NES logo

To: Members of the NES Research Community
From: Nancy Burns and Donald R. Kinder
Re: An Update about NES 2002
Date: August 8, 2002

We are writing with very good news. We just received word that NES 2002 is on - thanks to the generous support of private foundations and the University of Michigan.

As you know, the National Science Foundation awarded funds to NES to support a study in 2004 but did not provide funds to support a midterm election study in 2002. This seemed to us a tremendous scientific loss, and so we have been working to secure funds from private foundations to support an NES study in 2002.

As the NES Board outlined in its April memo to you, the 2002 NES will reinterview the respondents from the 2000 NES and will add a small fresh cross-section to account for panel attrition and panel conditioning. In order to use time-series instrumentation for the congressional battery, we will carry out both a pre-election and a post-election study. The pre-election study allows us to verify respondents' addresses so that we can use instrumentation tailored to the respondent's congressional district in the post-election interview. We will interview respondents for 30 minutes before the election and 30 minutes afterwards. All interviews will be carried out over the telephone by the Center for Survey Research at Indiana University.

This study will allow scholars to assess what sense Americans of all ages (and - thanks to the CIRCLE Foundation - especially young Americans) made of the terrorist attacks of 2001 and the election contest of 2000. We will be able to chart the causes and consequences of changes in a wide variety of outcomes - social trust, civic engagement, political participation, and public opinion, to name a few. Thanks to the Russell Sage Foundation, we will include a special module of questions on economic inequality - pushing on the conditions under which economic inequality could be a political issue and the reasons why it is not.

We are excited about this study and the contributions it will make to the understanding of elections, participation, public opinion, institutions, and democracy.

Thanks, very much, to those of you who took the time to send us suggestions about the contours of the study this past spring. Your suggestions have proven to be very helpful in designing the study.

We'll have more to say at our public meeting at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. We hope you'll be there. The meeting will be at our regular time: 10-12 A.M. Saturday, August 31st, in Salon B at the Marriott Copley Place. See you in Boston!

Nancy Burns Donald R. Kinder
Principal Investigator Co-Principal Investigator
National Election Studies National Election Studies