In 2016, the CCES did not include its typical set of racial resentment battery items on the Common Content portion of the survey. To fill this gap, I searched for CCES team modules that contained racial resentment items, enabling me to extend a time series picture of racial resentment levels in the CCES. Several people have asked for some of the information behind my data collection effort — to make this easily accessible for everyone, I recently posted a Github repository with a few hopefully useful components:
You can find everything here.
Ahead of the 2020 election, there’s been debate over whether the Democratic Party should try to win over voters who switched to Donald Trump in 2016 — after not having voted in Republican in 2012 . Where these Trump switchers stand politically might matter in this calculus, as certain analyses argue.
I turned to the Voter Study Group panel (using the data released in 2018) to get a sense of these switchers in comparison to all Clinton and Trump voters. Using survey responses on the same individuals, I was able to check these three key groups — Clinton voters, Trump switchers, and Trump voters — 1) for various political beliefs and 2) before, right after, and in years following the 2016 election. Because of its panel nature (thousands of individuals reinterviewed in 2011, 2016, 2017 and 2018), the data can offer unique insights — like opinion measures on Trump switchers ahead of time (five years before the 2016 election). The below graph shows the results. Overall, it’s a mixed bag, but these Trump switchers resemble typical Trump voters more so.
Here’s a quick roundup of the most interesting results:
I was recently playing with data in the CCES cumulative file, and specifically looking at the news interest variable with the following question in mind: does interest in news and politics increase the closer you get to elections? In the above plot, I show average news interest levels (on a 0-1 scale where higher values indicate more news interest) in every day in the lead-up to the past six elections (and only for days where the weighted survey respondent total was at least 100). Instead of a positive linear trend that would suggest higher interest as the election drew nearer, I find a more parabolic-looking pattern, which holds pretty consistently across the past few elections. Interest is high to start, then declines, then rises back up as the election nears.
My initial interpretation is based on both survey response dynamics and (possibly) election anticipation effects. Perhaps this trend emerges because the people most interested in politics select into taking the CCES during the early period when it’s first starting to get fielded. Then, the less politically interested individuals start to take it. Finally, the closer you get to an election, interest levels start to ramp up as the salience of the election itself grows and it begins to affect individuals. That story is of course speculative, but the pattern and its consistency across election years remain interesting. Moreover, in analysis not shown here, the trend cuts across partisan stripes as well.