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ANES 2012 Time Series Study (ICPSR 35157)

Alternate Title:  American National Election Study, 2012: Pre- and Post-Election Survey

Principal Investigator(s):


This study is part of the American National Election Study (ANES), a time-series collection of national surveys fielded continuously since 1952. The American National Election Studies are designed to present data on Americans' social backgrounds, enduring political predispositions, social and political values, perceptions and evaluations of groups and candidates, opinions on questions of public policy, and participation in political life. The 2012 ANES data consists of a time series study conducted both before and after the 2012 presidential election in the United States. It entailed both a pre-election interview and a post-election re-interview. Like its predecessors, the 2012 ANES was divided between questions necessary for tracking long-term trends and questions necessary to understand the particular political moment of 2012. The study maintains and extends the ANES time-series 'core' by collecting data on Americans' basic political beliefs, allegiances, and behaviors: aspects of political belief and action so basic to the understanding of politics that they are monitored at every election, no matter the nature of the specific campaign or the broader setting. For the first time in Time Series history, face-to-face interviewing was supplemented with data collection on the Internet. Data collection was conducted in the two modes independently, using separate samples. While face-to-face (FTF) respondents were administered the single pre-election interview and single post-election interview traditional to Time Series presidential-election-year studies, for the internet sample the same questions were administered over a total of 4 shorter online interviews, 2 pre-election and 2 post-election. Web-administered cases constituted a representative sample separate from the face-to-face sample and were drawn from panel members of GfK Knowledge Networks. The face-to-face (FTF) sample of fresh cross-section cases featured oversamples of blacks and Hispanics. For the first time in the ANES Time Series, FTF respondents were administered CAPI interviews programmed as instruments on handheld tablets, which were employed by interviewers using touchscreen, stylus, attached keyboard or any combination of entry modes according to interviewer preference. In both the pre-election and post-election FTF interviews a special CASI (Computer Assisted Self-Interviewing) segment was conducted. In addition to content on electoral participation, voting behavior, and public opinion, the 2012 ANES Time Series Study contains questions about other areas such as media exposure, cognitive style, and values and predispositions. Several items were measured on ANES for the first time, including "Big Five" personality traits using the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), skin tone observations made by interviewers in the face-to-face study, and a vocabulary test from the General Social Survey called "Wordsum." The Post-Election interview also included Module 4 from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES). Demographic variables include respondent age, education level, political affiliation, race/ethnicity, marital status, and family composition. Additional information about the ANES time series collection can be found on the American National Election Study (ANES) Web site.

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Study Description


The American National Election Studies (ANES). ANES 2012 Time Series Study. ICPSR35157-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-05-19. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35157.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES-0937715, SES-0937727)
  • University of Michigan
  • Stanford University

Scope of Study


Study Purpose:   The main goal of the ANES Time Series studies is to allow a broad cross-section of scholars and citizens analyze high quality survey data pertinent to important questions about vote choice, turnout and related matters in the context of the 2008 federal election.

Sample:   The ANES 2012 Time Series is a dual-mode survey (face-to-face and Internet) with two independent samples. Cases selected for the face-to-face sample could not be interviewed on the Internet, and cases selected for the Internet survey could not be interviewed in person. The in-person (face-to-face) interviews were conducted using an address-based, stratified, multi-stage cluster sample in 125 census tracts. The sample includes a nationally representative "main sample" and two "oversamples," one of blacks and one of Hispanics. Web-administered cases constituted a representative sample separate from the face-to-face sample and were drawn from panel members of GfK Knowledge Networks.

Time Method:   Time Series

Weight:   Weighting is required for use of the 2012 Time Series data as a representative cross-section. There are three weight variables on the file, each intended to be used for a different purpose: - "weight_ftf" for analysis of the face-to-face sample alone; - "weight_web" for analysis of the Internet sample alone; - "weight_full" for analysis of the combined sample. Each weight is preliminary and improved weights may be released with a future version of the data file if it is found that practical improvements can be made.

Mode of Data Collection:   computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI), computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI), web-based survey

Response Rates:   Face-to-face sample number of completions: 2,054. Internet sample number of completions: 3,860.


Original ICPSR Release:  


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