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American National Election Study, 1980 (ICPSR 7763)

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This study is part of a time-series collection of national surveys fielded continuously since 1952. The 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 1980 Election Study is comprised of several integrated survey data collections occurring at strategically chosen periods in the course of the election year, along with vote validation and contextual data. Four areas were targeted for special attention: new measurement of party identification, the measurement of voter attitudes concerning issues of public policy, new content concerning public perceptions of and responses to political leadership, and the exploration of social networks in the crystallization of the vote choice. The National Election Studies Board established a 1980 Presidential Elections Committee that consisted of three Board members (Merrill Shanks, John Jackson, David Sears) and three additional scholars (Richard S. Brody, Jack Dennis, Donald R. Kinder). This committee, along with the Center for Political Studies project staff, was responsible for the planning of the year-long study. Part 2, the Pre- and Post-Election Surveys file [C-3/C3po], contains the traditional election survey data. Contextual measures provided along with the survey data include election returns, interest group ratings of incumbents, and Federal Election Commission campaign contribution data. Part 4, the Major Panel File [P1-P4], presents a year-long four-wave panel. The panel began in late January 1980 as a national cross-section of 1,008 cases, and interviewing ended before the New Hampshire primary on February 24, 1980. Respondents from the first wave [P-1] were reinterviewed in June immediately after the last set of primary elections that were held on June 3, 1980. The third panel interview [P-3] was conducted during the month of September 1980. The fourth and final wave [P-4] was conducted immediately after the general election and includes reinterviews with respondents who did not participate in Wave 3. Wave 4 was a fifteen-minute telephone interview. Part 3, the Integrated File, ICPSR Version, in addition to pre-/post-survey data from Part 2 and Major Panel data from Part 4, contains an independent cross-section sample [C-1] of 965 cases who were interviewed in the midst of the primary season during the three-week "window" following the early April primaries. These respondents were reinterviewed following the general election [C-4] with a telephone interview essentially the same as that administered to P-4 respondents. This complex file was prepared to facilitate the analytic use of the large body of data gathered in 1980. Virtually all of the 1980 data are included in this file, with data merged as appropriate for panel samples. The individual files for each of the 1980 surveys have been reformatted to a standardized data record structure in such a manner that the data for identical questions across studies are always stored under the same variable number and in a fixed and specified record location in the integrated file. Filters are included to allow users to retrieve specific samples from the file. Vote validation data are included in the file.

Series: American National Election Study (ANES) Series

Access Notes

  • These data are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Because you are not logged in, we cannot verify that you will be able to download these data.

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    This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.


DS2:  Pre- and Post-Election Surveys File - Download All Files (31.1 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   
DS3:  Integrated File, ICPSR Version - Download All Files (46 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   
DS4:  Major Panel File (P1-P4) - Download All Files (29.8 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   

Study Description


Miller, Warren E., and National Election Studies/Center for Political Studies. American National Election Study, 1980. ICPSR07763-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   campaign contributions, candidates, congressional elections, domestic policy, economic conditions, election returns, foreign policy, government performance, information sources, national elections, political affiliation, political attitudes, political campaigns, political efficacy, political issues, political participation, presidential elections, primaries, public approval, public opinion, Reagan Administration (1981-1989), special interest groups, trust in government, voter expectations, voter history, voting behavior

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1980

Date of Collection:  

  • 1980

Universe:   Citizens of voting age living in private households.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

There is no Part 1 for this collection.

The data collection instruments file for Part 4, Major Panel File, contains questionnaires for Waves P1-P3. For the P4 questionnaire, consult the data collection instrument file for Part 2, Pre- and Post-Election Surveys File.


Sample:   Multistage representative cross-section.

Mode of Data Collection:   face-to-face interview, telephone interview

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:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 1999-11-19 The data for this study are now available in SAS transport and SPSS export formats, in addition to the ASCII data file. Variables in the dataset have been renumbered to the following format: 2-digit (or 2-character) year prefix + 4 digits + [optional] 1-character suffix. Dataset ID and version variables have also been added. Also, SAS data definition statements were prepared, and the data collection instruments were added to the collection as PDF files. Additionally, the SPSS data definition statements and the codebooks have been updated to reflect these changes.

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