The Comparative Candidate Survey (CCS) is a response to the growing number of candidate surveys in the Anglo-saxon world and beyond. More or less regular candidate surveys are conducted in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The rational of the CCS is to harmonise these dispersed efforts and give them a cross-nationally comparable core. The CCS is an internationally coordinated effort. It combines an internationally agreed and locally adapted core questionnaire with questions that try to capture national and election specifics. The core candidate questionnaire specifically focuses at the issue of individualization of electoral campaigns, i.e. the empirical question to which extent the candidates run their own campaigns distinct from those of their parties.
The core CCS candidate questionnaire, which can be downloaded from the left of this page, focuses on the relationships between the candidate, the party and the voters. Campaigning is a major topic in this core questionnaire, but other domains like recruitment and carrier patterns, issues and ideology, and democracy and representation are also developed.
Data Distribution Policy
The Comparative Candidate Survey is a collaborative enterprise, based on the idea that participants are rewarded for their data collection efforts by enjoying a period of privileged access to all collected data. Everyone who adds a valid dataset gets all datasets that have been deposited so far, and all that will be deposited later. After the end of data collection for the project, which is expected to be in 2015, all data (properly documented and made anonymous to protect respondent confidentiality) will be transferred to the public domain by depositing them in one of the major social science data archives (for instance, the Zentralarchiv in Cologne or the ICPSR in Ann Arbor).
Joining the Project
Colleagues who are interested in conducting a survey in their country among the candidates standing for office in an upcoming first-order legislative election are warmly welcomed to apply to join the CCS. It is easy to become a member. Just be in contact with project coordinator Hermann Schmitt, using the email address found at the top of this page. However, please note that our data sharing agreement requires that you deliver a valid dataset before you will be able to access the datasets provided by others.