ANES 2008 Time Series Study (ICPSR 25383)

Version Date: Nov 10, 2015 View help for published

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The American National Election Studies (ANES)


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American National Election Study, 2008: Pre- and Post-Election Survey

This study is part of the American National Election Study (ANES), a time-series collection of national surveys fielded continuously since 1952. 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. The 2008 ANES data consists of a time series study conducted both before and after the 2008 presidential election in the United States. It entailed both a pre-election interview and a post-election re-interview. A freshly drawn cross section of the electorate was taken, yielding 1,212 cases. Like its predecessors, the 2008 ANES was divided between questions necessary for tracking long-term trends and questions necessary to understand the particular political moment of 2008. The study maintains and extends the ANES time-series 'core' by collecting data on Americans' basic political beliefs, allegiances, and behaviors: aspects of political belief and action so basic to the understanding of politics that they are monitored at every election, no matter the nature of the specific campaign or the broader setting. The study also carried topical and study-specific instrumentation. Questions covering issues prominent in 2008 addressed job outsourcing, private investment of Social Security funds, and President Bush's tax cut. Americans' views on foreign policy, the war on terrorism, and the Iraq War and its consequences were also addressed. In addition, the study carried expanded instrumentation on inflation, immigration, gender politics, and gay and lesbian politics. It also extended the experiment on the measurement of voter turnout that began in 2002. Demographic variables include respondent age, education level, political affiliation, race/ethnicity, marital status, and family composition.

Additional information about the ANES time series collection can be found on the American National Election Study (ANES) Web site.

The American National Election Studies (ANES). ANES 2008 Time Series Study. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-11-10.

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National Science Foundation (SES-0535334, SES-0720428, and SES-0840550), United States Department of Homeland Security (SES-0651271), University of Michigan, Stanford University
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2008-09-02 -- 2008-11-03 (Pre-election Survey), 2008-11-05 -- 2008-12-30 (Post-election Survey)
  1. Please refer to the American National Election Study (ANES) Web site for information on changes to the collection.

  2. Produced by a collaboration between the University of Michigan and Stanford University.


The main goal of the ANES Time Series studies is to allow a broad cross-section of scholars and citizens analyze high quality survey data pertinent to important questions about vote choice, turnout and related matters in the context of the 2008 federal election.

National multistage area probability sample. Refer to section 3, "Sample Design", of the User Guide for details.

All United States citizens of voting age on or before the 2008 Election Day. Eligible citizens must have resided in housing units in the 48 coterminous states. This definition excludes persons living in Alaska or Hawaii and requires eligible persons to have been both a United States citizen and aged 18 on or before November 2, 2008.



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • The American National Election Studies (ANES). ANES 2008 Time Series Study. ICPSR25383-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-11-10.

2015-11-10 The study metadata has been updated.

2012-08-30 Data updated to the February 17, 2012 version. Updated codebook, including adding original P.I. codebook to the ICPSR-produced codebook. Notation of errata added to User Guide. SDA for this collection has been updated.

2009-06-10 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:

  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Unlike oversamples present in previous ANES Time Series studies (1964, 1968, and 1970), the oversamples in the ANES 2008 Time Series Study are integral to the cross-section, which can only be represented with the use of the sample weights provided in the dataset. The inclusion of the "oversample" cases when representing the 2008 Time Series cross-section provides improved estimates for the Latino and African American populations of eligible voters.

There are two sets of sample weights. The first set of weights is centered at a mean of 1.0; these are variable V080101 (pre-election) and V080102 (Post-election). The second set of weights represent population V080101a (pre-election) and V080102 (Post-election). The pre-election sample weights are the product of the household non-response adjustment factor by age and education. The post-election sample weights are adjusted for attrition.

Note: The household weight (V080103) used in creation of the sample weight is also available. Additional information on the construction of the ANES 2008 Time Series weight variables will become available later this year.

Analyses intended to generalize to the target population should be weighted. The unweighted data are not representative of the target population, so unweighted estimates of population percentages and means are wrong. Also, due to the complex sample design of the ANES, sampling errors and related statistics (including confidence intervals, p-values, t-tests, and all other tests of statistical significance) should not be calculated using methods intended for simple random samples.