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Keywords:

  • Response latency;
  • CATI surveys;
  • elections and voting

Through the recording of response times in a national four-wave bilingual panel survey, this study reports improvements in the prediction of vote choice up to 1 year in advance of a federal election. These results were achieved with conventional computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) software, indicating that the immediate use of response time measures isboth practical and attractive for commercial as well as academic survey units. Even so, response latencies were found to be sensitive to political circumstance, such that timings should be analyzed separately for minority and majority populations. Moreover, a broad analytic focus, beyond timing only vote intention and partisan commitment, is recommended because latency data on core questions of identity and allegiance reveal a great deal about the contours ofpolitical context.