Political Science Publications and Other Works


Issue Attitudes and Survey Continuity across Interview Mode in the 2000 NES

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Can researchers draw consistent inferences about the U.S. public's issue attitudes when studying survey results from both the in-person and telephone interview modes of the 2000 National Election Studies (NES) survey? We address this question through an analysis contrasting the distribution of issue attitudes across modes in the dual sample design of the 2000 NES. We find clear differences across mode even when applying a method devised by the NES to improve comparability by recoding issue attitude scales from the in-person mode. We present an alternative method of recoding these scales, which substantially improves comparability between modes. Through an analysis of the covariance structure of the issues and simple models of vote choice, we discuss the implications of the results for the study of issue attitudes in the 2000 NES.

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