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Campaign Participants and Interest Group Activists: Not So Strange Bedfellows
Unformatted Document Text:  12 carried out a post-election wave again, getting response rates of 67.3% of January respondents. In 1992, we resurveyed everyone who had responded to the first wave in 1988, and received a response rate of 59.1%. Response rates in 1994 and 1996 were 68.2% and 69.3% respectively. Even in the final 1996 wave, we retained 585 Democrats. In a panel survey, mortality is unavoidable. What is most important is, of course the representativeness of the sample. Checks of response bias (correlating response to waves in 1992, 1994, and 1996 with relevant demographic and political variables) showed no correlations over .10 (tau-c). The only statistically significant effects (p <.05) were for Democratic group memberships (although not for activism in those groups) and for age (in 1992 only). Those more active were slightly more likely to respond as were older respondents. However, with controls for 1984 activity in almost all of our analyses, the problems of panel mortality should be minimal. Measures Our measures of campaign activity are simple checklists of activities performed in general election campaigns for President, Congress and sub-national offices. Activities for 1984 include contributing money, fundraising, canvassing, convincing others to support candidate, attending meeting or rally for candidate, and clerical work for the campaign. For 1992 and 1988, the same measures are used (with the exception that clerical work is excluded). Group activities are measured in terms both of group memberships across all groups in the coalition as well as in terms of the number of groups in which individuals are active. The first measure represents the number of groups in which respondents are members (either active members, leaders or just members), while the second measure is

Authors: Rapoport, Ronald. and McCann, James.
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12
carried out a post-election wave again, getting response rates of 67.3% of January
respondents.
In 1992, we resurveyed everyone who had responded to the first wave in 1988,
and received a response rate of 59.1%. Response rates in 1994 and 1996 were 68.2% and
69.3% respectively. Even in the final 1996 wave, we retained 585 Democrats.
In a panel survey, mortality is unavoidable. What is most important is, of course
the representativeness of the sample. Checks of response bias (correlating response to
waves in 1992, 1994, and 1996 with relevant demographic and political variables)
showed no correlations over .10 (tau-c). The only statistically significant effects (p <.05)
were for Democratic group memberships (although not for activism in those groups) and
for age (in 1992 only). Those more active were slightly more likely to respond as were
older respondents. However, with controls for 1984 activity in almost all of our analyses,
the problems of panel mortality should be minimal.
Measures
Our measures of campaign activity are simple checklists of activities performed in
general election campaigns for President, Congress and sub-national offices. Activities
for 1984 include contributing money, fundraising, canvassing, convincing others to
support candidate, attending meeting or rally for candidate, and clerical work for the
campaign. For 1992 and 1988, the same measures are used (with the exception that
clerical work is excluded).
Group activities are measured in terms both of group memberships across all
groups in the coalition as well as in terms of the number of groups in which individuals
are active. The first measure represents the number of groups in which respondents are
members (either active members, leaders or just members), while the second measure is


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