Vital Statistics on American Politics 2013-2014

Books

Harold W. Stanley & Richard G. Niemi

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Text Size

  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Copyright

    View Copyright Page

    Acknowledgments

    Preparing each new edition of this volume brings new challenges. One of the most vexing is when a source changes the frequency with which it updates information, making it impossible to update a table or figure to the extent we would like. To the reader, it may even seem as if we've been careless—not adding two years of information even though two years have passed since the last edition. Or, an agency may simply delay release of new data for a month or two, which may put it beyond the “close date” of the book. In one or two instances—thankfully very few—a source stops collecting the data altogether. We can, however, assure the reader that we have included information that is as up-to-date as possible at the time the volume was finalized in late spring even when, as seems to have happened increasingly in recent years, this has meant looking for advance information that has been collected but not generally released.

    In preparing this edition, we again thank all the people who have helped us over the years. These individuals, and the organizations to which they belong, are thanked in previous acknowledgments. For this edition, Christine Carberry and Jennifer McLernon again did a fine job of updating and proofreading many of the tables and figures. We could not have completed the work without their assistance. Harold Stanley, juggling administrative responsibilities along with work on this edition, would like to especially acknowledge the masterful management of revisions by Christine.

    In this edition, as in the last, we have made considerable use of material from the Pew Research Center. For more than two decades now, this organization, under its various initiatives, has been conducting quality research and reporting it in ways that are informative and easy to understand, while adhering to the kind of technical standards academics appreciate. We are happy to acknowledge our reliance on Pew's wide-ranging research capabilities (http://www.pewtrusts.org).

    Help with specific tables or figures was provided by Lawrence Baum, Jennie Bowser, Kimball Brace, Walter Dean Burnham, Rhodes Cook, Morgan Cullen, Richard Curtin, Sean Evans, Ife Finch, Sheldon Goldman, Stanley Henshaw, Judith Ingram, Simon Jackman, Scott Keeter, Martha Joynt Kumar, Kathleen Maguire, Michael Malbin, Ann Marshall, Michael McDonald, Michael Mehler, Barbara Palmer, Dennis Simon, John Swain, and David Wasserman.

    We are especially grateful to the many, often anonymous government officials who helped us out with this and all previous editions. They have almost always been courteous, helpful, and prompt in providing us with information, books, Web site assistance, and so on. They clearly belie negative stereotypes of government bureaucrats.

    And we again wish to thank all of the colleagues who have given us useful suggestions—whether by pointing out errors or by suggesting improvements in the content and format of individual tables or groups of tables.

    CQ Press/SAGE has been helpful to us as always. We owe a special thanks to John Martino for making the process run especially smoothly, for his careful checking of tables and figures, and for his suggestions about new tables and clarification of continuing information. Tracy Buyan handled the production process efficiently and in a way that eased the process for all concerned.

    Introduction

    • Accuracy of Published Data
    • Obtaining Additional Material

    In creating this volume of basic statistical information on American government and politics, our goal has always been to provide broad coverage that spans, whenever possible, a lengthy time perspective. The 2013–2014 edition, its tables and its Guide to References for Political Statistics, once again will serve as a fundamental reference book for those who wish to stay informed about numerous aspects of American politics.

    This volume covers a wide range of topics as we seek to offer readers the numbers that count in American politics. In addition to standard subjects such as elections, Congress, the presidency, and the judiciary, this book provides information on the media; campaign finances; foreign, social, and economic policy; and a variety of issues related to state and local government. Coverage is not limited to “hard” data such as votes cast and offices won; rankings of public officials’ reputations, content analyses of media coverage, and public opinion data on policy issues are also included. The information ranges from simple lists to compilations of outcomes based on implicit analytical concerns. A historical perspective is maintained throughout; depending on the available data, the longest possible periods are covered, even with public opinion data. The sources of material range from the findable to the fugitive: reference volumes, government publications, political science journals, monographs, the Internet, and press releases, among others. Indeed, the time span is sometimes so great, and the amount of information so large, that we report data for a limited number of years in the present volume, noting that additional data can be found in previous editions of Vital Statistics on American Politics.

    The quantity and quality of statistical information have grown enormously in recent years, and this trend is unlikely to peak anytime soon. In fact, the Internet makes data overload just a click away. But statistics have a bad image. Even the numerically innocent can retort that “there're lies, damn lies, and statistics” and that “figures don't lie but liars can figure.” However, anyone seeking to understand politics—past, present, or future—would be ill advised to take refuge in such skepticism. Increasingly, both public debates and political analyses contain points couched in or accompanied by statistics. Democracy turns in part on the ability of an informed public to follow such debates and analyses. Now more than ever, understanding politics requires an ability to comprehend numerical data and the assumptions behind them.

    Although data are more essential and more readily available, the potential users of data are all too often lacking interpretive skills. Unless one knows how to read them, tables and figures can be less than useful; rather, they can be intimidating, incomprehensible, and boring. Yet properly understood, tables and figures can be a resource of considerable value and, surprisingly to many students, even intelligible and interesting.

    This volume does not teach statistical methods, but it does foster a greater familiarity with the appropriate cautions about reading too much or too little into tables and figures. This introduction, the chapter introductions, and the Guide to References are all intended to enhance readers’ understanding of how to make better use of data displayed in tables and figures. More specifically, they are designed to help readers extract the maximum amount of information from tables and figures, understand the level of accuracy and kinds of inaccuracies in displays of data as well as the various sources used, and find additional information, including the up-to-date information that must be found in serial publications rather than in books.

    Some readers, particularly students who are accustomed to working with numbers as they appear in textbooks, are at times frustrated, perhaps even mystified, when confronted with whole tables of numbers—not to mention a whole book of tables and figures. An important point of departure for these readers is to realize that this book is based principally on simple numerical data, not on the results of complicated statistical manipulations. The fanciest statistics presented are averages or medians. Regression coefficients, chi-squares, and the like can be revealing and useful, and, in fact, increasingly political science has become so methodologically sophisticated that many journal articles are opaque to those without the ability to cope with advanced statistics. This book, however, fills a more fundamental need for a single volume encompassing a broad range of data about American politics, and, as such, it should be useful to the methodologically skilled and unskilled alike.

    The figures and tables are easy to read. Many are merely lists, but useful lists. They are often lengthy because they cover as many as two hundred years. Long historical stretches mean change, and that creates some complexities, such as when the names of the dominant parties change so that going back in time introduces unfamiliar labels (Figure 1-3). Notes to the tables and figures contain the necessary explanations as well as important qualifications and details; they must be read to understand the table or figure content. Following conventional practice, large numbers are sometimes expressed in units of thousands, millions, or billions to enhance readability. Although this practice, too, can lead to minor problems for readers unaccustomed to reading tabular material, with a bit of practice readers should be able to overcome any such difficulties. In general, a little care and caution in reading and interpreting numbers are all that is required.

    Accuracy of Published Data
    Errors in Data

    The material selected for this volume is intended to be the most accurate, up-to-date information possible from the most reputable sources available. But anyone who has used statistical information realizes that it is almost never completely error-free. This is inevitably true here as well. Consider, for example, Tables 11-4 and 4-11. Both are taken from the same government publication, a hundred pages apart. The figures reported for total federal budget outlays, which appear in both tables, typically match. For example, the $1,253.0 billion total outlay for 1990 noted in Table 11-4 matches exactly the 1990 outlay shown in Table 11-5. Similarly, the total outlays for the other years match perfectly. Yet inexplicably the figures for national defense never quite match, differing by as little as $0.4 billion and as much as $8.7 billion.

    Why do such discrepancies and other kinds of errors (or what appear to be errors) occur? The answer varies.

    Rounding

    Sometimes what appears to be an error is simply a matter of rounding. For example, 20.2 plus 20.4 equals 41 if one adds and then rounds, but equals 40 if one rounds and then adds. This explains why the sum of the numbers in certain columns in Table 10-4 does not quite match the total. A similar sort of “error” occurs when percentages sum to 99.8 or 100.2 rather than to 100 plus or minus 0.1 percent.

    Exact Date of Data Collection

    Accurate interpretation of data depends on knowing the precise date of collection and the period covered. Sometimes the period of collection and any implication for interpretation are obvious. For example, the unemployment rate “at the end of the year” may differ if the phrase means the average of the November and December figures rather than the December figure alone. The time factor can be more subtle—for example, if a U.S. senator-elect dies and someone from the other party is appointed to fill the seat, the number of Democrats and Republicans elected will differ slightly from the number of Democrats and Republicans that actually take office a few months later. Even seemingly similar time spans sometimes conceal important differences. For example, dollar amounts for given years are likely to differ if the researcher is using calendar years rather than fiscal years.

    The date of data collection is important from another perspective as well. Data are often updated, and researchers need to know whether they are dealing with the “original” or the “revised” figures. Sometimes data providers make it clear that their initial figures are subject to change (such as when the government reports preliminary economic statistics), and that they will label revised statistics as such. But not always. We have found numerous instances in which data have been revised—and not only for the most recent period. It is always a good idea to check the latest publication of a time series to see if there have been changes to previously reported information.

    Handling of “Minor” Categories.

    “Minor” categories may be uncounted, ignored, or dropped for analytical reasons. Often, for example, votes are given only for the candidates of the two major parties. The small number of votes for the Socialist, Libertarian, and Prohibition candidates, not to mention the stray ballots cast for Mickey Mouse or “none of the above,” are unreported or lumped together under “other.” Thus, a vote may be correctly reported as 42.7 percent (of the total vote) and just as correctly reported as 42.9 percent (of the two-party vote). Occasionally, minor categories create more complicated problems. For example, in New York State the same candidate may be nominated by two parties, such as the Democratic Party and the Liberal Party. The percentage of Democratic votes then differs from the percentage of votes received by the Democratic candidate.

    A similar problem occurs in the reporting of survey data. In any large survey, in response to almost every question a small number of respondents give “oddball” responses, refuse to answer, or say that they do not know. Depending on how these responses are handled—often, but not always, they are eliminated before any further percentaging is done—simple distributions of responses can vary up to a few percentage points or more. “Don't know” responses are especially problematic. It is sometimes important to know how many individuals are uncertain of their response, so we include them in many of our tables (such as Table 3-12 and Tables 3-14 through 3-18). Tabulations of the same items with these responses removed will differ by varying, unknown amounts.

    Changes in Measurement Techniques

    Changes in the way measurements are made can produce different figures and can lead to time series that are not fully comparable. Although the two categories sometimes meld together, we might distinguish between (1) changes in operationalization and (2) changes in conceptualization.

    A change in operationalization occurs when the underlying idea remains the same but there is a change in the precise way in which the measurement is carried out. A classic example occurs in survey research, in trying to measure concepts such as “political efficacy” and “political trust” or even concepts such as “support for gun control.” Researchers at different times may define the concept in the same way but believe that they can “improve” on previous measures by changing the specific questions used to determine a person's efficacy, trust, or support. A consequence of doing so may be that we cannot measure change in public opinion because the new results are not truly comparable with those of earlier polls. Sometimes such changes are forced on reluctant researchers. For example, the “market basket” of items in the Consumer Price Index (Table 11-2) has changed over time. Fountain pens or carbon paper might have been reasonable items to include in the 1950s but not in the 2000s; in the same vein, because of technological progress some items could not have been included until recently.

    A change in conceptualization occurs when researchers develop a new understanding of what is meant by some idea. A good example comes from the Current Population Survey (CPS), in which the U.S. Department of Labor tries to determine the status of “discouraged workers”—defined for many years as persons who are not employed and who want a job, but who are not looking for work because of perceived job market factors. Also for many years, the measure of discouraged workers was based on the relatively subjective notion of “desire for work,” whereas a newer definition relies on more objective measures of recent efforts to search for a job. This altered conceptualization of what it means to be looking for work was one of many changes made in the CPS during the early 1990s. (These changes are described in the September 1993 issue of the Monthly Labor Review.)

    Inability to Carry out Exact Measurements

    Sometimes problems arise not because the underlying concept is unclear, but simply because researchers are unable to complete the measurements called for. Consider, for example, the decennial census—the effort to measure the total population of the United States. The concept is clear enough—count every individual living in the United States at a specific time (now designated as April 1 of each census year). However, in fact it is impossible to carry out such a measurement with absolute precision for such a vast population. Homeless persons, for example, are exceedingly difficult to count, and then there are always those individuals who for one reason or another do not want to be identified and make an effort not to be counted.

    A more vexing example is the effort to estimate voter turnout. Some of the problems are questions of conceptualization. For example, in calculating “presidential” turnout (Table 1-1), does one want to include individuals who go to the polls but do not in fact cast a ballot for president? There is also the question of how well researchers can obtain the count they seek. If they define the basis for the calculation (the “denominator”) as all those eligible to vote, numerous problems arise, such as determining the number of felons or ex-felons in the voting-age population who are ineligible. For this reason, even simple-sounding numbers are estimated variously.1

    Ad Hoc Problems

    All sorts of small discrepancies can occur, with ad hoc explanations for each one. One fairly well-known example is counting presidents. Barack Obama is usually said to be the forty-fourth president, but he is only the forty-third person to hold the office. Grover Cleveland is counted twice because his two terms were separated by four years. So, is the correct number forty-three or forty-four? It depends on precisely what one means. A less obvious problem occurs in counting Supreme Court nominations that failed. In 1987 Douglas Ginsburg was publicly announced as President Ronald Reagan's choice, but his name was withdrawn before it was formally submitted to the Senate. Technically, was he nominated? This kind of subtlety is exacerbated when dealing with events of the distant past. It would be easy, for example, to think that the multiple listings of certain nominees to the Supreme Court by President John Tyler are an egregious typographical error. In fact, these multiple nominations occurred (all unsuccessfully) in a fight between the president and Congress (Table 7-4).

    Solutions to Errors in Data

    Awareness that data may contain inaccuracies is no reason to ignore the data, nor is it an excuse to ignore the possible inaccuracies. Consideration of some “solutions” to data errors helps illustrate this point. The solutions, like the problems just described, are suggestive rather than exhaustive.

    Sometimes errors are relatively obvious and can be easily corrected. One example is misprints. One might encounter references to the 535 members of the House of Representatives when obviously the whole Congress is meant. Checking with alternative or more authoritative sources when mistakes are suspected can help remedy such problems.

    Outlandish or illogical numbers should also be checked. A classic example of finding and explaining nonsensical results is the case of two researchers who were not willing to believe data from the 1950 census showing “a surprising number of widowed fourteen-year-old boys and, equally surprising, a decrease in the number of widowed teenage males at older ages.”1 They wrote a “detective story” about how they traced the problem to systematic errors in the way certain data were entered into the census records.

    Another method—one that should always be used—is to check footnotes and accompanying text for exceptions and special comments. Recognize that the problem may not really be error, but misreading. Consider the table on U.S. casualties in the Vietnam War (Table 9-5). For 1973 through 1993, the bottom row shows there were no U.S. military forces in Vietnam but 1,118 battle deaths—surely an anomaly. The note reveals, however, that there were troops in Vietnam for nearly a month at the beginning of this period—the zero indicates the force count as of December 31, 1973, and U.S. forces were withdrawn on January 27, 1973. In addition, forces dying of wounds incurred earlier or those who were missing and later classified as deceased are also considered battle deaths.

    Another solution is what is formally called sensitivity analysis. When values are inexact or differ across sources, a researcher should ask how sensitive the conclusion is to the precise values used. If the true values differ by some specified amount from the reported values, would the conclusion change? If not, the researcher can be more confident about the conclusion. Similarly, if sources differ, consider the actual values from several sources. If the conclusion to be drawn does not vary with the different values, the discrepancies are only a minor problem. For example, almost any conclusion about national defense expenditures would be the same whether 1995 expenditures were $272.1 billion (Table 11-4) or $273.6 billion (Table 11-5), even though the difference represents what in other contexts would be an astonishing $1.5 billion.

    For the researcher examining over-time data, one way to avoid possible errors is to be sure the data are truly comparable. For one thing, check for indications that the data were revised or updated. Preliminary reports are sometimes not directly comparable with initial reports. In addition, check that the data were collected uniformly or know what the differences are over time and their probable effects. Occasionally, guesses about probable error can be confirmed by formal tests. An excellent example is a study in which both old and new survey questions were asked. Differences that had previously been attributed to changes in the electorate over time were shown to be methodological artifacts.1

    Sometimes when changes occur, one can develop new estimates, or incorporate ones that are supplied, for an entire existing time series. For example, in the mid-1990s the Bureau of Economic Analysis undertook a comprehensive revision of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA), and in doing so it published new estimates of the gross domestic product back to 1929, which, in turn, affected many other calculations. Along the same lines, in 2004 the General Social Survey, used as a basis for some tables about public opinion in Chapter 3, changed its sample design. This change required the use of sample weights for that and earlier years, resulting in slight changes in previously reported figures. While frustrating in that the older series might have to be replaced entirely by the new numbers, the new data provide a comparable time series for the entire period. Of course, in such situations researchers also must ask themselves which figures should be used. The original calculations are arguably better if a researcher is asking questions that depend on how people viewed the world at the time the original data were collected.

    All data, perhaps especially data over time, should be examined for “outliers.” If a series of values, say the percentages of votes for the Republican candidate in a given district, are 52, 56, 49, 85, and 50, the accuracy of the 85 percent must be checked. Is the 85 a transposition of 58? If 85 is the correct number, what is the reason for it? Was the candidate essentially unopposed that year? What conclusion should be drawn if the 85 were omitted?

    Researchers should always think carefully about what information is really wanted. There are instances in which it is necessary to decide which of two or three sets of equally valid data are most appropriate to answer a given question. We noted, for example, that one might wish to employ only the two-party vote or the vote for all parties, include survey respondents who answer “don't know” or eliminate them, or use contemporary data rather than reestimates made years later.

    Finally, after taking all reasonable steps to ensure the data are as good as can be obtained and that they address the question at hand, the researcher should indicate known errors. It is better to point out that there is some question about certain figures than to pretend that they are perfect. If a loftier reason does not come to mind, being straightforward about inaccuracies at least prevents readers from lobbing them back, implying the researcher was too ignorant to notice the problems.

    Obtaining Additional Material

    This book provides essential figures and tables, but the coverage is far from exhaustive. Many readers may want data with a slightly different twist or of another sort altogether. The Guide to References for Political Statistics in this volume should help to orient readers who seek information beyond that contained here. The sources given for the tables and figures in this book should also be considered in such searches. They will especially alert readers to the many electronic sources now available.

    Data on current events can be found in newspapers, weekly news magazines, CQ Weekly, and the National Journal. The indexes of CQ Weekly, National Journal, and the major newspapers are a valuable guide. Online sources such as http://50states.com provide useful links to newspapers on the Web, as does http://Newslink.org, which also covers magazines as well as radio and television stations. Subscription services such as LexisNexis, Newsbank, and ProQuest Historical Newspapers provide additional coverage, not only of current events but also of historical and legal materials. And Google's news archive allows one to search online sources by month and year. Many of these services are now available on the Web or as electronic databases available at research libraries.

    Reference librarians should never be overlooked in the quest for information. Librarians for government document collections are also invaluable resources. Interlibrary loans can help to secure less readily available volumes, although principal reference works and current material seldom circulate in this fashion.

    For some material, one may need to contact organizations that compile or disseminate the data. Various directories (most now online as well as in hard copy) are available—of party organizations, interest groups, associations, research institutions, and state agencies. At the federal level, CQ Press's Washington Information Directory is a valuable guide to potential sources. The Council of State Governments, with its CSG State Directories of administrative and elected officials, provides a similar service at the state level.

    Data and texts are now often available in electronic form. Numerous commercial vendors offer online data services, and government agencies have moved many publications onto the Web, some of them exclusively so. Although such a change makes information widely available, it also means that consumers of information must be computer literate. Fortunately, producers are providing more user-friendly sites at the same time that consumers are becoming more sophisticated.

    Archives of electronic data also constitute a valuable source of information and were the source of several tables and figures for this volume. The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan has the largest collection of digital social science data. A guide to its resources is available at http://www.icpsr.umich.edu, and some of its data are made available there for observation and analysis online. Most major research universities are members of the consortium. Anyone wishing to learn how to obtain data should contact the official university representatives of ICPSR. Other large data repositories exist in other countries (see http://www.iassistdata.org).

    Because of the tremendous growth of sites on the Web, the appearance and disappearance of useful sites, and the availability of powerful search engines, it would be pointless (as well as impossible) to try to develop anything like a comprehensive list. Nevertheless, the Guide to References lists sites that may be of special interest in searching for political statistics. As noted, we also recommend using the sources we cite in the tables and figures as a starting point for gathering additional information.

    These hints are merely suggestions for those who wish to go beyond this volume to track down particular pieces of information. We hope readers will find the extensive coverage in this obviously not exhaustive volume to be convenient and valuable.

    Notes

    On this matter, see the lengthy but informative discussions in the following, along with the work cited in the notes and sources for Table 1-1: Walter Dean Burnham, “Triumphs and Travails in the Study of American Voting Participation Rates, 1788–2006,” Journal of the Historical Society 7 (2007): 505–519; Curtis Gans, Voter Turnout in the United States, 1788–2009 (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011).

    Ansley J. Coale and Frederick F. Stephan, “The Case of the Indians and the Teen-Age Widows,” Journal of the American Statistical Association 57 (1962): 338.

    John L. Sullivan, James E. Piereson, and George E. Marcus, “Ideological Constraint in the Mass Public: A Methodological Critique and Some New Findings,” American Journal of Political Science 22 (1978): 233–249.

    About the Authors

    Harold W. Stanley is the Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair in American Politics and Political Economy at Southern Methodist University (SMU). In 1979, he joined the University of Rochester Department of Political Science and served as its chair from 1996 to 1999. Known as an expert in American national politics and electoral change in the South, Stanley currently serves as associate provost at SMU.

    Richard G. Niemi is the Don Alonzo Watson Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester. He is the coauthor of many books, including Civic Education: What Makes Students Learn and Voting Technology: The Not-So-Simple Act of Casting a Ballot. Niemi has written numerous articles on political socialization, voting, and legislative districting. He is currently doing research on civic education and voting.

  • Appendix

    Definitions of Regions

    Analyses of U.S. politics often involve breaking the nation down into groups of states in order to highlight tendencies and trends in different regions. For ease of reference, four regional definitions, used in various tables in this book, are shown here. These four, while prominent, by no means exhaust the various definitions of regions that have been employed in the study of U.S. politics.

    Table A-1 Regions as Defined by the U.S. Census Bureau and by Pew Research
    Table A-2 Regions as Defined by Congressional Quarterly, New York Times/CBS News Poll, and Voter Research and Surveys
    Table A-3 Regions for Party Competition Table (Table 1-4) and Apportionment Map (Figure 5-1)
    Table A-4 Regions for School Desegregation Table (Table 10-13)
    Guide to References for Political Statistics
    General
    • Congressional Information Service. American Statistics Index: A Comprehensive Guide and Index to the Statistical Publications of the U.S. Government. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Information Service, 1973–. Annual, with monthly supplements. Available online at LexisNexis Statistical DataSets ( http://academic.lexisnexis.com ).
    • ———. Statistical Reference Index: A Selective Guide to American Statistical Publications from Sources Other Than the U.S. Government. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Information Service, 1980–. Annual, with bimonthly supplements. Available online at LexisNexis Statistical DataSets ( http://academic.lexisnexis.com ).
    • Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report (CQ Weekly as of April 18, 1998). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1945–.
    • Congressional Research Service. The Constitution of the United States: Analysis and Interpretation. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2004. 108th Cong., 2nd sess., S. Doc. 108-17. Supplement, 110th Cong., 2nd sess., S. Doc. 110-17.
    • Federal Statistics, www.fedstats.gov
    • Government Printing Office, www.gpoaccess.gov/about/index.html
    • Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science, http://dvn.iq.harvard.edu/dvn
    • Historical Statistics of the United States. Millennial ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
    • Law Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/law/index.php
    • Library of Congress, www.loc.gov
    • Maier, Mark H., and Jennifer Imazeki. The Data Game: Controversies in Social Science Statistics. 4th ed. Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 2013.
    • ProQuest Statistical Insight (formerly LexisNexis Statistical), http://academic.lexisnexis.com
    • U.S. Census Bureau, www.census.gov
    • U.S. Census Bureau. Statistical Abstract of the United States. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1879–. Annual. Since 2013, the ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States.
    • U.S. Congress. House. Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. Biennial.
    Elections
    • Archer, J. Clark, Stephen J. Lavin, Kenneth C. Martis, and Fred M. Shelley. Historical Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, 1788–2004. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2006.
    • Bartley, Numan V., and Hugh D. Graham. Southern Elections: County and Precinct Data, 1950–1972. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978.
    • Burnham, Walter Dean. Voting in American Elections: The Shaping of the American Political Universe since 1788. Palo Alto, Calif.: Academica Press, 2010.
    • CQ Press. Guide to U.S. Elections. 6th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2009.
    • CQ Press Voting and Elections Collection, www.cqpress.com/product/CQ-Voting-and-Elections-Collection.html
    • DC's Political Report, www.dcpoliticalreport.com
    • Deskins, Donald R., Jr., Hanes Walton Jr., and Sherman C. Puckett. The African American Electorate: A Statistical History. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2012.
    • ———. Presidential Elections, 1789–2008: County, State, and National Mapping of Election Data. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010.
    • Unique feature: multicolor maps showing presidential election results at the county level.
    • Dubin, Michael J. United States Congressional Elections, 1788–1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st through the 105th Congresses. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1998.
    • ———. United States Gubernatorial Elections, 1776–1860: The Official Results by State and County. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2003; 1861–1911, 2010.
    • ———. United States Presidential Elections, 1788–1860: The Official Results by State and County. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2002.
    • Federal Election Commission, www.fec.gov
    • Gans, Curtis. Voter Turnout in the United States, 1788–2009. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011.
    • Glashan, Roy R. American Governors and Gubernatorial Elections, 1775–1978. Westport, Conn.: Meckler, 1979.
    • Kallenbach, Joseph E., and Jessamine S. Kallenbach. American State Governors, 1776–1976. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana Publications, 1977–1982.
    • Klarner, Carl. Governors Dataset, www.indstate.edu/polisci/klarnerpolitics.htm
    • McDonald, Michael. “United States Elections Project.” http://elections.gmu.edu
    • Mullaney, Marie. American Governors and Gubernatorial Elections, 1979–1987. Westport, Conn.: Meckler, 1988.
    • ———. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1988–1994. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994.
    • Nomination and Election of the President and Vice President of the United States. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1960–. Quadrennial.
    • Politico (elections), www.politico.com
    • Project Vote Smart, www.votesmart.org
    • Rusk, Jerrold. A Statistical History of the American Electorate. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2001.
    • Scammon, Richard M., Alice McGillivray, and Rhodes Cook, eds. America at the Polls: A Handbook of Presidential Election Statistics. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, various years.
    • ———. America Votes: A Handbook of Contemporary American Election Statistics. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, Elections Research Center, 1956–.
    • State legislative election returns, ICPSR Study No. 34297, www.icpsr.umich.edu
    • State partisan balance, www.indstate.edu/polisci/klarnerpolitics.htm
    • U.S. Census Bureau, www.census.gov
    • U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, Population Characteristics, Series P-20. Voting and Registration in the Election of November [Year]. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1964–. Biennial.
    Political Parties
    • Bain, Richard C., and Judith H. Parris. Convention Decisions and Voting Records. 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1973.
    • Congressional Quarterly. National Party Conventions, 1831–2008. 9th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2009.
    • David, Paul T. Party Strength in the United States, 1872–1970. Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of America, 1972. Updated for 1972 in Journal of Politics 36 (1972): 785–796; for 1974 in Journal of Politics 38 (1974): 416–425; for 1976 in Journal of Politics 40 (1976): 770–780.
    • Democratic National Committee, www.democrats.org
    • Republican National Committee, www.rnc.org
    Campaign Finance and Political Action Committees (PACs)
    • Campaign Finance Information Center, www.campaignfinance.org
    • Campaign Finance Institute, www.cfinst.org
    • Center for Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org
    • CQ MoneyLine, www.cqmoneyline.com
    • National Institute on Money in State Politics, www.followthemoney.org
    • The Campaign Disclosure Project, www.campaigndisclosure.org
    • Federal Election Commission. Annual Report. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1976–.
    • The Gubernatorial Campaign Finance Database, www.unc.edu/~beyle/guber.html
    • Influence Explorer, www.influenceexplorer.com
    • Justice at Stake, www.justiceatstake.org
    • Magleby, David B., and Anthony Corrado, eds. Financing the 2008 Election: Assessing Reform. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2011.
    Public Opinion
    • Note: Many universities and local news sources collect public opinion data within the state in which they are located. Cornell's Institute for Social and Economic Research ( www.ciser.cornell.edu/info/polls.shtml ) has a list of sources of polling data with a state or regional emphasis.
    • Gallup Poll, www.gallup.com
    • Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, www.icpsr.umich.edu
    • Odum Institute, University of North Carolina, www.irss.unc.edu/odum
    • Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, http://people-press.org
    • Polling the Nations, www.orspub.com
    • Polling Report, www.pollingreport.com
    • American National Election Studies. “Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior.” www.electionstudies.org
    • Astin, A. W., et al. The American Freshman: Forty Year Trends. Los Angeles: Higher Education Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, 2007. National Norms for Fall, 1998–. Annual.
    • Opinion Research Service. American Public Opinion Index. Louisville, Ky.: Opinion Research Service, 1981–2000. Annual.
    • POLL (The Public Opinion Location Library). Storrs, Conn.: Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. http://ropercenter.uconn.edu
    • Public Opinion Quarterly. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937–. Quarterly.
    Media
    • ABC News, http://abcnews.com
    • CBS News, www.cbs.com
    • CNN, www.cnn.com
    • C-SPAN, www.c-span.org
    • Fox News, www.foxnews.com
    • MSNBC, www.nbcnews.com
    • New York Times, www.nytimes.com
    • Time, www.time.com
    • USA Today, www.usatoday.com
    • Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com
    • ADI Book. Beltsville, Md.: Arbitron Television. Annual.
    • Broadcasting Publications. Broadcasting Cablecasting Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Broadcasting Publications, 1982–. Annual. Continues Broadcasting Cable Yearbook, which combined Broadcasting Yearbook (1968–1979) and Broadcasting Cable Sourcebook (1973–1979).
    • Cable and Station Coverage Atlas, 1986. Indianapolis, Ind.: Warren Publishing, 1986–. Annual.
    • C-SPAN Archives. West Lafayette, Ind.: C-SPAN, 1987–. www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary
    • Dow Jones Factiva, www.factiva.com
    • Editor & Publisher—The Fourth Estate. New York: Editor & Publisher, 1884–. Weekly.
    • LexisNexis, www.lexisnexis.com
    • Media Tenor, www.mediatenor.com
    • Newsbank, Inc., www.newsbank.com
    • Nielsen Television Index. Northbrook, Ill.: A. C. Nielsen, 1955. Annual.
    • Nielsen Wire, http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/category/politics
    • Proquest, www.proquest.com
    • Television Digest. Television and Cable Factbook. Washington, D.C.: Television Digest, 1946–. Annual.
    • Vanderbilt Television News Archive. Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt University. http://tvnews.vanderbilt.edu
    Congress
    • Library of Congress, Thomas: Legislative Information, http://thomas.loc.gov
    • U.S. House of Representatives, www.house.gov
    • U.S. Senate, www.senate.gov
    • Balinski, Michel, and H. Peyton Young. Fair Representation: Meeting the Ideal of One Man, One Vote. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1982.
    • Barone, Michael, and Grant Ujifusa. The Almanac of American Politics. Washington, D.C.: National Journal, 1972–. Biennial.
    • Biographical Directory of Congress, http://bioguide.congress.gov/biosearch/biosearch.asp
    • Congressional Quarterly. American Political Leaders, 1789–2009. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2009.
    • ———. Congress A to Z. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2008.
    • ———. Congress and the Nation. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly/CQ Press, 1965–. Quadrennial. Years 1945–1964 contained in one volume.
    • ———. Congressional Districts in the 2000s. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2003.
    • ———. Congressional Roll Call. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly/ CQ Press, 1974–. Annual.
    • ———. [Year] Congressional Staff Directory. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly/CQ Press, 1959–2012. Biennial.
    • ———. CQ Almanac. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly/CQ Press, 1945–. Annual.
    • ———. Guide to Congress. 7th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2012.
    • ———. Politics in America. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1981–. Biennial.
    • Congressional Research Service, www.opencrs.com
    • CQ Press Congress Collection, http://library.cqpress.com/congress
    • Freeman, Eric, and Stephan A. Jones. African Americans in Congress. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.
    • Martis, Kenneth C. Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789–1989. New York: Macmillan, 1989.
    • ———. The Historical Atlas of the United States Congressional Districts, 1789–1983. New York: Free Press, 1983.
    • Martis, Kenneth C., and Gregory A. Elmes. The Historical Atlas of State Power in Congress, 1790–1990. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1993.
    • Martis, Kenneth C., and Gyula Pauer. The Historical Atlas of the Congresses of the Confederate States of America. New York: Macmillan, 1994.
    • Ornstein, Norman J., Thomas E. Mann, and Michael J. Malbin, eds. Vital Statistics on Congress. Publisher and frequency vary.
    • Parsons, Stanley B., William W. Beach, and Michael J. Dubin. United States Congressional Districts and Data. 2 vols. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1978, 1986.
    • Parsons, Stanley B., Michael J. Dubin, and Karen Toombs Parsons. United States Congressional Districts, 1883–1913. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.
    • Sharp, Michael. The Directory of Congressional Voting Scores and Interest Group Ratings. 2 vols. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2005.
    • Silbey, Joel, ed. Encyclopedia of the American Legislative System: Studies of the Principal Structures, Processes, and Policies of Congress and State Legislatures since the Colonial Era. 3 vols. New York: Scribner's, 1994–1996.
    • Stewart, Charles, III, David T. Canon, and Garrison Nelson, eds. Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1789–1946. 4 vols. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2002; Nelson and Stewart, eds., 1993–2010, 2010.
    • Treese, Joel, ed. Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774–1996. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1997.
    • U.S. Census Bureau. Congressional District Atlas. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1960–. Frequency varies.
    • ———. Congressional District Data Book. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1961–. Frequency varies.
    • U.S. Congress. Joint Committee on Printing. Official Congressional Directory. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1809–. Biennial (in recent years).
    Presidency and Executive Branch
    • The White House, www.whitehouse.gov
    • Compilation of Presidential Documents. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1965–.
    • Congressional Quarterly. Federal Regulatory Directory. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1979–. Frequency varies.
    • ———. [Year] Federal Staff Directory. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1982–2012. Biennial.
    • ———. Guide to the Presidency and the Executive Branch. 5th ed. Edited by Michael Nelson. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2012.
    • ———. Washington Information Directory. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1975–. Annual.
    • DeGregorio, William A., and Sandra Lee Stuart. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. 7th ed. Fort Lee, N.J.: Barricade Books, 2009.
    • Kane, Joseph Nathan, and Janet Podell. Facts about the Presidents: A Compilation of Biographical and Historical Information. 8th ed. New York: H. W. Wilson, 2009.
    • Ragsdale, Lyn. Vital Statistics on the Presidency: George Washington to George W. Bush. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, forthcoming.
    • U.S. Government Organization Manual. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1935–. Annual.
    The Judiciary
    • Federal Judicial Center, www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf
    • U.S. Courts, The Federal Judiciary, www.uscourts.gov
    • U.S. Supreme Court, www.supremecourt.gov
    • The American Bench. Sacramento, Calif.: Reginald Bishop Forster and Associates, 1977–. Biennial.
    • Bureau of Justice Statistics. Courts Data Collections, www.bjs.gov
    • Congressional Quarterly. [Year] Judicial Staff Directory. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1986–2012. Annual.
    • The Corrections Yearbook. South Salem, N.Y.: Criminal Justice Institute, 1980–. Annual.
    • Cushman, Clare, ed. The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies, 1789–2012. 3rd ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2013.
    • Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Annual Report. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1940–. Annual.
    • Epstein, Lee, Jeffrey A. Segal, Harold J. Spaeth, and Thomas G. Walker. Supreme Court Compendium. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011.
    • Friedman, Leon, and Fred L. Israel, eds. The Justices of the United States Supreme Court. 4th ed. New York: Facts on File, 2013.
    • Judges of the United States. 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1983.
    • Savage, David. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010.
    • State Court Caseload Statistics: Annual Report. Williamsburg, Va.: Conference of State Court Administrators and the National Center for State Courts, 1976–. Annual.
    Federalism
    • Council of State Governments, www.csg.org
    • Library of Congress, State Government Information, www.loc.gov/rr/news/stategov/stategov.html
    • National Governors Association, www.nga.org
    • The Pew Center on the States, www.pewcenteronthestates.org
    • Alexander, Herbert E., and Mike Eberts. Public Financing of State Elections: A Data Book and Election Guide to Public Funding of Political Parties and Candidates in Twenty States. Los Angeles: Citizens’ Research Foundation, 1986.
    • Almanac of the 50 States: Basic Data Profiles with Comparative Tables. Palo Alto, Calif.: Information Publications, 1985–. Annual.
    • Beyle, Thad, ed. State Government. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1985–. Annual.
    • The Book of the States. Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments, 1935–. Biennial; annual since 2002.
    • The County Year Book. Washington, D.C.: National Association of Counties and International City/County Management Association, 1975–. Annual.
    • CSG State Directories. 3 vols. Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments, 1977–. Annual.
    • Dubin, Michael J. Party Affiliations in the State Legislatures: A Year by Year Summary, 1796–2006. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2007.
    • Federal Election Campaign Laws. Washington, D.C.: Federal Election Commission, 2008.
    • Holli, Melvin G., and Peter Jones, eds. Biographical Dictionary of American Mayors, 1820–1980. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981.
    • Initiative and Referendum Institute, www.iandrinstitute.org
    • Lilley, William III, Laurence J. DeFranco, Mark F. Bernstein, and Kari L. Ramsby. The Almanac of State Legislative Elections. 3rd ed. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.
    • ———. The State Atlas of Political and Cultural Diversity. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1997.
    • Morgan, Kathleen O'Leary, and Scott Morgan, eds. State Rankings 2013: A Statistical View of America. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2013. Annual.
    • The Municipal Year Book. New York: International City/County Management Association, 1934–. Annual.
    • National Conference of State Legislatures, www.ncsl.org
    • National Directory of State Agencies. Bethesda, Md.: National Standards Association, 1976–. Annual since 1986.
    • State Legislative Sourcebook. Topeka, Kan.: Government Research Service, 1986–. Annual.
    • State Yellow Book. New York: Leadership Directories, Inc., 1973–. Quarterly.
    • Tax Foundation. Facts and Figures on Government Finance. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1941–. Updated periodically.
    • U.S. Census Bureau. Census of Governments. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1972–. Frequency varies.
    • ———. City Government Finances; Government Finances; State Government Finances. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1909–; 1916–; 1965–. Annual.
    • ———. County and City Data Book. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1952–. Frequency varies.
    • ———. State and Metropolitan Area Data Book. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1979–. Frequency varies.
    • Waters, M. Dane. Initiative and Referendum Almanac. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2003.
    Foreign and Military Policy
    • Cochran, Thomas B., et al. Nuclear Weapons Databook. Multiple vols. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1994, 2005.
    • Joint Chiefs of Staff. Military Posture for Fiscal Year [Year]. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. Annual.
    • The Military Balance. London: International Institute of Strategic Studies, 1959–. Annual.
    • Patterns of Global Terrorism. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 1983–2003. Annual.
    • SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute). World Armaments and Disarmament: SIPRI Yearbook. Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell; New York: Oxford University Press, 1970–. Annual.
    • United Nations, http://untreaty.un.org
    • U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1965–2000. Annual (title varies).
    Social Policy
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov
    • Kaiser Family Foundation, www.kff.org , www.statehealthfacts.org
    • Medicaid, www.medicaid.gov
    • National Vital Statistics Reports. Previously titled Monthly Vital Statistics Report. Hyattsville, Md.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1952–. Varying numbers annually.
    • U.S. National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health), www.nlm.nih.gov/hsrinfo/datasites.html
    • Anderton, Douglas L., Richard E. Barrett, and Donald J. Bogue. The Population of the United States. 3rd ed. New York: Free Press, 1997.
    • Center for American Women and Politics, National Information Bank on Women in Public Office, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, www.cawp.rutgers.edu
    • Death Penalty Information Center, www.deathpenaltyinfo.org
    • Guttmacher Institute, www.guttmacher.org/statecenter
    • Heaton, Tim B., Bruce A. Chadwick, and Cardell K. Jacobson. Statistical Handbook on Racial Groups in the United States. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx, 2000.
    • Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, www.jointcenter.org
    • LGBT Human Rights Campaign, www.hrc.org/resources
    • National Roster of Hispanic Elected Officials, [Year]. Washington, D.C.: National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund. Annual.
    • Pew Hispanic Center, http://pewhispanic.org
    • The Sentencing Project, http://sentencingproject.org
    • The State of Black America. New York: National Urban League, 1976–. Annual.
    • University at Albany, Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center. (Formerly Bureau of Justice Statistics.) Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1974–. Annual in print through 2003.
    • U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Digest of Education Statistics. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1962–. Annual.
    • U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. The Condition of Education: A Statistical Report. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1975–. Annual.
    • U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration. Annual Energy Review. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1977–.
    • U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Uniform Crime Reports for the United States. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1930–. Annual.
    Economic Policy
    • American Gaming Association's State of the States Survey, http://www.ameri can gaming.org
    • The Economic Report of the President. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1947–. Annual.
    • The Economist. Guide to Economic Indicators: Making Sense of Economics. 7th ed. New York: Wiley, 2010.
    • [Year] Historical Chart Book. Washington, D.C.: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 1965–. Annual.
    • Office of Management and Budget. Budget of the United States Government. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. Annual.
    • O'Hara, Frederick M. Handbook of United States Economic and Financial Indicators. 2nd ed. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000.
    • Tax Foundation, http://taxfoundation.org
    • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment and Earnings. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1961–. Annual.
    • ———. Handbook of Labor Statistics. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1927–. Frequency varies.
    • ———. Monthly Labor Review. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1915–.
    • U.S. Council of Economic Advisers. Economic Indicators. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1948–. Monthly.
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Statistics. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1937–. Annual.
    • U.S. Department of Commerce. Survey of Current Business. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1921–. Monthly.
    • World Bank. World Development Report. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978–. Annual.
Back to Top