Graphical Visualization of Weighted Survey Data in R

I posted this query on the Political Methdology listserv:

Hello all, I have some students in an election sciences class who want to do some visualizations using CCES data. I’d like them to use the survey weights if possible, but don’t know an easy way to do this in R.

I have come across this package that claims to support graphics and complex survey weights, but can’t find a reference or vignette that uses any graphics: http://r-survey.r-forge.r-project.org/survey/

Thanks!

Paul Gronke
Reed College

And have provided a review of the answers:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VmVeVJ5kzj7OBhWRmH7VHOW4DxGBQ4KYNeTqDSTOaoE/edit?usp=sharing

Thanks to Jay Lee of Reed College for helping me assemble this. 

Producing survey “tabs” in Stata: PolMeth question answered

Thanks to those participants in the Political Methodology listserv who responded to a query that I posted a month ago about how to produce survey “toplines” using either Stata or R. The attached document provides a detailed summary of the responses; I have posted the most useful reply here.

Original Question


From: Paul Gronke <gronkep@reed.edu>

Quick question for the list: Lisa Bryant (CU Fresno) and I are preparing  some “top lines” and “tabs” for a client with whom we conducted a survey.

If you have seen these before, they are usually organized so that  categorial survey responses are reported on the rows, and the columns  report the overall responses, then responses “tabbed” or “crossed” by  various demographic and political categories. Roll your eyes if you will  that this is just a big set of exploratory cross tabs, but a lot of folks  expect to see them to help digest the survey results.

A typical “tab” looks like this:

VARIABLE                        Total   GOP     IND             DEM MEN     WOMEN    …

Category 1                             N  %    N  %    N  %            N  %    N %    N  %

Category 2                      N  % …

TOP SOLUTION

Stata Special

From: Jonathan Mendelson

Hi Paul,

I posted a response to the list, but it hasn’t gone through yet, so I thought I’d reply directly.  I encountered the same issue as you and wrote a Stata package that essentially creates “tabs” in spreadsheet form.  You can install it in Stata via “ssc install tabsheet” or view information at https://ideas.repec.org/c/boc/bocode/s458128.html; there are examples in the documentation so you should be able to get started fairly quickly.

The program is not particularly flexible, but it is easy to use, and some colleagues at my survey firm have found it very useful.  Although it doesn’t currently output to anything other than tab-delimited file (which can be opened in a spreadsheet), with some clever formatting in Excel, you could print the resulting spreadsheet to PDF for something nicer looking.

If you need something more flexible in Stata, I’d recommend tabout, although that may require more work to set up.  If you find out about any R packages that do something similar, I’d be interested in hearing about it.

Best,
Jonathan

The complete list of responses, including various R and Stata solutions, is provided in this PDF: polmeth-question-survey-tabs

How and When to Teach Election Law in the Undergraduate Classroom

This article is a brief overview of the place that election law scholarship can play in undergraduate education.

HOW AND WHEN TO TEACH ELECTION LAW IN THE UNDERGRADUATE CLASSROOM (GRONKE 2012)

Gronke – 2012 – How and when to teach election law in the undergraduate classroom

Convenience Voting

Forms of convenience voting—early in-person voting, voting by mail, absentee voting, electronic voting, and voting by fax—have become the mode of choice for >30% of Americans in recent elections. Despite this, and although nearly every state in the United States has adopted at least one form of convenience voting, the academic re- search on these practices is unequally distributed across important questions. A great deal of literature on turnout is counterbalanced by a dearth of research on campaign effects, election costs, ballot quality, and the risk of fraud. This article introduces the theory of convenience voting, reviews the current literature, and suggests areas for future research.

CONVENIENCE VOTING (GRONKE, GALANES-ROSENBAUM, MILLER, TOFFEY 2008)

Gronke, Galanes-Rosenbaum, Miller et al., – 2008 – Convenience Voting

Abstract:

Forms of convenience votingearly in-person voting, voting by mail, absentee voting, electronic voting, and voting by faxhave be- come the mode of choice for >30% of Americans in recent elections. Despite this, and although nearly every state in the United States has adopted at least one form of convenience voting, the academic re- search on these practices is unequally distributed across important questions. A great deal of literature on turnout is counterbalanced by a dearth of research on campaign effects, election costs, ballot quality, and the risk of fraud. This article introduces the theory of convenience voting, reviews the current literature, and suggests areas for future research.

EARLY VOTING REFORMS AND AMERICAN ELECTIONS (GRONKE 2008)

Gronke – 2008 – Early Voting Reforms and American Elections

The Psychological and Institutional Determinants of Early Voting (Gronke and Toffey 2008)

Gronke, Toffey – 2008 – The Psychological and Institutional Determinants of Early Voting

Abstract:

This article examines early voting, an institutional innovation whereby citizens can cast their ballots a time and location other than on election day and at the precinct place. Early voting has been proposed as way to expand the franchise, by making voting more convenient, and extend the franchise, by encouraging turnout among those segments of the population who are unable or unwilling to vote using traditional methods. The article draws on models of voter decision making that conceptualize voting as a choice reached under uncertainty. Voters vary by (a) their willingness to accept uncertainty, (b) their cognitive engagement with the campaign, and (c) their location in an institutional environment that makes early voting possible. We propose a multivariate model of early voting, contingent on a voter’s prior levels of political information, level of fixed political beliefs, and political information activity. These are also interacted with the institutional context (laws and procedures that allow early voting). At the descriptive level, we find most of the expected demographic and attitudinal patterns: early voters are older, better educated, and more cognitively engaged in the campaign and in politics. Because national surveys are ill equipped to capture nuanced campaign dynamics, many of the statistically significant relationships disappear in multi- variate analyses. Regardless, revealing differences emerge between midterm and presidential election years that allow us to make important inferences about the demographic and participatory characteristics of early voters.
DISDAINING THE MEDIA: THE AMERICAN PUBLIC’S CHANGING ATTITUDES TOWARD THE NEWS (GRONKE AND COOK 2007)

Gronke, Cook – 2007 – Disdaining the Media- The American Public’s Changing Attitudes Toward the News

Abstract:

After spending two decades studying the news media as an institution, Tim Cook turned his attention to public attitudes about the press, a topic that lurked behind much of his work, most prominently Governing with the News, but one that he had never addressed directly in print. As was typically the case with Tim’s voracious intellectual appetite, the project grew into a larger study of public trust and confidence in institutions. This piece represents the first fruits of this collaboration, addressing what began our inquiry: what was the cause of the long known, but seldom explained, decline in pubic confidence in the press? Was it because they had become, in Cook’s words, just another “governing” institution? Or was there something distinct about the press as an institution in the array of public attitudes about the social and political world? In this piece, we demonstrate how confidence in the press is distinct from generalized confidence in other social and political institutions. In particular, we find that the same political indicators that lead to higher confidence in institutions in general drive down confidence in the press. We close by speculating on likely future trends given the adversarial tenor of press coverage.

EARLY VOTING AND TURNOUT (GRONKE, GALANES-ROSENBAUM, MILLER 2007)

Gronke, Galanes-Rosenbaum, Miller – 2007 – Early Voting and Turnout