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General Research Guides

Data: U.S. Elections

United States Elections Statistics & Data

The following resources provide statistics and data relevant to the study of elections in the United States. 

Voter Turnout
Election Results and Polling
Local Stats: Congressional District, County, and State
Campaign Finance
Datasets
Resource Directories


Voter Turnout

Center for the Study of the American Electorate (CSAE)
CSAE has studied voter turnout and civic participation for over 30 years, under the direction of expert Curtis Gans. Voter turnout tables by state are available to 2000 and nationally to 1960.

Current Population Reports
Best resource for voter turnout data
Earlier years in print, bi-ennial, 1964-: Numbers in the P-20 series are 143, 174, 192, 228, 230, 253, 293, 322, 344, 370, 383, 405, 414, 440, 466.

The almanac of state legislative elections: voting patterns and demographics 2000-2006
CC Reference JK 1967 .A77 2007

U.S. Election Project
At George Mason University; disseminates research by Michael McDonald, who studies turnout and redistricting. Tables by state are available to 2000.

US Election Assistance Commission: Statistics
Compilation of voter turnout from 1960-2004; by state to 1996 and overall to 1960.

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Election Results and Polling

Almanac of American Politics
CC Reference JK1010 .B26
District-level election results and information on representatives including voting scores.

The American Presidency Project, Presidential Elections Data
Popular and electoral vote data by state for presidential elections to 1789.

CQ Politics in America and in print: CC Ready Reference JK1010 .P64
Data by district on election results, voter turnout, campaign finance and more.

CQ Voting & Elections
Extensive data on elections at the national and state level.

Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
Extensive presidential election data to 1789 and recent senatorial and gubernatorial election data, broken down to the state level.

Electoral Vote
Mostly current polling data for the current election cycle, but also has some historical elections data.

Fivethirtyeight.com
Statistics guru Nate Silver provides data and analysis on the 2008 and upcoming elections, particularly polling.

Federal Elections Project
Combines 2000 Federal election results with 2000 Census demographic data.

MSNBC - Exit Polls and Election Results
MSNBC has exit polls and returns by county by state from the 2008 election.

A New Nation Votes
This database from Tufts provides searchable election returns from 1787 to 1825, by candidate, office, and state.

Office of the Clerk
Since 1920, the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives has compiled election statistics and these are available at this website.

Polidata
Breakdowns of presidential election results by district from 1980-2004

Swing State Project
Election results for 2008 by congressional district

United States Congressional elections, 1788-1997:the official results of the elections of the 1st through 105th Congresses by Michael J.Dubin
CC Books JK1967 .D77 1998
Provides data at state and congressional district levels for Senate and House races.

U.S. Presidential Election Maps, 1860-1996
This site from the University of Virginia Geospatial Data Center maps the popular and electoral vote results for presidential elections from 1860-1996.

Voting America: United States Politics 1840-2008
Voting data (results and turnout) displayed on maps, for presidential elections from 1840-2008.

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Local Stats: Congressional District, County, and State

Book of the states
CC Reference JK 2403 .B62 2008
Detailed information on voting rules and election results by state.  Use previous years' editions to follow this data back in time.

Census Bureau American Factfinder
Use these data sets to determine district voting age population and other characteristics.

  • Census 2000 --> Select "detailed tables" and follow the prompts
  • Census 1990 --> Select "detailed tables" and follow the prompts 


CQ's state fact finder
CC Reference HA 214 .C68 2006
Data on election results by state.

The Most Gerrymandered Congressional Districts
This slideshow from Slate.com features maps of the most gerrymandered current Congressional districts.

National Association of Secretaries of State
"Can I Vote".org is a resource providing voting information by state provided by the chief election officials from 39 states; check their roster to go to individual sites for past election results by state.

National Conference of State Legislatures
Redistricting links for each state, provided by this nonpartisan organization of state legislators

State legislative elections: voting patterns and demographics (1992 - 1996 elections)
CC Reference JK 1967 .B36 1998
Legislative elections results.

U.S. Election Assistance Commission
Information on voting requirements for every state

1990 Census of Population and Housing. Population and Housing Characteristics for Congressional Districts of the 103rd Congress or Gov Docs C 3.223/20:1990 CPH-4-25
Gives detailed population data by state and district. Includes age, race, ancestry, citizenship, employment status, income, and educational attainment.

Congressional District Atlas. 103rd Congress of the United States. Gov Docs C 3.62/5: Maps the congressional district boundaries set by the states based on the 1990 Census, and references congressional districts according to incorporated places, counties, and county subdivisions.

Voter Contact Services National Political Database
Current demographic data on voters and households by county.

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Campaign Finance

Federal Election Commission: Campaign Finance Reports and Data
Financial disclosures for candidates, parties, and PACs to 1993.

LexisNexis Congressional
Financial disclosures for campaigns to 1989, PACs and individual donors to Congressional members to 1987, and member disclosures to 1991.

OpenSecrets.org
Extensive details on financial contributions to candidates and members.  Availability of data largely to the mid1990s although donor lookup to 1990.

Handbook of Campaign Spending: Money in the 1990 Congressional Races and Handbook of Campaign Spending: Money in the 1992 Congressional Races by Dwight Morris and Murielle E. Gamache.
CC Oversize Books JK 1991 .F75 1992 and CC Reference JK 1991 .M78 1994
Data on campaign expenditures from 1981 to 1992

Financial Disclosure Reports of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives of the...
CC Gov Docs Microfiche Y1 .1/7 1980 - current
Personal and office expenses for House members

Report of the Secretary of the Senate
.
CC Gov Docs Microfiche Y1 .1/3
Contains personal and office expense accounts for Senators for the fiscal year.

Vital Statistics on Congress. 1987-88 & 2002
Election expenditures and contributions from donorsCC Books JK 1041 .O76 2002 & CC Books JK 1041 .V58 1987

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Datasets

American National Elections Studies
Data on voting and political behavior since 1948.  Also see the SDA Archive where you can manipulate the data online.

Dave Lublin Data
Two elections datasets from Professor Dave Lublin at American University: 1. precinct election data from the 2000 federal election matched with racial data from the 2000 Census and 2. Candidate Quality and U.S. Senate Election Data (used in his paper: "Quality, Not Quantity: Strategic Politicians in U.S. Senate Elections, 1952-1990," Journal of Politics, Vol. 56, No. 1 (February 1994)).

Job Approval Ratings Website
The Departments of Political Science at the University of Rochester, UNC-Chapel Hill, and George Washington University together publish extensive job approval ratings data.  This data is obtained at the state level for governors, senators, and presidents from the mid-1900s to today.  The project is ongoing but data represent a substantial portion of surveys conducted in the last 40-50 years of Americans’ satisfaction with elected officials.

Record of American Democracy (ROAD) Project
Precinct-level data on election returns, demographics, and political behaviors from 1984-2000.

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Other Resources

Greg's List--Useful List for Political Info
Wealth of resources including lots of handy PDF spreadsheets of data culled from CQ resources (e.g. "Members of Congress Defeated in Primary Elections, 1968-2008") from this CQ staffer.

This Research Guide By:

  • Danya Leebaw's trading card, 2008-2009
    Danya Leebaw