Politics of Character Survey, 2000

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > Other > Summary


Surveys on contemporary politics abound, but surveys of political culture, the underpinning of politics, are lacking. The Politics of Character survey attempts to bridge the gap between ephemeral opinion and enduring understandings of character, linking the latter to the moral communities to which American citizens belong. A principal finding is that understandings of character are vague and weakly grounded, and that “character” in politics is more importance rhetorically than practically. It is an ideal in search of substantive content.

Data File
Cases: 1,203
Variables: 145
Weight Variable: POPWATE
Data Collection
Date Collected: August and September of 2000
Funded By
Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia
Collection Procedures
Telephone interview surveys were conducted by the University of Virginia Center for Survey Research (CSR).
Sampling Procedures
A national probability sample of non-institutionalized adult civilian population of the United States, eighteen years and older, was attained by random digit dialing.
Principal Investigators
James Davison Hunter, W. R. Kenan Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia, Project Director

Carl Desportes Bowman, Professor of Sociology, Bridgewater College, Director of Research
Related Publications
Hunter, James Davison and Carl Desportes Bowman, Survey of American Political Culture: The Politics of Character, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia.

Pfiffner, James P., The Character Factor: How We Judge America’s Presidents, TAMU Press, 2004.

Politics of Character survey web page
Note 1
For the variables WDIVORCE, WPRESEX, WINTERM, WHOMOSEX, WALCOHOL, WMARIJNA, WPORNMOV, WSWEAR, and WABORT:

These variables were constructed from three questions.
Note 2
For the variables SLIVE, SOTHERS, SNGHBRS, SHONESTY, SMONEY, SNUMBER1, and SEATDRNK:

The responses were constructed from three questions. The first question:
Would you say that the first slogan best expresses your outlook, the second slogan best expresses your outlook, or your outlook falls somewhere between the two?
1 FIRST SLOGAN
2 SECOND SLOGAN
3 SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE TWO

There were two follow-up questions to discern where each individual fell.
Note 3
For the variable TIMEZONE, Indiana and Arizona are included separately because each state has special laws regarding daylight savings time.