United States Senate Campaign Strategies and Media Analysis, 1988-1992



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.
Date made available2001
PublisherICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
Date of data productionNov 1 1991 - Jul 1 1993
Geographical coverageUnited States

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