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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Interesting Site

If you're a snoop, you should check out www.fundrace.org. It allows you to type in an address and identify political contributions recorded by the Federal Election Commission by distance from that address.

I've recently asked Jess Flanders to use this site to help me identify very local climates of opinion. I did a survey of Ohio right after the 2004 election and obtained something close to an address for each respondent. I'm now trying to identify the climate of opinion surrounding that person, with the assumption that those who donate to candidates or parties are likely to publicly express their opinions in the form of bumper stickers, yard signs, buttons, etc., and that this will help to generate perceptions of a local climate of opinion of one's neighbors. And, once these data are combined with the survey data, we can see if this influences the participation of those whose views are in the minority relative to their local opinion climate.

Anyhow, just thought this might be a "real" first post to our blog. Feel free to share your comments or suggestions in the comments section of this post.

Chip

2 comments:

Andrew Hayes said...

The Center for Responsive Politics contains a lot of fun facts about campaign finance as well. see
http://www.crp.org/

Andrew Hayes said...

I just submitted a revision to a manuscript to Political Behavior in which I propose an interaction between the local climate of opinion and willingness to self-censor in predicting specific forms of participation, such as displaying a yard sign. That is, the relationship between willingness to self-censor and participation should be stonger when the local climate of opinion is closer to equally split on the political topic corresponding to the behavior. You could test this once Jess gets the climate of opinion data for each respondent.