Author Archives: American National Election Studies


Determinants of Attitudes Toward Immigration

When measuring attitudes toward immigrants and immigration policy in the United States, extant scholarship relies mainly on demographic traits and economic arguments as explanatory variables (Hainmueller and Hopkins 2014, 2015). There is solid support for sociotropic explanations of support for immigration, such as perceptions of highly skilled immigrants’ potential contributions to society at large (Hainmueller and Hopkins 2014, 2015), as well as ethnocentric reasons for resistance (Hainmueller and Hopkins 2015; Valentino, Brader, and Jardina 2012). The literature is less favorable to labor market theories (Hainmueller and Hopkins), though sufficient evidence of the influence of household economic conditions exists to preclude their exclusion (Wilkinson 2015).

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Self-Monitoring

The degree to which individuals are influenced by social pressures can be captured in a
survey measure known as self-monitoring. Political scientists increasingly recognize its
importance in survey response (e.g. Terkildsen 1994; Berinsky 2004; Berinsky and
Lavine 2006; Weber, Huddy, Lavine, and Federico 2014; Klar and Krupnikov 2016).
Self-monitoring hinges on the notion that individuals vary in their degree of “expressive
control,” differing with respect to “lying, concealing one’s true intentions, or presenting
an inauthentic self” (Gangestad and Snyder 2000, 530). High self-monitors are more
sensitive to self-presentation, situational cues, and self-image. Low self-monitors, on the
other hand, are more likely to rely on internal states, such as values, attitudes, and general
beliefs.

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Measuring Contempt toward Candidates in the 2016 Presidential Election

New data indicate that contempt accounts for significant variance (beyond the standard ANES emotions of fear and anger) in candidate evaluations in the 2016 presidential election. This converges with evidence of the unique influence of contempt in the 1995 and 2008 presidential elections, and in a 2014 U.S. Senate election. To measure its effect on voting and other election-related variables, we propose adding contempt, measured by a single item (shown in bold on p. 8), to the existing ANES emotion battery.

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Attitudes towards Services in Spanish

The presence of Spanish in the United States is in constant progression. Not only is the proportion of the Hispanic population in growth (Humes et al. 2011), but the range of services offered in Spanish by the government (federal, state and local) and private businesses are also increasing (Helpford 2015, Macías 2014). The case can be made that Spanish has become a de facto national language of the United States.

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Conspiratorial Thinking in American Politics

Though recent research has found that a majority of Americans believe at least one conspiracy theory, fairly few individuals exhibit strong beliefs about any given conspiracy theory. Consider, for example, the conspiracy theory questions fielded on the 2012 American National Election Study (ANES) Time Series. Questions were asked about Barack Obama’s birthplace, a “death panels” provision in the Affordable Care Act, advance governmental knowledge of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the role of the government in the levy breaches that occurred in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. These “conspiracies” vary substantially in political and cultural context, salience, and susceptibility to measurement error related to social desirability bias and partisan motivated reasoning. All of the factors bias — or, at least, complicate — our ability to estimate the predisposition of interest: conspiratorial thinking. In the following pages we outline a set of questions that circumvents the problems associated with questions about specific conspiracy theories and present pre-testing information regarding the reliability, validity, predictive power, and potential future uses of the proposed items.

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Quantitative Predictions of State and National Election Outcomes

Can ordinary citizens predict election outcomes? This question is of growing importance in political science for several reasons. First, given declining response rates and increased use of mobile phones, scholars are increasingly looking to crowd-sourced predictions as a supplement for more traditional forecasting methods (Zukin 2015; Graefe 2014). Second, expectations of election out- comes have been used to gain insight into partisan motivated reasoning (Thibodeau et al. 2015; Daniller et al. 2013; Enos and Hersh 2015). Third, given the increasing use of elections as “natural experiments,” it is important to gauge how unexpected these outcomes truly are through the use of pre-election forecasts (Snowberg et al. 2007; Gerber and Huber 2010; Caughey and Sekhon 2011).

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Issue Salience, Ownership, and Cross-Pressures in the American Electorate

There has been a surge of interest in the estimation of voter positions in ideological space in recent years. Some of this work uses the familiar liberal-conservative dimension to model voter ideal points (Abramowitz and Saunders, 2008; Jessee, 2009; Hare, 2015), while other work expands the ideological space to encompass multiple policy dimensions (Treier and Hillygus, 2009; Carmines, Ensley and Wagner, 2012; Lupton, Myers and Thornton, 2015). At the same time, there has also been a resurgence of work on the role of policy cross-pressures in the American electorate (Hillygus and Shields, 2008). As the parties move farther apart on the liberal-conservative spectrum, cross- pressured voters|those who pair left-wing economic positions with right-wing social attitudes and vice versa|face a starker choice between the two primary issue dimensions in American politics.

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Differentiating Discrete Emotions: Contempt and Anger

By a net addition of four questions (shown in boldface on pp. 7-8) to measures used on prior ANES surveys, we propose to differentiate between contempt and anger felt toward presidential candidates in the 2016 Pilot and Time Series studies. Recent developments in theory and research argue for the existence and universality of the emotion of contempt, its differentiation from anger, and its increasing presence in negative campaigning. Addressing current controversies about negative advertising, affective intelligence, and the role of dimensional vs. discrete emotions in electoral behavior, adding these items will allow researchers to test whether anger and contempt have distinct relationships to perceptions of candidate traits (such as competence and leadership), feeling thermometer ratings, turnout, and choice.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Measuring Race/Ethnicity in a “Post-Obama” Era

Our proposal centers around a new item to measure respondents’ racial/ethnic self-identification. This item enables a test of a lingering gap between theory and practice. Theoretically, social science accepts a constructivist view of group identities like race and ethnicity – that they are socially defined and vary across contexts of structural constraint, social interaction, and individual choice. Empirically, while most social surveys now allow respondents to identify with more than one race/ethnicity, the underlying concept in extant measurement remains fixed and categorical. If a more contingent, continuous reality were measured categorically, this gap between theory and practice would be potentially consequential – both to our study of racial/ethnic politics and to any aspects of electoral politics more generally where a person’s race/ethnicity is a contributing factor.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Proposal for the ANES 2016 Pilot Study: Citizens’ evaluations of the fulfillment of election pledges

1. Exact wording of proposed question(s) (including for questions that have been asked in previous ANES surveys). [Please note that the primary mandate of ANES is to explain vote choices and turnout. However, this mandate can be advanced in many different ways that incorporate insights from many different disciplines or approaches.]

Before the 2012 presidential election, the following promises were made in the Democratic Party Platform. For each of these, do you think the promise was fully kept, partially kept, or not kept at all? (answer categories: “fully kept”, “partially kept”, “not kept” and “don’t know”)

1. A promise to extend tax cuts for families who make less than $250,000 a year.
2. A promise to substantially reduce the population at Guantánamo Bay.
3. A promise to raise and index the minimum wage to inflation.
4. A promise to make it illegal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
5. A promise to significantly reduce the pollution that causes climate change.

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Proposal for 2016 Pilot Study: Untangling Dislike for the Opposing Party from a Dislike of Parties

Recent scholarship suggests unprecedented levels of polarization among the American public. In particular, this polarization is not founded in ideological leanings, but rather in affect. People, it seems, dislike the other party more than they ever have before (Iyengar et al. 2012). In fact, as Iyengar and Westwood (2014) argue, partisanship creates a sharper divide amongst individuals than race. This affective polarization has deepened over the last decade (Iyengar et al 2012).

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Voting with Their Feet and Wallet

The ANES traditionally asks about several forms of political participation and election involvement— such as wearing a campaign button and contacting an elected official. Nevertheless, new technologies and a polarized political climate present myriad ways for politically interested citizens to articulate and act on their preferences. One understudied modern form of political participation is political consumerism—or the practice or buying or boycotting certain goods or services for political reasons. In analysis of data from the 2014 CCES, we find that such behaviors are relatively common—approximately 40% of Americans engage in one or both activities. Given the prevalence of these activities, we propose to add to the 2016 Pilot Study questions that measure these behaviors as well as the attitudes and opinions that underlie these behaviors.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Supplementing Skin tone Measurement from the 2012 ANES

A variety of social science and public health research has demonstrated the importance of skin
tone in the every day life of African Americans. For example, when comparing light and dark
skinned blacks, it is consistently found that darker skinned blacks experience worse
socioeconomic outcomes (Branigan et al. 2013; Hill 2000; Monk 2014), greater labor market and
wage discrimination (Goldsmith, Hamilton, and Darity 2007; Harrison and Thomas 2009; Wade
Romano, and Blue 2004), more punitive criminal justice decisions (Blair et al. 2004; Eberhardt
et al. 2006; Viglione and DeFina 2010), greater social rejection from whites (Hebl et al. 2012), as
well as poorer physical and mental health related outcomes (Klonoff and Landrine 2000;
Thompson and Keith 2001). Still, the field of political science has had little opportunity to
explore how skin tone relates to the political world given the lack of measurement of skin color.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Individual Listening Styles: Short Form of Listening Styles Profile-Revised (LSP-R8)

Given how democracy is based inherently on difference, it is no surprise that much research on political talk, during election seasons and beyond, has focused on exposure to disagreement (i.e., “hearing the other side,” Mutz, 2006). However, whether the individuals involved in the disagreement benefit from or are harmed by this exposure to disagreement may very well depend on how they approach such interactions. Scholarship in this area shows that exposure to disagreement, often facilitated by the heterogeneity of one’s social and political networks, does not have consistent effects (see Schmitt-Beck & Lup, 2013 for a recent review). On the one hand, network heterogeneity is positively associated with political participation (McLeod, Scheufele, & Moy, 1999) and expressing one’s opinion in various arenas (Krassa, 1990; Nir, 2011). On the other hand, an increase in viewpoints also can increase the perceived complexity of discussed issues and thereby impede own action or at least not make it more likely to happen (see Rojas, 2008).

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Differentiating Discrete Emotions: Contempt and Anger

By a net addition of four questions (shown in boldface on pp. 7-8) to measures used on prior ANES surveys, we propose to differentiate between contempt and anger felt toward presidential candidates in the 2016 Pilot and Time Series studies. Recent developments in theory and research argue for the existence and universality of the emotion of contempt, its differentiation from anger, and its increasing presence in negative campaigning. Addressing current controversies about negative advertising, affective intelligence, and the role of dimensional vs. discrete emotions in electoral behavior, adding these items will allow researchers to test whether anger and contempt have distinct relationships to perceptions of candidate traits (such as competence and leadership), feeling thermometer ratings, turnout, and choice.

Read the full proposal


Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Differentiating Discrete Emotions: Contempt and Anger

By a net addition of four questions (shown in boldface on pp. 7-8) to measures used on prior ANES surveys, we propose to differentiate between contempt and anger felt toward presidential candidates in the 2016 Pilot and Time Series studies. Recent developments in theory and research argue for the existence and universality of the emotion of contempt, its differentiation from anger, and its increasing presence in negative campaigning. Addressing current controversies about negative advertising, affective intelligence, and the role of dimensional vs. discrete emotions in electoral behavior, adding these items will allow researchers to test whether anger and contempt have distinct relationships to perceptions of candidate traits (such as competence and leadership), feeling thermometer ratings, turnout, and choice.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: White Racial Consciousness in the U.S.

Two decades of mass immigration to the U.S., the election of America’s first black president, and the nation’s growing non-white population have dramatically changed the political and social landscape. In response, public discourse in the U.S. seems to have increasingly reflected a particular set of concerns about the nation’s racial dynamics, paying mounting attention to the prospect that across the country’s social and political institutions, the dominance of whites, as a racial group, seems to be in jeopardy. There is growing evidence that in response to this threat, whites are increasingly identifying with their racial group, and this group attachment has important political consequences. I argue that social scientists need to go beyond measuring racial identity among whites; they need to consider white group consciousness. In support of this proposal, I present a rationale for examining group consciousness, propose a three-item question battery that measures the different dimensions of this construct reliably, and provide results from a pilot study, which show that 1) substantial portions of white Americans possess a racial group consciousness; 2) that group consciousness is distinct from traditional measures of racial animus; and 3) even after controlling for racial resentment, white group consciousness powerfully predicts key political evaluations in expected and distinct ways.

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: The Nitty Gritty: The Unexplored Role of Grit and Perseverance in Political Participation

Political scientists and policymakers have long lamented the consistently dismal levels of civic
engagement in the United States. Despite widespread recognition that low levels of voter turnout are a concern for American democracy, it remains unclear how to remedy the problem. Existing theories of participation share the fundamental assumption that voting is costly. In addition to the informational costs associated with becoming informed about elections and registering to vote, citizens face a number of obstacles in turning out to vote, including locating and traveling to polling locations and navigating long lines on Election Day. In the United States, the costs of participation are incurred repeatedly, given the large number of elections held and the need to re-register with any changes in home address. Existing theories of participation focus on the individual resources—especially education, income, and mobilizing social networks—that enable individuals to participate. Individuals with higher levels of educational attainment have the cognitive resources to figure out voting requirements and make sense of the noise of political campaigns. Those with higher incomes have the ability to absorb the financial costs of participating. Those at the top end of the education and income distributions are also more likely to be in social networks where they will be asked to participate. Yet, policy efforts based on these theories have been notoriously unsuccessful.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: The Nitty Gritty: The Unexplored Role of Grit and Perseverance in Political Participation

Political scientists and policymakers have long lamented the consistently dismal levels of civic
engagement in the United States. Despite widespread recognition that low levels of voter turnout are a concern for American democracy, it remains unclear how to remedy the problem. Existing theories of participation share the fundamental assumption that voting is costly. In addition to the informational costs associated with becoming informed about elections and registering to vote, citizens face a number of obstacles in turning out to vote, including locating and traveling to polling locations and navigating long lines on Election Day. In the United States, the costs of participation are incurred repeatedly, given the large number of elections held and the need to re-register with any changes in home address. Existing theories of participation focus on the individual resources—especially education, income, and mobilizing social networks—that enable individuals to participate. Individuals with higher levels of educational attainment have the cognitive resources to figure out voting requirements and make sense of the noise of political campaigns. Those with higher incomes have the ability to absorb the financial costs of participating. Those at the top end of the education and income distributions are also more likely to be in social networks where they will be asked to participate. Yet, policy efforts based on these theories have been notoriously unsuccessful.

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Proposal for the 2016 ANES Time Series Study: Reasons for Electoral Non-Participation

Today the ability of all Americans to effectively exercise the right to vote is far from guaranteed. However, the existing public opinion datasets rarely delve into the respondent’s reasons for not participating in electoral politics, especially reasons for not registering to vote or voting. Researchers cannot assume that non-participants are always lacking the interest to participate; rather they may provide a valid reason for their non-participation. The reasons can also be assessed for the combined impact of diverse respondents’ identities, by examining whether particular identity groups are more impacted by potential hurdles to their electoral participation. The Census CPS 2014 Voting and Registration Supplement provides a rare opportunity to assess the multiple reasons for respondent’s lack of electoral participation. This type of survey data is critical to examining the influence of possible suppression efforts on respondent’s ability and/or likelihood to register and vote. The ANES provides a great avenue for further examining respondent’s reasons for not participating in electoral politics.

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Proposal for the 2016 ANES Pilot Study: Reasons for Electoral Non-Participation

Today the ability of all Americans to effectively exercise the right to vote is far from guaranteed. However, the existing public opinion datasets rarely delve into the respondent’s reasons for not participating in electoral politics, especially reasons for not registering to vote or voting. Researchers cannot assume that non-participants are always lacking the interest to participate; rather they may provide a valid reason for their non-participation. The reasons can also be assessed for the combined impact of diverse respondents’ identities, by examining whether particular identity groups are more impacted by potential hurdles to their electoral participation. The Census CPS 2014 Voting and Registration Supplement provides a rare opportunity to assess the multiple reasons for respondent’s lack of electoral participation. This type of survey data is critical to examining the influence of possible suppression efforts on respondent’s ability and/or likelihood to register and vote. The ANES provides a great avenue for further examining respondent’s reasons for not participating in electoral politics.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Adaptive Personality Inventories for Measuring Need for Cognition and Need to Evaluate

Recent scholarship in political science has increasingly emphasized the role of personality traits in explaining public opinion and political behavior. This research has greatly expanded our understanding of how personality fundamentally structures decisionmaking, attitudes, and learning. However, political science literature has only scratched the surface in understanding the ways in which personality traits shape attitudes and behavior and how traits are in turn affected by political events. One explanation for this failure is surely that most established personality inventories contain far too many questions for inclusion on surveys. Standard practices in social and cognitive psychology result in evaluative batteries containing dozens or even hundreds of question items. For example, Cacioppo and Petty (1982) originally proposed a 40-item battery to measure need for cognition. Later, they proposed an “efficient” battery containing 18 questions chosen from the original 40 Cacioppo and Petty (1984).

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Conflict Orientation and Political Behavior

Increasingly, research into political behavior has found that individuals’ personalities and predispositions—even those that appear to have little to do with politics–influence their political choices. To this end, the ANES has included additional psychological measures, such as the Ten Item Personality Inventory, in recent Time Series studies. However, measuring basic personality traits like the Big Five is only the first step in unpacking the ways in which stable psychological traits vary across Americans and inform their vote choice and political participation. I propose that individuals’ predispositions towards conflict, an inherent part of the political process, provide further insight into political behavior, particularly in the contemporary context of heightened incivility, disagreement and polarization. I offer evidence from multiple online surveys and past research by other scholars to demonstrate the relationship between political participation and conflict orientation, as well as the importance of conflict orientation to political science as a discipline.

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Proposal for 2016 ANES Time Series Study: Support for Diverse Political Candidates

There are potential discriminatory experiences for female, racial/ethnic minority, and LGBT political candidates. Respondents may feel a linked fate with diverse political candidates and therefore demonstrate more support for them. However, most public opinion datasets do not ask about the respondent’s likelihood of supporting diverse political candidates. The 2008 ANES contains a few questions that allow for an exploration of voter support for female candidates. This includes four questions designed to “examine whether respondents evaluate male and female representatives differently depending on policy area and the representative’s political party”1 (Clawson and Oxley, 2010). However, there is a need to provide questions that will allow for a truly intersectional analysis of the combined impact of candidates’ identities, controlling for party, as opposed to the traditional interaction-based analysis.

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Proposal for 2016 ANES Pilot Study: Support for Diverse Political Candidates

There are potential discriminatory experiences for female, racial/ethnic minority, and LGBT political candidates. Respondents may feel a linked fate with diverse political candidates and therefore demonstrate more support for them. However, most public opinion datasets do not ask about the respondent’s likelihood of supporting diverse political candidates. The 2008 ANES contains a few questions that allow for an exploration of voter support for female candidates. This includes four questions designed to “examine whether respondents evaluate male and female representatives differently depending on policy area and the representative’s political party”1 (Clawson and Oxley, 2010). However, there is a need to provide questions that will allow for a truly intersectional analysis of the combined impact of candidates’ identities, controlling for party, as opposed to the traditional interaction-based analysis.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: The Need for Cognitive Closure

Democratic theorists have long espoused Gabriel Tarde’s view that democracy is based on difference. These differences are ubiquitous, manifesting themselves across institutions, political parties, and individuals, and generating considerable variance in political opinion formation and voting behavior. Within the realm of political communication, particularly in the many recent studies of political deliberation, scholars have become increasingly concerned with the antecedents and outcomes of citizens’ exposure to divergent points of view in political discussion (see Held, 2006).

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Name-Induced Race Effects on Political Efficacy Anchoring Vignette Questions

Political efficacy is an important construct in understanding political behavior and voting patterns. Self-assessment political efficacy questions have been included in the American National Election Studies (ANES) for decades, including both internal efficacy questions1 and external efficacy questions2. One commonly used question to measure external efficacy is “How much say / Have no say about what government does” (Hopkins & King, 2010).

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Social Media Questions

Social networking sites are undeniably popular. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are
among the top ten most popular sites globally (Alexa, 2015). Facebook celebrated its tenth
birthday with over one billion active users worldwide (Sedghi, 2014). In the United States, 72%
of Internet users are on Facebook (Duggan, 2015).

The impact of social media on political campaigns has been the focus of several recent
books (Gainous & Wagner, 2014; Stromer-Galley, 2014) and articles (e.g., Hargittai & Shaw,
2013; Towner, 2013). The publications are critical for illuminating campaign’s use of social
media in the United States. The books employ personal interviews, content analysis, and survey
data to examine the role of social media in election campaigns. At the 2015 APSA meeting, six
presentations illustrated the use of social media in election campaigns in the United States and
globally (see presentations by Sarah Pickard, Rosalyn Southern, Michael J. Jensen, Shannon
McGregor, Rachel Gibson, Cristian Vaccari). None of these studies mention the American
National Election Study as a source of information about social media use during election
campaigns. I would like to propose questions for inclusion in the 2016 Pilot Study. These
questions would establish the prevalence of social media use for creating connections between
citizens and the variety of political actors in election campaigns.

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series Study: Authoritarianism, Social Dominance, and Generalized Prejudice

In July 2013, scales measuring Right-­‐Wing Authoritarianism and Social Dominance Orientation were included in an ANES study for the first time when a subsample of panelists who had been randomly selected from the 2012 Time Series Study internet sample were re-­‐interviewed. We had initially proposed these ‘short, reliable scales’ (Smith, Hanley & McWilliams, 2011) on the basis of pilot national data indicating that these measures powerfully predict a wide range of attitudes and prejudices. This finding, in turn, amplified and extended findings long reported in many less comprehensive studies. Our original hypothesis was that including Right-­‐Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) and Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) scales would enhance the capacity of the Times Series Study to predict prejudice. That hypothesis is now strongly supported by the evidence from the 2013 study, both for anti-­‐Black prejudices (Smith, Hanley, McWilliams, 2014) and for homophobia (Smith, Hanley, Willson, Alvord, 2015). On this ground, we hope to see the RWA_5 and SDO_4 scales included in future Times Series Studies including the 2016 study.

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series Study: The New Identity Frontier: Explaining Public Opinion toward Transgender People & Rights

Over the past several years, attitudes toward LGBT Americans have received increased attention in political science, building on decades of existing scholarship on the LGBT community elsewhere in the social sciences (see Vallely 2012). The vast majority of this work, however, can be more accurately described as attitudes toward LGB Americans, often entirely neglecting the T in the acronym. While LGB rights have seen recent victories and explicit discrimination is on the decline in many areas, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals (TGN) continue to face overt discrimination at home, school and work, at doctor’s offices, and at the hands of landlords and police officers. While TGN individuals are beginning to enter public consciousness—e.g. former Olympian Caitlin Jenner; imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning; Laverne Cox and her character Sophia Burset on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black; and through appearances of transgender individuals on popular programs by author Janet Mock on The Colbert Report— they remain astoundingly vulnerable to explicit discrimination, unemployment, detachment from family structures and social institutions, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, extreme poverty, suicide, and violence.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: The New Identity Frontier: Explaining Public Opinion toward Transgender People & Rights

Over the past several years, attitudes toward LGBT Americans have received increased attention in political science, building on decades of existing scholarship on the LGBT community elsewhere in the social sciences (see Vallely 2012). The vast majority of this work, however, can be more accurately described as attitudes toward LGB Americans, often entirely neglecting the T in the acronym. While LGB rights have seen recent victories and explicit discrimination is on the decline in many areas, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals (TGN) continue to face overt discrimination at home, school and work, at doctor’s offices, and at the hands of landlords and police officers. While TGN individuals are beginning to enter public consciousness—e.g. former Olympian Caitlin Jenner; imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning; Laverne Cox and her character Sophia Burset on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black; and through appearances of transgender individuals on popular programs by author Janet Mock on The Colbert Report— they remain astoundingly vulnerable to explicit discrimination, unemployment, detachment from family structures and social institutions, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, extreme poverty, suicide, and violence.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Dehumanization and the Role of Biological Racism in Politics

Research on racial attitudes is rife with disagreement. Scholars debate the very nature of
contemporary racial attitudes, the way in which they are measured, and the extent to which they are implicit or explicit. At the same time, however, as Hutchings (2015) writes, there is a “near consensus among scholars that more modern forms of prejudice have generally displaced ‘old-fashioned’ forms of racial bias.” We propose a two-question battery, which measures a concept that challenges this conventional wisdom: items that capture white dehumanization of blacks. Specifically, these questions measure an individual level propensity among whites to view blacks as less than fully human – a phenomenon that we argue is widespread and has significant implications for our broader understanding of racial conflict in the U.S. In support of this proposal, we present analyses from a pilot study of a convenience sample of white Americans. These analyses show that (1) substantial proportions of whites rate blacks as less evolved than they rate whites; (2) that dehumanized attitudes are correlated with traditional factors in ways we should expect, suggesting that this measure has high construct validity); and, (3) even after controlling for standard measures of prejudice against blacks, dehumanization of blacks is powerfully associated with a wide range of white political preferences, including approval of Obama’s performance as president, support for punitive criminal justice policies, and opposition to policies intended to aid blacks. The dehumanization measure proposed here therefore promises to inform not only the study of core topics in political science, such as candidate evaluation and public opinion, but also research across the social sciences examining the nature and consequences of racial attitudes in the contemporary United States.

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series Study: How Anticipated Emotion Drives Voter Turnout

Does how we think we will feel if one of the presidential candidates wins or loses an election determine how likely we are to vote for a presidential candidate? We propose that one’s future, anticipated emotions regarding an election result can have an important motivational influence on voter turnout, and suggest including questions to assess this in the 2016 American National Election Time Series Study.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Perceptions of Mass Incarceration and Sentencing Reform

The scale of the incarceration system in the United Sates is unmatched by any other country globally or historically. The consequences—which have fallen disproportionately on those living in impoverished black and Latino communities—have been devastating (Western 2006; Clear 2007). The system is the product of punitive policies enacted by politicians from both major parties seeking to earn a politically valuable “tough on crime” reputation (e.g. Beckett and Sasson 2004; Simon 2006). Recently, however, the political landscape appears to have shifted, and criminal justice reform now has advocates in both parties and seeming widespread support. The nature and meaning of this support, however, has not been fully explored. We propose three possible sets of questions for the 2016 American National Election Studies Pilot Survey designed to shed light on the sources of support for change.

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Propensity-To-Vote (PTV) items

We propose the inclusion into the ANES of a small battery of PTV (propensity-to-vote) items. First introduced in the Netherlands in 1982, such items have since then become routinely employed in a growing number of countries (including, on several occasions, the U.S.). They are aimed at tapping into voter preferences and utilities associated by the respondent to each of the available political parties; as such, while not particularly expensive in terms of questionnaire space, they have proved extremely productive – in a number of countries through time – for studying party preferences, especially in terms of how such preferences overlap across different parties; they also yield a specific additional potential for studying partisanship in the U.S.

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Electoral Politics and Perceptions of Crime

People’s perceptions of crime and justice matter in profound ways to political behavior. A series of events in the last few years—including the deaths of several African-American men at the hands of the police and the mass protests that followed—have brought substantial attention to crime and justice as social and political issues, especially in their connection to race. The recent surge in political attention may give the false impression that these issues are novel or transitory in their relevance to politics—in fact the intersection of race, crime, justice has a long history of relevance to politics. Given the urgent relevancy of these issues in light of recent events, we propose to include three sets of questions tapping into the intersection of race, crime, and justice in the 2016 American National Election Studies (ANES) Time Series survey. Each question has appeared in a prior survey conducted by the ANES and each has a demonstrated record of relevance to political behavior.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Perceptions of the Police and Electoral Politics

In the past year, significant public attention has been paid to the treatment of African-American suspects by the police, the relationship between the police and the black community, and police practices more generally. Amongst this attention, it has become clear that substantial differences exist in the way people view the police—both across racial groups but also among whites. These perceptions of the police are highly relevant to political behavior. Based on this and following current research on perceptions of the police, we propose four sets of questions for the 2016 American National Election Studies (ANES) Pilot Survey that we expect will be related to political behavior. Specifically, we propose questions on perceptions of police misbehavior, efficacy, and legal cynicism, as well as questions about contact with the police.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Affective Polarization and Partisan Hatred

The proposed research seeks to develop and test a measure of partisan hatred (see p. 6 below) that builds on existing ethnic hatred measures. Using these newly developed measures, I seek to better understand the sources of partisan hatred by taking the newly developed partisan hatred measure as my dependent variable and conducting multivariate analyses that:

a) test for a correlation between partisan hatred and key individual-level characteristics such as socio-demographic indicators (age, education, income, race/ethnicity, sex), religious preferences (especially religiosity), ideological identification/intensity, and partisan identification/intensity. Current research documents a connection between these characteristics and much of the documented issue-based and affective polarization.

b) test the hypotheses that those who pay more attention to politics and possess more political knowledge exhibit higher levels of partisan hatred. Based on existing studies showing that those who are more attentive and knowledgeable about politics tend to have more information on which to form opinions, including dislike for partisan opponents.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: The Political Consequences of White Sympathy and Guilt

A long, vibrant tradition of political science research has examined the pernicious effects of racial prejudice on vote choice (Hutchings 2009; Kinder and Dale-Riddle 2012), turnout (Krupnikov and Piston 2015; Pasek et al. 2009), and policy opinion (n.b., Huddy and Feldman 2009). However, despite the valuable contributions this scholarship has made in helping us understand the impact of negative racial attitudes, we know very little about the nature, extent, or political consequences of positive racial attitudes. To be sure, recent scholarship (Tesler 2012; Tesler and Sears 2010) has begun to address the possibility that some whites hold politically consequential racial attitudes that lead them to support blacks. However, existing work has not developed strong theoretical foundations about such attitudes and typically relies on the racial resentment battery, a controversial scale (n.b., Huddy and Feldman 2009; Sniderman, Carmines, and Easter 2011), to measure them. The questions proposed here are designed to address these limitations. They measure two distinct types of racial attitudes, sympathy toward blacks and guilt about racial inequality. Our pilot studies indicate that these measures have high validity, and they powerfully predict evaluations of Obama as well as a wide range of policy opinions.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Expectations of vote share in social circles and general population

We propose adding two questions: one about expected share of voters for different candidates in one’s social circle – family, friends, and others one is in regular contact with; and the other about expected vote shares in the general population. Vote expectation questions currently included in ANES have been shown to add predictive value beyond personal vote intentions. However, they ask only about which candidate one expects to be elected President and not about expected vote shares, so it is not straightforward to use them for share predictions. Furthermore, there is empirical evidence that people make quite accurate judgments about frequency of different beliefs and behaviors in their social circles, but that their judgments about the general population show some systematic biases. Adding the questions about expected vote shares in one’s social circle and in the general population may improve predictive accuracy of polls and shed light on how social environments influence individual voting behavior.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Fear of Racial Favoritism and Opposition to Black Candidates

Despite the re-election of America’s first African-American president, most white Americans continue to withhold their support from black candidates. According to the conventional wisdom, the primary explanation for white opposition is prejudice—that is, negative feelings, stereotypes, and resentment toward blacks. On the one hand, numerous studies have indeed found that whites with greater racial prejudice were less likely to support Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections (e.g., Pasek et al. 2009; Pasek et al. 2014; Piston 2010). Yet in prior studies of biracial elections, the evidence that prejudice reduced support for black candidates is decidedly mixed (Citrin et al. 1990; Knuckley and Orey 2000; Sears et al. 1997). These inconsistent findings suggest that prejudice alone cannot explain why whites oppose black political leadership.

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Fear of Racial Favoritism and Opposition to Black Candidates

Despite the re-election of America’s first African-American president, most white Americans continue to withhold their support from black candidates. According to the conventional wisdom, the primary explanation for white opposition is prejudice—that is, negative feelings, stereotypes, and resentment toward blacks. On the one hand, numerous studies have indeed found that whites with greater racial prejudice were less likely to support Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections (e.g., Pasek et al. 2009; Pasek et al. 2014; Piston 2010). Yet in prior studies of biracial elections, the evidence that prejudice reduced support for black candidates is decidedly mixed (Citrin et al. 1990; Knuckley and Orey 2000; Sears et al. 1997). These inconsistent findings suggest that prejudice alone cannot explain why whites oppose black political leadership.

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Proposal for the 2016 Pilot Study: Fear of Gender Favoritism and Opposition to Women Candidates

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, recent research suggests that beliefs about gender stereotypes no longer undercut support for women candidates (e.g., Brooks 2013, Dolan 2014). For instance, several studies – including two that used the 2008 ANES – found that attitudes about gender roles had little-to-no effect on men’s support for Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic primaries (Gervais and Hillard 2011; Huddy and Carey 2009; Kinder and Dale-Riddle 2012; Tesler and Sears 2010). By contrast, a list experiment found that 26% of men in a nationally representative sample were “angry or upset” about “a woman serving as president” (Streb et al. 2008). How can we explain these contradictory findings? One possibility is that social desirability bias interfered with the assessment of beliefs about gender stereotypes in prior surveys. Yet recent experiments using fictional candidates avoided this problem and still found that men did not apply a double-standard to women candidates (Brooks 2013). So the question remains: why do some men oppose women candidates because they are women?

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Proposal for the ANES 2016 Pilot Study: Improved measurement of feeling thermometer questions

Research questions and motivations

The feeling thermometer is a unique question type that is frequently used in general population surveys and political polls to measure respondents’ feelings toward a certain object, such as a political party or a politician. The feeling thermometer questions have traditionally been included in the ANES time series studies. It uses a 101-point rating scale, where 0 indicates very cold and unfavorable feeling while 100 indicates very warm and favorable feeling. The belief that one’s feelings can affect one’s behaviors, like voting, has contributed to the popularity of this question type (Buell & Sigelman, 1985; Greene, 1999, 2004; Kaid, Leland, & Whitney, 1992; Lauderdale, 2010; McAdams & Johannes, 1988).

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Fear of Gender Favoritism and Opposition to Women Candidates

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, recent research suggests that beliefs about gender stereotypes no longer undercut support for women candidates (e.g., Brooks 2013, Dolan 2014). For instance, several studies – including two that used the 2008 ANES – found that attitudes about gender roles had little-to-no effect on men’s support for Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic primaries (Gervais and Hillard 2011; Huddy and Carey 2009; Kinder and Dale-Riddle 2012; Tesler and Sears 2010). By contrast, a list experiment found that 26% of men in a nationally representative sample were “angry or upset” about “a woman serving as president” (Streb et al. 2008). How can we explain these contradictory findings? One possibility is that social desirability bias interfered with the assessment of beliefs about gender stereotypes in prior surveys. Yet recent experiments using fictional candidates avoided this problem and still found that men did not apply a double-standard to women candidates (Brooks 2013). So the question remains: why do some men oppose women candidates because they are women?

Read the full proposal


Proposal for the ANES 2016 Pilot Study: Improved measurement of feeling thermometer questions

Research questions and motivations

The feeling thermometer is a unique question type that is frequently used in general population surveys and political polls to measure respondents’ feelings toward a certain object, such as a political party or a politician. The feeling thermometer questions have traditionally been included in the ANES time series studies. It uses a 101-point rating scale, where 0 indicates very cold and unfavorable feeling while 100 indicates very warm and favorable feeling. The belief that one’s feelings can affect one’s behaviors, like voting, has contributed to the popularity of this question type (Buell & Sigelman, 1985; Greene, 1999, 2004; Kaid, Leland, & Whitney, 1992; Lauderdale, 2010; McAdams & Johannes, 1988).

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Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Proposal to Drop the Follow-up to the ANES “Duty to Vote” Question for Some Respondents, and to Enhance the Response Categories for the “Care Who Wins” Question

Part 1: Dropping a Follow-Up on the “Duty to Vote” Question

In a 2010 proposal to ANES, I documented the longstanding importance of “civic duty” in the literature on turnout, and I proposed a new question written by Andre Blais. The idea was to replace the old ANES versions that were used, beginning in the 1950s, and then were eventually dropped. We showed that the new question had worked well in other surveys, including the 2008 CCAP, with high over-time reliability and a powerful impact on turnout. Our proposal was accepted (as it has been in several national election surveys in other countries), and the 2012 ANES included a version of it. The purpose of this proposal is to review the success of that new question and to propose dropping the follow-up question for some respondents.

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Propose Ideas for the ANES 2016 Pilot Study

The ANES Pilot Study is currently scheduled to be in the field in January 2016 to test new questions for the Time Series. We invite all those who have innovative ideas to propose them for testing in this study. This study allows for the gathering of evidence regarding how particular questions perform in real surveys. Based on analysis from the pilot study, proposed questions may be included in future ANES studies. The interviews will last approximately 20 minutes, and almost all of this time will be available for administering new questions. The questionnaire will be administered via internet. Proposals received earlier will receive greater attention from the ANES community and are likely to be advantaged in the review process as a result. For more information on how we will evaluate and choose amongst proposals, please visit the ANES Online Commons.

Proposals:

Measuring Race/Ethnicity in a “Post-Obama” Era

Citizens’ evaluations of the fulfillment of election pledges

Untangling Dislike for the Opposing Party from a Dislike of Parties

Voting with Their Feet and Wallet

Supplementing Skin tone Measurement from the 2012 ANES

Individual Listening Styles: Short Form of Listening Styles Profile-Revised (LSP-R8)

Differentiating Discrete Emotions: Contempt and Anger

White Racial Consciousness in the U.S.

The Nitty Gritty: The Unexplored Role of Grit and Perseverance in Political Participation

Reasons for Electoral Non-Participation

Adaptive Personality Inventories for Measuring Need for Cognition and Need to Evaluate

Conflict Orientation and Political Behavior

Support for Diverse Political Candidates

The Need for Cognitive Closure

Name-Induced Race Effects on Political Efficacy Anchoring Vignette Questions

Social Media Questions

The New Identity Frontier: Explaining Public Opinion toward Transgender People & Rights

Dehumanization and the Role of Biological Racism in Politics

Perceptions of Mass Incarceration and Sentencing Reform

Perceptions of the Police and Electoral Politics

Affective Polarization and Partisan Hatred

The Political Consequences of White Sympathy and Guilt

Expectations of vote share in social circles and general population

Fear of Racial Favoritism and Opposition to Black Candidates

Fear of Gender Favoritism and Opposition to Women Candidates

Improved measurement of feeling thermometer questions

Measuring Resentment of Black Americans


Proposal for the ANES 2016 Pilot Study: Measuring Resentment of Black Americans

Since 1986, the American National Election Studies time series studies have included four items measuring a concept known as racial resentment and symbolic racism. Researchers have claimed that responses to these items reflect “a new expression of prejudice that has developed in the United States…based on the belief that blacks violate key American values, particularly the idea of individualism” (Henry and Sears 2008: 111). Research indicates that these items associate with important election- and participation-related phenomena such as white opposition to black political candidates (Ford et al. 2010), Tea Party membership (Tope et al. 2015), and non-voting in the 2008 election (Pasek et al. 2009). However, research indicates that these racial resentment items do not adequately measure antiblack attitudes, either as stand-alone items or with the help of statistical control.

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Propose Ideas for the ANES 2016 Time Series

Content for the ANES 2016 Time Series Study will primarily evolve from three sources: previous ANES Time Series questionnaires, new questions that performed well in the Pilot Study, and proposals received via the ANES Online Commons (OC) specifically for the Time Series Study.

Proposals for the inclusion of questions directly to the Time Series Study must include clear theoretical and empirical rationales. In other words, these proposals can only include questions that have been asked in previous studies and have proven their merit. All proposals must also clearly state how the questions will increase the value of the Time Series Study. In particular, proposed questions must have the potential to help scholars understand the causes and/or consequences of turnout or candidate choice.

Proposals:

Determinants of Attitudes Toward Immigration

Self-Monitoring

Measuring Contempt toward Candidates in the 2016 Presidential Election

Attitudes towards Services in Spanish

Conspiratorial Thinking in American Politics

Quantitative Predictions of State and National Election Outcomes

 

***** Please note: The following proposals were submitted and reviewed during the previous deadline for the 2106 Pilot Study.

Issue Salience, Ownership, and Cross-Pressures in the American Electorate

Differentiating Discrete Emotions: Contempt and Anger

The Nitty Gritty: The Unexplored Role of Grit and Perseverance in Political Participation

Reasons for Electoral Non-Participation

Support for Diverse Political Candidates

Authoritarianism, Social Dominance, and Generalized Prejudice

The New Identity Frontier: Explaining Public Opinion toward Transgender People & Rights

How Anticipated Emotion Drives Voter Turnout

Propensity-To-Vote (PTV) items

Electoral Politics and Perceptions of Crime, Justice, and the Police

Fear of Racial Favoritism and Opposition to Black Candidates

Fear of Gender Favoritism and Opposition to Women Candidates

Proposal to Drop the Follow-up to the ANES “Duty to Vote” Question for Some Respondents, and to Enhance the Response Categories for the “Care Who Wins” Question