election) for which each expenditure was made.

Goldenberg, Edie N., and Traugott, Michael W. Congressional Campaign Study, 1978. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992-02-16.

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National Science Foundation (SOC-78-18710)
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Some variables in the collection originally assembled by the principal investigators have been recoded or masked in the public use data file to protect the confidentiality promised to respondents and to prevent identification of the individual campaigns, candidates and campaign managers that were studied. Recoded versions of many of these variables are presented in the public use file. In addition, ICPSR will perform customized analysis at the request of researchers, in accordance with established ICPSR procedures.

Representative national sample of contested races in the United States House of Representatives in 1978.

Election campaigns for the United States House of Representatives.

personal interviews, newspaper articles, advertisements, and campaign expenditure reports submitted to the U.S. Federal Election Commission

administrative records data, event/transaction data, medical records, 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:
  • Goldenberg, Edie N., and Michael W. Traugott. Congressional Campaign Study, 1978. ICPSR08431-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1985.


  • 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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