Who votes in national elections? What are their preferences on issues? How important is their party identification? How does their demographic profile change over time? Reflecting an unbroken record of eighteen studies of voter behavior conducted biennially since 1952, this volume presents data on hundreds of elements influencing voters that will interest political scientists, journalists, consultants, and students of political history.
The information was obtained from face-to-face interviews with national full probability samples of all citizens of voting age, as part of the University of Michigan/National Election Studies conducted by the Center for Political Studies. The data provide both an unrivaled occasion to gain a deeper understanding of congressional and presidential elections, and a basis for making or challenging broad generalizations about American politics since World War II.
Major sections include personal characteristics (age, education, gender, religion, occupation, income, union membership, urbanism, race/ethnicity); partisanship (party identification, open-ended evaluations of parties and candidates); issues (ideological self-placement, issue preferences, perceptions of economic conditions); candidate traits; thermometer ratings of individuals and groups; voter preferences; media exposure; and voter turnout and political participation. The editors present these attributes in terms of stability and change and the sequence in which the various elements acquire relevance for the voter’s choice. The book is organized to give time-series distributions of data from all items included on three or more studies during the thirty-four years covered, and presents first-level analyses through a logically structured series of bivariate tables. It is the only book to include the basic data from National Election Studies.