Dynamic Ideal Points for voters, elected officials, and more (2009-2016)
In my 2016 JOP article, I introduced a new technique for quickly and easily estimating common-space ideal point estimates of American political actors. The estimation procedure basically re-configures the seminal Aldrich-McKelvey algorithm to take respondents' ideological placements of themselves and other political actors and place these on a common scale. Since respondents differ in their scale usage heterogeneity, the technique takes in to account varied response style.
I am pleased to announce that I have pooled together CCES data from 2009-2016 and have used the method described in the paper to generate common space estimates for the following political actors by year:
- Voters (measuring the mean voter at the national, state, and congressional district level)
- House incumbents and challengers
- Senate incumbents and challengers
- Incumbent governors
- The Supreme Court
- The President (in this data, always Obama)
- Major Party Presidential candidates (Romney, Cruz, Paul, Bush, Clinton, Trump)
As you can see in the figures below, the estimates correlate very highly for members of Congress (vis-a-vis NOMINATE scores), or for state- and district-level means for voters (vis-a-vis Tausanovtich and Warshaw's estimates).
The first release of the data is available here.
**Please Note: due to court-ordered redistricting, several Florida districts got reshuffled in anticipation of the 2016 elections. As a result, there are some issues in the CCES labeling for that state in that year. I’m working to clean it but please know, for now, the House incumbent and challenger names may not be appropriately matched for that pairing. This problem does not affect other states or any other races.
The data format is RDS and can be accessed via the readRDS function in the R programming language. The object containing the data is called the_estimates. The columns in the data are as follows:
- Year: an integer from 2009-2016
- State: either the state name for actors at the state or district level or "Natl" for national-level actors
- Dist: if a House member, their district
- Voter: the mean voter at the national level (if State is "Natl"), the state level (if Dist is a missing value), or district level (if Dist is non missing)
- ideals: the scaled ideal point for the political actor
- who: a variable identifying the actor in question. This is either the president, one of the many presidential candidates, the Supreme Court, Governors, House incumbents/challengers, or Senate incumbents/challengers. Since I use CCES data, the House and Senate value of who conform to CCES standards. For example, HouC1 is House Candidate 1 in the CCES data.
- FullName: this is the CCES's reported full name of the political actor
- icpsr: this is the ICPSR identifier for House and Senate members to facilitate matching this data with NOMINATE, DIME, or other similar databases.
The proper citation for this data is:
Ramey, Adam. 2016. "Vox Populi, Vox Dei? Crowdsourced Ideal Point Estimation." Journal of Politics 78 (1), 281-295.
Feel free to email me with any questions, concerns, etc.