Survey data were obtained from three survey series: the National Elections Studies (NES), conducted through the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan; the General Social Survey (GSS), administered through the University of Chicago National Opinion Research Center; and the Gallup Poll, produced by the American Institute of Public Opinion. The following sources were used as a guide in selecting specific polls from the NES, GSS, and Gallup survey series, respectively: Warren E. Miller and the National Election Studies, American National Election Studies Cumulative Data File, 1952–1990 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Center for Political Studies, 1991); James Davies and Tom Smith, General Social Surveys, Cumulative Codebook, 1972–1991 (Chicago: National Opinion Research Center, George Gallup 1991); Gallup Poll: Public Opinion, 1935–1971 (New York: Random House, 1972).
In selecting survey questions and responses from these sources, I was guided foremost by (1) the goal of assessing patterns of change in public opinion vis-à-vis racial issues during the period from 1960 to 1990 and (2) that of comparing racial opinions by race, region, and party. For each survey series, there was some slight variation in the wording of the questions from one interview wave to the next. In each case, I selected the wording used most frequently during the period 1960 to 1990.
The vast majority of responses to the selected survey questions were collapsed and recoded differently than they appear in the codebooks and indexes. All of the “No Answer” and “Don’t Know” responses were eliminated. In coding racial groups, “other” was excluded, as was “independent” in the coding of the political parties. Additionally, geographic areas were coded so that the “South” includes the eleven former Confederate states, namely, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The “non-South” includes all other states. The figures reported here have been rounded