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The CCES is a 50,000+ person national stratified sample survey administered by YouGov/Polimetrix. Half of the questionnaire consists of Common Content asked of all 50,000+ people, and half of the questionnaire consists of Team Content designed by each individual participating team and asked of a subset of 1,000 people. In addition, several teams may pool their resources to create Group Content.

The survey consists of two waves in election years. In the pre-election phase, respondents answer two-thirds of the questionnaire. This segment of the survey asks about general political attitudes, various demographic factors, assessment of roll call voting choices, and political information. The pre-election phase is administered late September to late October and rolled out in three distinct time-periods, the end of September, the middle of October, and the end of October. Spacing of interviews across these intervals allows researchers to gauge the effects of campaign information and events on the state and district electorates. In the post-election phase, respondents answer the other third of the questionnaire, mostly consisting of items related to the election that just occurred. The post-election phase is administered in November.

In non-election years, the survey consists of a single wave conducted in the early fall.