New Data Source on Congressional Elections

September 22, 2011

The 2006 UC Davis “district expert survey” has been released for general use by the scholarly community.  The district expert survey was conducted in a random sample of 100 U.S. House districts in 2006, and in a supplemental sample of 55 districts chosen because they were expected to be open and/or competitive.  National convention delegates and state legislators in both political parties were surveyed by mail as district expert informants in October of 2006.  The size of these district panels varied by district but averaged just over 6 per district.  

Expert informants were asked to place each candidate running in their district on a liberal-conservative scale and on several issue items; they were asked to rate each candidate on a number of items designed to assess candidates’ skills, traits, and attributes as candidates and as office holders; and they were asked to report on various aspects of the tone, emphasis, and conduct of the House campaign in their district.  Data from individual experts are available, as are data on various candidate- and district-level indicators constructed from the informant responses.

More information about the study is available at the project website:

Codebooks, data sets, papers, and related materials may be accessed at this site.  The project continued into the 2010 election cycle under a grant from the National Science Foundation.  The 2010 data are being prepared for release, which we expect to announce sometime next year.  

For more information, contact Walt Stone at UC Davis: