ANES Coding Problem: VCF0731

Another ANES Goof-em-up

At this point, it’s well established that the ANES CDF’s codebook is not to be trusted ( I’m repeating “not to be trusted to include a second link!). Recently, I stumbled across another example of incorrect coding in the cumulative data file, this time in VCF0731 - Do you ever discuss politics with your family or friends?

The codebook reports 5 levels:

Do you ever discuss politics with your family or friends?

1. Yes
5. No

8. DK
9. NA

INAP. question not used

However, when we load the variable and examine the unique values:

# pulling anes-cdf from a GitHub repository
cdf <- rio::import("")

## [1] NA  5  1  6  7

We see a completely different coding scheme. We are left adrift, wondering “What is 6? What is 7?” Do 1 and 5 really mean “yes” and “no”?

We may never know.

For a survey that costs several million dollars to conduct, you’d think we could expect a double-checked codebook (or at least some kind of version control to easily fix these things as they’re identified).

A version of this post was also published on the gojiberries blog, here.

Rob Lytle
Rob Lytle
Political Science PhD Student

Electoral behavior, fringe politics, online radicalization.