Voting Behavior: The 2008 Election

by Charles Prysby and Carmine Scavo

About the Project

Voting Behavior: The 2008 Election is a new SETUPS (Supplementary Empirical Teaching Units in Political Science) that offers students the ability to analyze an accessible dataset drawn from the 2008 American National Election Study (ANES) survey of the American electorate. Charles Prysby and Carmine Scavo, who have coauthored the voting behavior SETUPS modules since 1984, developed this new SETUPS module to provide students with the opportunity to analyze data from the most recent presidential election. This instructional module is part of a long line of voting behavior SETUPS, which began with the 1972 election. For over 30 years, the American Political Science Association (APSA) and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) have collaborated to develop and distribute the SETUPS instructional modules. The 2008 SETUPS module continues the model begun in 2004 of being completely online, including the data analysis components. We hope that users find this approach desirable, and we welcome feedback from users.

We are extremely grateful to ICPSR for its support of this project. Sue Hodge and Lynette Hoelter provided overall administrative leadership of this project, beginning with the initial conception. Wendi Fornoff spearheaded the design of the website. Her ability to translate our materials into attractive and smoothly functioning Web pages was critical for the success of the project. Dave Thomas, Kevin Kappala, and Peggy Overcashier were responsible for integrating our dataset with the online data analysis system (SDA). Jon Brode provided the online analysis access based on IP address range. We appreciate their efforts, not least because they were done efficiently within a very short time.

--Charles Prysby and Carmine Scavo

View SETUPS brochure (PDF 832K)

About the Authors

Charles Prysby is a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1973. He has coauthored each of the voting behavior SETUPS packages, beginning with the first one, which covered the 1972 election. He also is the author or coauthor of a number of other publications on elections, voting behavior, and political parties.

Carmine Scavo is an associate professor political science at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1986. He has been the coauthor of each of the voting behavior SETUPS since 1984. He is also the author or coauthor of publications on voting behavior, e-government, and local governance.

Contact Us

For questions about SETUPS content, please contact:

Charles Prysby

Carmine Scavo

For questions about the website or technical issues with the online analysis system, please contact


Members of either APSA (departmental) or ICPSR have access rights to the online analysis utilities as part of their membership benefits.

ICPSR Member Institutions

To access the online analysis utilities, ICPSR members must be signed up with ICPSR Direct. With ICPSR Direct, any user with a MyData or MyClass account and an authorized IP address from a member institution may access SETUPS 2008.

How do I know if I am an ICPSR member?

APSA Departmental Members

To access the online analysis utilities, APSA departmental members should first log in to the APSA website using their departmental credentials: From the DSP Member Benefits section, click on the "2004 & 2008 SETUPS: Voting Behavior" link.

Note that registration must be completed prior to obtaining faculty/student access and requires your institution's IP range. Contact your local technical support/computer services staff to obtain your IP range prior to registration.

Nonmembers of ICPSR and APSA

Please contact APSA at (202) 483-2512 or for access alternatives and fees for nonmembers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I obtain the raw dataset?

    The analysis exercises were built from a subset of the 2008 ANES. That subset is not available for download from this website. If you're interested in obtaining a copy of the subset, please contact the authors or use the subset feature in SDA to create one.

  2. How do I cite this project/site?

    Prysby, Charles, Carmine Scavo, American Political Science Association, and Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. SETUPS: Voting Behavior: The 2008 Election [website]. Greensboro, NC: Charles Prysby, University of North Carolina at Greesnboro/Greenville, NC: Carmine Scavo, East Carolina University/Washington, DC: American Political Science Association/Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producers], 2005. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009.

About the Image Used on this Site

The original image was created 15 October 2008 by Artcompas. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License. In short: you are free to share and make derivative works of the file under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license identical to this one.