2012 NORC Presidential Election Study

The 2012 NORC Election Study was designed to measure public opinion about important issues the country faces – economic recovery, health care costs, and extreme partisanship. Conducted in the fourth year of a slow and unsteady economic recovery, this survey intends to determine, among other things, whether or not voters hold the incumbent responsible for the condition of the economy; if it matters that the recession began during a previous administration; and does the electorate account for whether the opposition cooperated with the president or confronted him?

The survey consists of two rounds of data collection. The first round went into the field before the November 2012 presidential election.  The second round examines post-election attitudes and perceptions. The objective survey attempts to provide information that will help inform our national discussion around how to bridge the partisan divide and solve our most pressing problems.

Findings from the first round of the survey suggest that party affiliation affects how people react to the political as well as non-political issues, and partisanship is often a substitute for knowledge. In particular, we gained insight into attitudes and understanding of the Affordable Care Act, the state of economy, responsibility for economic recovery policies, and family finances.

Findings from the second round of the survey compiled in the report "Americans' Views on the Deficit," suggest that while the budget deficit is of large concern to a majority of Americans, even more respondents are concerned about jobs and employment. The report "Americans' Views on the Deficit," is now available.

The third and final report, "Americans' Views on Entitlement Reform and Health Care" from the survey is now available. The survey determined Americans' views on entitlement reform and health care and the results suggest that the majority of Americans prefer maintaining Social Security and Medicare, yet political parties are still sharply divided on the issue.

Part I of the 2012 NORC Presidential Election Survey was conducted in the weeks prior to the 2012 presidential election and was a nationally representative household survey with 2,136 adults. Part II was conducted in the weeks just after the 2012 presidential election with 1,125 respondents re-contacted from Part I. The survey was conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago in partnership with the following experts: Mark Hansen, Ph.D., University of Chicago; Andrea Campbell, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Stephen Ansolabehere, Ph.D., Harvard University; and Benjamin Page, Ph.D., Northwestern University.


Addressing Americans' Views on Role of Government in Health Care, Entitlement Reform and Partisanship

Americans' Views on the Deficit

2012 NORC Presidential Election Survey

Media Contact

Eric Young
(301) 634-9536

Project Director

Tricia McCarthy
(312) 759-4286

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