American National Election Studies (ANES) 2010-2012

Why do Americans vote as they do on Election Day? The mission of the American National Election Studies (ANES) is to offer explanations of election outcomes by producing high quality data on voting, public opinion, and political participation to serve the research needs of social scientists, teachers, students, policy makers and journalists.  Supported by the National Science Foundation, the ANES provides researchers with a view of the political world through the eyes of ordinary citizens. Such data are critical, because these citizens' actions determine election outcomes.

Recently ANES was awarded $10 million by the NSF to study voter participation and decision-making in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, and in the mid-term elections of 2010.  The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) shares the award with IRiSS.   Principal Investigators are political science professors Simon Jackman and Gary Segura of Stanford University, along with University of Michigan political scientist Vincent Hutchings. 

The ANES is the longest political time series in the world, with data from every U.S. presidential election since Harry Truman’s unexpected victory in 1948.  An online Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior (www. electionstudies.org/nesguide/nesguide.htm) provides easy access to tables and graphs that display the ebb and flow of public opinion, electoral behavior, and choice in American politics over time. 

The 2012 study will include customary face-to-face interviews with national probability samples of eligible voters immediately prior to and following the presidential election. The 2012 study will also include large numbers of African-Americans and Latinos.  An internet-based pre- and post-presidential election survey will complement the traditional face-to-face study.

New to the current grant cycle, the ANES will also conduct a series of internet surveys called the 2010-2012 Evaluations of Government and Society. The overarching theme of the surveys is to gauge political perceptions during one of the most momentous periods in American history.

For more information about the American National Election Studies, visit the study website:  http://www.electionstudies.org/