Our Studies

An ANES study represents one or more interviews conducted with a sample of U.S. eligible voters during one or more interview periods. Most often, the sample is designed to be representative at the national level only, and is not selected to represent states or smaller areas. ANES studies fall into several general categories:

Time Series Studies
ANES Time Series studies have been conducted since 1948, typically through in-person interviewing, during years of biennial national elections. Topics cover voting behavior and the elections, together with questions on public opinion and attitudes of the electorate. In all Time Series studies, an interview is completed just after the election (the Post-election or "Post" interview); during years of Presidential elections an interview is also completed just before the election (the Pre-election or "Pre" interview). ANES studies are documented in a comprehensive table
Pilot Studies
ANES Pilot studies have tested content and methodology for forthcoming Time Series studies in interviews that are usually administered by telephone. Pilots have been conducted 'between' most of the Time Series studies since 1979. Most often, a selection of respondents from the latest completed Time Series Study is interviewed. ANES studies are documented in a comprehensive table
Panel Studies
Panel Studies have been conducted frequently by ANES, each collecting data over a selected time period of special interest. Panel studies reinterview a sample of respondents over the chosen period, for example during a specific election campaign in order to track changes in attitudes and opinions as the campaign develops and to examine the effects of events occurring during the campaign. ANES studies are documented in a comprehensive table
Other Studies
On occasion, other ANES studies are conducted which do not fall into the other catergories listed here. Each of these studies are unique in purpose and design, for example the ANES 1988 Super Tuesday Study which interviewed respondents in 16 states having primaries on Super Tuesday. ANES studies are documented in a comprehensive table
ANES data for individual studies are released and available from the online ANES Data Center. A study release includes a data file which may be read into statistical software (and then analyzed), along with documentation for the variables in the data and other documentation describing the study.

In addition to data for individual studies, a number of ANES derivative files have been released which combine data from related studies. This is most common when an ANES study includes within its sample respondents from a previous ANES study who are being re-interviewed in the current study: ANES will typically produce for the convenience of analysts a file that contains data merged from all the interviews across the studies. Derivative files may also merge data from studies which are related in other ways, for example separate studies that administer the same set of questions to different samples, such as samples which are selected using different methods, or samples of respondents who are interviewed using different modes (in-person versus telephone, web-based, etc.).

Detailed specifications for all the studies and files that are downloadable from the ANES Data Center are available in a comprehensive table ordered by reverse chronology.


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