House Freshmen: MethodologyBy Sunlight Reporting Group Aug 13 2012 7:04 p.m.
Notes on sources and methods for the Sunlight Reporting Group's series on House freshmen in the 112th Congress:
- Targets: We examined the records of 89 freshmen elected to the House for the first time in November, 2010.
- Campaign finance: Totals include reports through June 30, 2012.
- Outside spending: Figures come from Sunlight's Follow the Unlimited Money tracker.
- Competitive races: We relied on the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
- Net worth: These figures come from members' personal financial disclosures via the Center for Responsive Politics. Caveat lector: Congressional personal financial disclosure forms provide only a rough approximation of members' wealth (or lack of it). This is because lawmakers are only required to describe their assets and liabilities in broad ranges, rather than exact amounts, making precise calculations impossible.
- Capitol Words profile: This rhetorical fingerprint is drawn from Sunlight's Capitol Words, which compiles data from the Congressional Record and analyzes members patterns of speech by measuring the relative frequency that they use terms compared to their colleagues. Read more about Capitol Words.
See more reporting on House Freshmen here.
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