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American National Election Studies

Founded in 1948, the core mission of the American National Election Study (ANES) is to inform explanations of election outcomes by providing data that support rich hypothesis testing, maximize methodological excellence, measure many variables, and promote comparisons across people, contexts and time.

The ANES serves this mission by providing researchers with survey data from a nationally representative sample of American adults. Such data are critical because these citizens’ actions determine election outcomes. These data are distributed widely and quickly to serve thousands of scholars and to be used in classrooms around the world to enrich research and education. The ANES seeks to inform the nation about itself, exploring the causes and consequences of voting behavior and electoral outcomes. The ANES data are freely available on the project’s website.

The history of the American National Election Studies project is described in detail in The Michigan, then National, then American National Election Studies, written by Nancy Burns.