ANES 2016 Time Series Study (ICPSR 36824)

Published: Sep 19, 2017

Principal Investigator(s):
American National Election Studies; University of Michigan; Stanford University


Version V2

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 2016 ANES was divided between questions necessary for tracking long-term trends and questions necessary to understand the particular political moment of 2016. 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. This 2016 ANES study features a dual-mode design with both traditional face-to-face interviewing (n=1,181) and surveys conducted on the Internet (n=3,090), and a total sample size of 4,271. In addition to content on electoral participation, voting behavior, and public opinion, the 2016 ANES Time Series Study contains questions about areas such as media exposure, cognitive style, and values and predispositions. Several items first measured on the 2012 ANES study were again asked, including "Big Five" personality traits using the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), and skin tone observations made by interviewers in the face-to-face study. For the first time, ANES has collected supplemental data directly from respondents' Facebook accounts. The post-election interview also included Module 5 from the Comparative Study of Electorial Systems (CSES), exploring themes in populism, perceptions on elites, corruption, and attitudes towards representative democracy. Face-to-face interviews were conducted by trained interviewers using computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) software on laptop computers. During a portion of the face-to-face interview, the respondent answered certain sensitive questions on the laptop computer directly, without the interviewer's participation (known as computer assisted self-interviewing (CASI)). Internet questionnaires could be completed anywhere the respondent had access to the Internet, on a computer or on a mobile device. Respondents were only eligible to compete the survey in the mode for which they were sampled. Demographic variables include respondent age, education level, political affiliation, race/ethnicity, marital status, and family composition.

American National Election Studies, University of Michigan, and Stanford University. ANES 2016 Time Series Study. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2017-09-19.

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National Science Foundation (SES-1444721 SES-1444910)

congressional district

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2016-09 -- 2017-01

2016-09-07 -- 2016-11-07

2016-11-09 -- 2017-01-08

Please note that future releases of the data will provide additional data, including interviewer characteristics, interviewer observations, and many administrative variables such as data on household selection, question timing, dwelling unit observations, and candidate-election information. Numerical coding of most non-confidential open-ended questions will be included in future releases as they are completed.

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

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.

The study has two independently drawn probability samples that describe approximately the same population. The target population for the face-to-face mode was 222.6 million U.S. citizens age 18 or older living in the 48 contiguous states of the USA or the District of Columbia, and the target population for the Internet mode was 224.1 million U.S. citizens age 18 or older living in the 50 US states or the District of Columbia. In both modes, the sampling frame was lists of residential addresses where mail is delivered, and to be eligible to participate, a respondent had to reside at the sampled address and be a U.S. citizen age 18 or older at the time of recruitment. The face-to-face component of the study does not include respondents from Alaska or Hawaii, the Internet component does.

  • Face-to-face mode: The sample for in-person interviews was a multi-stage stratified cluster sample. 60 primary sampling units (PSUs) were selected from across the 48 contiguous states and Washington DC. The PSUs were counties, or combinations of counties to form a minimum population of 50,000, or, in the case of Los Angeles County, half-counties (i.e. L.A. County was divided into two PSUs due to its large size). Counties were stratified by Census region, prevalence of poverty and members of minority groups, and population size, and then selected at random with probability proportional to the number of adult citizens, except that Cook County, IL, Harris County, TX, Maricopa County, AZ, and both halves of Los Angeles, CA, were selected with certainty. Within each PSU, four smaller areas were drawn (secondary sampling units, which were Census Block Groups), and households were selected at random from within these areas from the US Postal Service's computerized delivery sequence file (DSF). During the last two weeks of data collection, sub-sampling was performed in which half of the remaining eligible cases from the face-to-face were dropped from the study to focus field efforts on the other half. The weights account for this sub-sampling by up-weighting the cases retained at this stage.
  • Internet mode: The sample for the Internet mode was a random draw from the DSF (excluding "drop point" addresses), with all included residential addresses across the 50 states and Washington DC having equal probability of selection.

Time Series: Discrete

Time Series

United States citizen age 18 or older.


survey data

computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI)

computer-assisted self interview (CASI)

web-based survey

The response rate, using the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) formula for the minimum response rate (known as AAPOR Response Rate 1) on the pre-election interview, was 50 percent for the face-to-face component and 44 percent for the Internet component. The response rate for the face-to-face component is weighted to account for sub-sampling during data collection; due to sub-sampling for the face to face mode, the unweighted response rate would not be meaningful. The reinterview rate on the post-election survey was 90 percent for the face-to-face component and 84 percent for the Internet component. Pre-election interviews were considered sufficiently complete to be counted as completions for weighting and for calculation of the response rate when the survey was administered through the last item of the demographic section "DEM3." There were 4,271 pre-election interviews.



2017-07-26 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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

2017-09-19 Created Stata data file without labels for non-integer values, per user request.

Weighting is required for use of the 2016 ANES Time Series data to accurately represent the population, the data provided does not have any of following weights applied. Please use the following weights for each type of analysis:

  • V160102: Full sample using post-election survey only or both pre- and post-election survey data.
  • V160101: Full sample using pre-election survey data only.
  • V160102F: Face-to-face mode alone, using the post-election survey or both pre- and post-election survey data.
  • V160101F: Face-to-face mode alone, using pre-election survey data only.
  • V160102W: Internet mode alone, using data from both pre- and post-election or post-election alone.
  • V160101W: Internet mode alone, using data from only the pre-election survey.

For more information please see DeBell, How to Analyze ANES Survey Data.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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