American Voting Behavior: Presidential Elections from 1952-1980 (ICPSR 7581)

Published: Jan 12, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
William H. Flanigan; Nancy Zingale

Version V1

This instructional package includes a student manual containing six exercises, an instructor's guide, and four subsets of data required for use in conjunction with the manual's exercises. The package's major purpose is to enable students to examine certain substantive questions about electoral behavior through analysis of political survey data. The manual avoids instruction in methodology, per se, hence the student is taken no further than the analysis of straightforward variables in percentagized tables with and without controls, and is introduced to epsilon, the percentage difference measures based on 2 X 2 tables, but offered no elaborate discussion of measures of association. The six structured exercises introduce the basic analytic techniques necessary for coping with survey data in the expectation that the students will then move on to their own topics. The datasets were designed to be both substantively and analytically interesting, as students are forced continually to make choices and judgments about which variables to use and how to combine code categories. Beyond this, the exercises serve a more complex purpose: to help the student gain a better understanding of the existing scholarly literature by going through steps similar to those of the original analysts. In some instances, the students can readily appreciate how close their work is to the analysis in assigned reading. The instructor's guide has two purposes: first, to help instructors use the student manual effectively, and second, to suggest various ways to depart from the six exercises and to develop essentially new manuals. The subsets (Parts 1-4) contain data from every presidential election survey that was conducted by the Survey Research Center (SRC) and Center for Political Studies (CPS) (at the University of Michigan) from 1952 to 1980. Part 4 contains an extensive set of variables drawn exclusively from the CPS's AMERICAN NATIONAL ELECTION STUDY, 1980 (ICPSR 7763). This is the only deck needed to complete the exercises in Exercises l-5. Part 1 includes small sets of comparable variables from each SRC/CPS presidential election study from 1952-1972. The variables in these decks were selected with the intention of providing students with a range of interesting possibilities for original research topics for term papers. Part 2 includes variables and respondents from panel surveys contained in AMERICAN NATIONAL ELECTION SERIES: 1972, 1974, 1976 (ICPSR 7607). This dataset may be used with Exercise 6. Supplementing the panel file is the data in Part 3, based on the cross-section survey, AMERICAN NATIONAL ELECTION STUDY, 1976 (7381). It repeats the variables from the 1976 component of the panel, with a much larger N. The AMERICAN NATIONAL ELECTION STUDY, 1976 (7381) may be used independently, as with the AMERICAN NATIONAL ELECTION STUDY, 1980 (ICPSR 7763), or it may be used in exercises comparing cross-section with panel data. Data used for the exercises were made available by ICPSR. The major analyses of these data have appeared in two publications: (1) University of Michigan. Survey Research Center. THE AMERICAN VOTER. New York, NY: Wiley, 1960, and (2) Campbell, Angus, Philip Converse, Warren Miller, and Donald Stokes. ELECTIONS AND THE POLITICAL ORDER. New York, NY: Wiley, 1966.

Flanigan, William H., and Zingale, Nancy. American Voting Behavior:  Presidential Elections from 1952-1980. Ann Arbor, MI: [distributor], 2006-01-12.

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1952 -- 1980

The codebooks, Student Manual for All Parts and the Guide to Instruction for All Parts, are provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.


survey data, and instructional guides



2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 6 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.

2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 5 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.


  • This study is intended for instructional use, and may be subsets of the original data. Variables and/or cases may have been removed to facilitate classroom use.

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

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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