The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Presidential Campaigns

By D. Sunshine Hillygus; Todd G. Shields | Go to book overview

Appendix 1

Question Wording and Coding

2004 Blair Center Survey

The 2004 Blair Center Survey and the 2000 Knowledge Networks Election Study were conducted by the survey firm Knowledge Networks. Knowledge Networks conducts their surveys online, but remains a probability-based sample because panel members are recruited using random digit dialing sampling methods and then provided with an Internet connection if they do not have one. All telephone numbers have an equal probability of selection, and the sampling is done without replacement. In exchange for the Internet connection, Knowledge Network panelists are asked to complete surveys three to four times per month. Participants are sent an email informing them that their next survey is ready to be taken and individuals then complete the survey at their own convenience.

The 2004 Blair Center Survey was a national postelection survey. The sample plan consisted of 2,800 interviews from three strata: 1,150 from southern states, 1,150 from other states, and 500 from the general adult population. The overall survey completion rate was 68.1 percent. Poststratification weights that adjust for nonresponse and the survey sampling design were provided by Knowledge Networks.

When classifying individuals as incongruent or congruent, we created a conservative measure. If the question-response format included a middle, neutral, or don't-know category, individuals selecting these responses were coded as being congruent with their political party, even if they might consider their moderate position incongruent with their party's more extreme position. Thus, to be classified as a crosspressured partisan, an individual must not only disagree with the position taken by her own party but also agree with the position of the opposition party. For the 2004 measure from the Blair Center Survey, we also included only those issues that respondents indicated were “extremely” or “very” important to them personally. The 2004 cross-pressures measure was constructed from the following ten policy questions.

Social Security: “Some people have proposed allowing individuals to invest
portions of their social security taxes in the stock market, which might allow
them to make more money for their retirement, but would involve greater
risk than the current government-run system. Do you favor or oppose

-205-

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