There is power in numbers. In 2006, a consortium of 39 universities came together to create the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, the first truly large-scale academic survey project aimed at studying the midterm Congressional elections. Our joint efforts produced a 36,500 person national survey of the American electorate, as well as 36 separate 1,000 person studies focused on particular research questions of interest to the individual teams. The study has continued with yearly surveys since then, with the 2010 study including 55,400 respondents and over 40 teams. We invite you to join this unique project!
We plan a national sample stratified by state and type of district, which optimizes the study for congressional, state, and national-level politics. The sample design also fits well with the Electoral College structure and provides an ideal setting for understanding the relationship between midterm and presidential elections. In even years (2006, 2008, 2010...), the survey consists of a 20 minute pre-election wave and 10 minute post-election wave. The same people are interviewed in both waves. For odd years (2007, 2009, 2011...), we conduct a single ten-minute wave to be fielded immediately after the general election.
Each year half of the survey content is "Common Content," administered to all survey respondents, and half is "Team Content," administered to 1,000 respondents for each team. The CCES Planning Group designs the Common Content. Broadly, the Common Content consists of a battery of questions asked of all respondents to capture commonly asked questions, such as vote choice, as well as a handful of items for which it is uniquely advantageous to have a very large sample. Each team designs its own team content.
The project delivers a 1,000 person survey covering each team’s content; a Common Content survey that consists of a subset of questions asked of all subjects; and the validated vote for most subjects in the sample, where available. Data is embargoed for the private use of those participating teams for a term of one year after the delivery of the survey.
Please use the links on the left and right side of the page for more information. The Common Content data from past studies is available here. If you are interested in getting involved in the study, please contact us.