The CCES is a 50,000+ person national stratified sample survey administered by YouGov. Half of the questionnaire consists of Common Content asked of all 50,000+ people, and half of the questionnaire consists of Team Content designed by each individual participating team and asked of a subset of 1,000 people. In addition, several teams may pool their resources to create Group Content.

The survey consists of two waves in election years. In the pre-election wave, respondents answer two-thirds of the questionnaire. This segment of the survey asks about general political attitudes, various demographic factors, assessment of roll call voting choices, political information, and vote intentions. The pre-election wave is in the field from late September to late October. In the post-election wave, respondents answer the other third of the questionnaire, mostly consisting of items related to the election that just occurred. The post-election wave is administered in November.

In non-election years, the survey consists of a single wave conducted in the fall.