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US Data and Statistics Sources

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U.S. Elections and Voting

This guide highlights key sources of city and state demographic statistics, economic indicators, social indicators, housing, education and industry data. Current and historical data included with links to online mapping tools. Sources are primarily online

U.S. Election Returns

U.S. Presidential Elections

CQ Voting and Elections Collection

  • Presidential general elections (by state 1824+; by county 1920+)
  • Presidential primary (by state, years vary widely) 

MIT Election Data Lab

  • Presidential returns by state (1976-2020); county (2000-2016); precinct-level returns for 2016. 

David Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections

  • Tables, graphs, and maps for presidential general (1789-present); primary (1992+) by state; 
  • County data table is only available to members.

Electoral Data for Counties in the United States: Presidential and Congressional Races, 1840-1972

  • County-level returns for general elections to the presidency, data in Stata, SAS, and SPSS formats.

Presidential Electoral College Map (270towin.com)

  • National map showing electoral college votes color coded by party for each presidential election back to 1789. For current election cycle, it includes state polling and forecasts.

U.S. Congressional Elections

MIT Election Data Lab

  • Senate constituency (state-level) returns 1976-2020, House constituency (district) returns1976-2018
  • Precinct-level returns for 2016 (2018 in progress).

CQ Voting and Elections Collection

  • House general elections (by Congressional district 1824–), house primaries (by Congressional district 1994–)
  • Senate general elections (by state 1908–; by county 1968–), senate primary elections (by state 1920–)

U.S. Statewide Elections

CQ Voting and Elections Collection

  • Governor general elections, (by state 1824–; by county 1967–)
  • Governor primaries, by state (some states 1920–)

United States Historical Election Returns Series 1788-1990 

ICPSR's holdings of historical election data cover the years 1788-1990 and consist of several discrete datasets that contain county- and state-level returns for all elections to the offices of president, governor, United States senator, and United States representative.

State Legislative Election Returns, 1967-2016

Dataset contains state legislative general election returns from 1967 through 2016 for all 50 states. There are 378,345 observations, each of which represents an individual candidate. 

County & Precinct

MIT Election Data Lab

Covers presidential, Congressional, state, and local elections by precinct for 2016.

OpenElections

Includes general, primary, and special elections to federal, gubernatorial, and state legislative office (by county and precinct, generally 2000–present). The project is still in process, but many states have data available, especially for recent general elections

Precinct-level Election Result Shapefiles

Prof. Michael McDonald's Voting and Election Science Team are compiling state-by-state GIS/shapefile data of US general election results,  2012-present precinct level general election data and shapefiles. 

Roper iPoll

The most comprehensive collection of surveys from Gallup, Harris, Roper, the New York Times, and many other organizations covering national public opinion, covers a wide range of topics (see the topics glossary). Searches can be conducted at both study-level and question-level across more than half a million survey questions since 1935. Downloadable data formats including csv, SPSS, STATA.

ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research)

ICPSR is the world's largest archive of digital social science data. You can search their data holdings by keyword or browse by thematic categories. They archive many surveys and exit polls. Most of the ICPSR datasets are downloadable only by current BC faculty and students. Federally funded data are freely available to the public.

American National Election Studies (ANES), 1948+

Primary source for public opinion on elections, political participation, characteristics of voters, and for whom they voted, 1948-2016. It also provides summary data on social, economic, partisanship, and public opinion, 1948 to present. 

For quick online analysis, use Berkeley's SDA service.

For quick access to variables: use Continuity Guide, Question Search

National, State, and Primary Election Exit Polls (1972+)

National exit polls consist of presidential and/or congressional vote questions in addition to questions on gubernatorial races, important issues affecting the vote decision, presidential approval and a number of current national issues. With the exception of the 1972 CBS News Exit Poll, all include basic demographic variables such as gender, race, education, income, and age, among others. Sample sizes for these studies usually range from 8,000 to 20,000 voters, with the largest samples coming from the 1986 and 1988 ABC News Exit Polls which consist of over 50,000 interviews.

Polling the Nations

Compilation of questions and responses from more than 6,500 national, state, local and special surveys in the U.S. and over 60 other countries. 1986-, searches can be conducted and saved at question level, browses can be conducted by topics, locations, sources, and featured sources including Pew Research Center, CNN, Fox News.

General Social Survey (GSS) 1972+

The General Social Survey (GSS) is a nationally representative survey of adults in the United States conducted since 1972. The GSS collects data on contemporary American society in order to monitor and explain trends in opinions, attitudes and behaviors. The GSS has adopted questions from earlier surveys which allows researchers to conduct comparisons for up to 80 years.  For quick online analysis, use GSS Data Explorerfor aggregated data access: ICPSR - General Social Survey Series.

Pew Research Center, 1997+

 

 

National Level

Mapping Early American Elections, 1878–1825

Mapping Early American Elections offers a window into the formative era of American politics by producing interactive maps and visualizations of Congressional elections from 1787 to 1825. The project makes available the electoral returns and spatial data underlying those maps, 

United States Congressional District Shapefiles

This site provides digital boundary definitions for every U.S. Congressional District in use between 1789 and 2012. Boundaries are available as shapefiles or GeoJSON definitions. Includes extensive documentation of how boundaries for districts were constructed.

Precinct-level Election Result Shapefiles

Prof. Michael McDonald's Voting and Election Science Team are compiling state-by-state GIS/shapefile data of US general election results,  2012-present precinct level general election data and shapefiles (2019-20).

MABLE/Geocorr14: Geographic Correspondence Engine

The Geocorr geographic correspondence engine generates files and reports showing the relationships between a wide variety of geographic coverages for the United States. The application permits the user to specify the geographic scope of the correspondence files (typically, one or more complete states, but with the ability to specify counties, cities, or metropolitan areas within those states), and, of course, the specific geographic coverages to be processed.

IPUMS - National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) 

The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) provides easy access to summary tables and time series of population, housing, agriculture, and economic data, along with GIS-compatible boundary files, for years from 1790 through the present and for all levels of U.S. census geography, including states, counties, tracts, and blocks. 

 

Turnout, Registration and Voting Rates

Census Bureau's Voting and Registration Supplement (VRS) Tables

November supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS) provides results on reported voting and registration in presidential and congressional elections broken down by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics down to the state level.

Data users can also obtain CPS Voting and Registration data files from non-governmental websites. The National Bureau of Economic Research website contains voting supplement datasets starting in 1994. The IPUMS-CPS website maintained by the University of Minnesota includes voting supplement datasets starting in 1976.”

Voter Turnout in the United States, 1788–2009

Comprehensive turnout statistics for general and primary elections for presidential, congressional, and state gubernatorial races. Extensive tables provide state level figures (including partisan turnout) grouped by office or election type in 20 year chunks. Data in Excel or .csv.

Voter Turnout Based on Voter Eligible Population, 1980–

National and state turnout rates for the voting-eligible population (VEP) and voting age population (VAP) for the 1980-present November general elections, primary elections (2000-). Data in Google Sheets.

Debates

American Presidency Project

Transcripts of numerous Presidential primary debates (pre-convention) beginning 2000 and Presidential debates beginning 1960.

Commission on Presidential Debates

Transcripts of Presidential and Vice Presidential debates, 1960 and every four years beginning 1976.