The ANES Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior

Which Party Had Most Members of Congress Before the Election 1958-2016

  '58 '60 '62 '64 '66 '68 '70 '72 '74 '76 '78 '80 '82 '84 '86 '88 '90 '92 '94 '96 '98 '00 '02 '04 '08 '12 '16
Incorrect, Don't Know, No 53
(956)
36
(665)
** 36
(519)
31
(393)
30
(409)
50
(757)
36
(404)
** 39
(945)
41
(929)
29
(405)
68
(960)
45
(862)
67
(1448)
41
(720)
51
(1010)
41
(921)
30
(526)
27
(403)
34
(441)
49
(764)
72
(951)
46
(490)
60
(1262)
28
(1322)
29
(1174)
Correct 47
(854)
64
(1161)
** 64
(924)
69
(892)
70
(934)
50
(746)
64
(706)
** 61
(1449)
59
(1358)
71
(1000)
32
(444)
55
(1072)
33
(724)
59
(1054)
49
(962)
59
(1330)
70
(1246)
73
(1101)
66
(840)
51
(780)
28
(363)
54
(571)
40
(847)
72
(3417)
71
(2927)
N 1810 1826 0 1443 1285 1343 1503 1110 0 2394 2287 1405 1404 1934 2172 1774 1972 2251 1772 1504 1281 1544 1314 1061 2109 4739 4101

Percentage Within Study Year
Table 1C.1.

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Question Text:

1958-1968: "Do you happen to know which party had the most Congressmen in Washington before the election this/last month?" (IF NECESSARY:) "Which one?"
1970 and later: "Do you happen to know which party had the most members in the House of Representatives in Washington before the elections (this/last) month?" (IF NECESSARY:) "Which one?"

Percent among demographic groups who responded:

Incorrect, DK/No
Correct

Note:

2012 and 2016 data are for the combined (face-to-face and internet) sample.

In 2012, in a manner comparable to all preceding Time Series studies, face-to-face respondents could reply with the name of the correct party, the name of the incorrect party, or a response of Don't Know.
In the 2012 Web instrument, however, a Don't Know category was not present (not appearing as an onscreen choice) for most survey questions.
For this question, many 2012 Internet Respondents who felt they did not know the answer and who did not guess simply passed over the question and are not represented in the valid data here. (Over 30 percent of face-to-face respondents answered Don't Know.)

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