National Black Election Study Series

Investigator(s): James S. Jackson, Patricia Gurin, and Shirley J. Hatchett

The National Black Election Study series was developed by the Program for Research on Black Americans at the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. It was begun in the spring of 1984 with funds from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation. The purpose of this data series was to provide large-scale scientific surveys and make possible in-depth investigation of the political attitudes, perceptions, and electoral behaviors of a large, representative national sample of adult Black Americans. The studies permit analyses and change in the Black community on a scale that had not been possible before the series began. The relatively large samples permit some exploration of special subgroups, in addition to the examination of demographic and socioeconomic subgroups. It also provides the capability of monitoring change in Black politics. The survey design involves pre- and post-election interviews undertaken in presidential election years. Data are provided on the political attitudes and political preferences and choices of adult Black voters and their choices for president in the presidential elections.