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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): The American National Election Studies (ANES)


This study is part of the American National Election Study (ANES), a time-series collection of national surveys fielded continuously since 1948. 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. As with all Time Series studies conducted during years of presidential elections, respondents were interviewed during the two months preceding the November election (Pre-election interview), and then re-interviewed during the two months following the election (Post-election 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, which are so critical to a general 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 the ANES Time Series history, face-to-face interviewing was supplemented in 2012 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 four shorter online interviews, two pre-election and two 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 African-Americans 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 areas such as media exposure, cognitive style, and values and predispositions. Several items were measured on the 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.

Series: American National Election Study (ANES) Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


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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], 2016-05-17. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35157.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35157.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

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

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    abortion, absentee voters, Affirmative Action, Biden, Joe, Bush, George W., Clinton, Hillary, Democratic Party, gays and lesbians, gender issues, global warming, government services, government spending, gun control, health care reform, households, immigration policy, income distribution, industry, international relations, Internet, job security, labor unions, marital status, national economy, news media, Obama, Barack, occupations, political campaigns, political issues, political leaders, political parties, population migration, presidential candidates, public opinion, racial attitudes, religion, Republican Party (USA), Romney, Mitt, smoking, social classes, Tea Party movement, terrorism, trust in government, unemployment, voting behavior, Wall Street, war

Smallest Geographic Unit:    congressional district

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2012-09--2013-01

Date of Collection:   

  • 2012-09-08--2012-11-06
  • 2012-11-07--2013-01-24

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    U.S. citizens age 18 and older

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

For further information please see the ANES Data Center Web site.

The Web mode respondents selected in the Pre-election interviews for the 'standard' or traditional version of 4 efficacy items should have been administered the 'revised' version of the items in the Post-election survey, and the Web respondents selected for the 'revised' version in the Pre-election survey should have been administered the 'standard' version in the Post. In reality, the 2012 Internet respondents were administered the same version of efficacy items in both the Pre- and the Post-election surveys.


Study Purpose:    The main goal of the ANES Time Series studies is to allow a broad cross-section of scholars, citizens, policy makers, and journalists to analyze high quality survey data pertinent to important electoral questions such as voters' choice and turnout, public opinion and political participation, and other related matters.

Sample:    The ANES 2012 Time Series was 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 African-Americans 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 , Time Series: Discrete

Weight:    Weighting is required for use of the 2012 Time Series data as a representative cross-section. There are three weight variables in 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.

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

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

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2014-05-19

Version History:

  • 2016-05-17 An ASCII text data file, a tab-delimited data file, an R data file, as well as SPSS, SAS, and Stata setup files and SPSS and Stata system files, a SAS transport file, a codebook, and a data collection instrument were added to the collection.

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