We address the question of what determines primarily the damping of the sliding charge density wave (CDW). Using pulsed differential conductivity data we have studied the scaling relationship between the total differential conductivity j' and the Ohmic conductivity σ0 in the CDW systems NbSe3 and TaS3. In both metallic and semiconducting hosts j' scales with σ0 in a simple way. This relationship suggests that the two currents are strongly coupled, possibly via damping of the sliding condensate by the free carriers. The asymptotic approach of j/E to the infinite field limit σ∞ is also examined and compared with previous studies.
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