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ANES 1978 Time Series Study (ICPSR 7655)

Alternate Title:   American National Election Study, 1978

Principal Investigator(s): Miller, Warren E., University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research. Center for Political Studies; National Election Studies/Center for Political Studies


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. In this post-election survey, major emphasis was placed on the respondent's evaluation of their congressional district's candidates, both the incumbent and opponent, along several dimensions. As in previous American National Election studies, this survey included a series of questions on the media coverage of the campaigns and scales that measured the respondent's positions on major social issues, including urban unrest, protection of the rights of the accused, aid to minority groups, government insurance plan, and women's role in society. The perceived position of the political parties, as well as certain political leaders, on these issues was also ascertained. In addition to the survey data, this file also contains several contextual components consisting of: (1) historical election returns at the state, congressional district, and county levels for elections to the offices of president, governor, and United States senator and representative, 1972-1976, (2) 1978 election returns for primary and general elections to the same offices, including precinct level returns, (3) voter validation variables, (4) information about media structure in the respondent's locale, (5) incumbent characteristics, including information pertaining to the incumbent U.S. representatives of the 95th Congress from the 108 congressional districts sampled in the survey (a major feature of this component is a series of performance ratings that each member of Congress received from certain interest groups and from the Congressional Quarterly), (6) candidate characteristics that apply to the Democratic and Republican candidates for the office of U.S. representative in the 1978 general elections (the latter data were obtained from a 1978 candidate questionnaire that was administered by Congressional Quarterly, Inc.), (7) information prepared by the Federal Election Commission on campaign expenditures and contributions for the offices of U.S. senator and U.S. representative, and (8) U.S. Census Bureau data containing social, economic, and demographic information recorded for the respondent's place of residence. Some of the Census data present information at the congressional district level drawn from the Congressional District Data Book (93rd Congress), as well as county-level Census tabulations prepared from the 1972 County and City Data Book. Additional information includes campaign materials collected from the headquarters of the Democratic and Republican congressional candidates, such as what types of campaign material existed and in how many varieties. Additionally, thematic dimensions of the campaign were coded from the campaign materials.

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


Miller, Warren E., and National Election Studies/Center for Political Studies. ANES 1978 Time Series Study. ICPSR07655-v4. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-11-10. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07655.v4

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07655.v4

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 (SOC77-08885)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    campaign finance, campaign literature, candidates, Carter Administration (1977-1981), census data, civil rights, congressional elections, domestic policy, economic conditions, election returns, foreign policy, gender roles, government performance, information sources, media coverage, minorities, national elections, political affiliation, political attitudes, political campaigns, political efficacy, political issues, political leaders, political participation, presidential elections, public approval, public opinion, special interest groups, trust in government, urban problems, voter expectations, voter history, voting behavior

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1978

Date of Collection:   

  • 1978

Universe:    All United States citizens of voting age residing in households.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Users should note that there are gaps in the variable numbering.

The SAS transport file was created using the SAS CPORT procedure.


Sample:    Probability sample of both United States citizens and congressional districts. The sample did not permit estimates of each district's constituency.

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.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-06-19

Version History:

  • 2015-11-10 The study metadata was updated
  • 2000-03-21 The data for this study are now available in SAS transport and SPSS export formats in addition to the ASCII data file, and a PDF version of the data collection instrument is now available. 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 also have been added. For several districts, it was discovered that race (V4) was incorrectly assigned in the 1978 data. In MS03, 24 cases have been recoded to 12. In NY19, 9 cases were recoded to 14, and in NY38, 14 cases were recoded to 24. Also, in case 1352, the congressional district was recoded to district 4. In addition, the six supplementary files containing United States Census Bureau data that were previously listed as Parts 2-7 are no longer being released with this data collection. The variables from these files had been added to the data in a previous release.

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