Campaigns & Elections

This is a selective guide to resources at Columbia University Libraries and on the Internet, for conducting research on federal campaigns and elections. Most of the items included are available in Lehman Library. For other locations and titles, check CLIO.

For information on elections in other countries, please consult the subject guide, Researching Foreign Countries.

Resources marked with this symbol are restricted to Columbia affiliates.

Background Information Resources

  • Almanac of American Politics. Annual. 1974-
    Washington, D.C. : National Journal Inc.
    Call Number: JK 271 .A43
    Particularly useful for the state-by-state, district-by-district analysis and commentary.
  • American Presidential Campaigns and Elections. 3 vols.
    Armonk, N.Y. : Sharpe Reference, c2003.
    Call Number: JK 1965 .A57 2003
  • Bott, Alexander J.
    Handbook of United States Election Laws and Practices.
    New York : Greenwood Press, c1990.
    Call Number: KF 4749 .B625 1990
  • The Campaign Disclosure Law Database
    This collection of statutes, regulations and forms allows users to view and compare the disclosure laws in 50 states, DC and the federal government. The database is divided into 25 categories and 105 subcategories, and includes information on topics as diverse as contributor information, loans to campaigns, electronic filing, enforcement rules and independent expenditures.
  • Campaign Finance Institute
    The Campaign Finance Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit institute, affiliated with The George Washington University, that conducts objective research and education, empanels task forces and makes recommendations for policy change in the field of campaign finance. Separate sections provide coverage of the president, Congress, disclosure, interest groups, and parties.
  • Campaign Speeches of American Presidential Candidates, 1928-1972.
    New York : Ungar, c1976.
    Call Number: E 743 .C235
  • Campaign Speeches of American Presidential Candidates, 1948-1984.
    New York : Ungar, c1985.
    Call Number: E 743 .C236 1985
    Get all your campaign finance info here about people giving and candidates receiving in national politics. Search for contributors, political action committees, candidates, and lobbyists.
  • Coleman, Kevin J.
    Presidential Elections in the United States : a Primer.
    Huntington, NY : Novinka Books, c2001.
    Call Number: JK 528 .C654 2001g
  • Commission on Presidential Debates
    Face-to-face presidential debates in the 20th century began their broadcast history in 1948. Republicans Thomas Dewey and Harold Stassen faced each other in a radio debate during the Oregon Republican presidential primary. This site presents the full text of debates from 1960, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004. There is also much supplementary material relating to Presidential debates.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Ethics in Politics and the Media.
    San Diego : Academic Press, c2001.
    Call Number: PN 4756 .C66 2001
    Contains chapters on Campaign Journalism and Election Strategies.
  • is a compehensive legislative information system, provided by Congressional Quarterly.
    Provides access to full text of: Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report. 1969-
    JK 1 C15 - Lehman
  • CQ Voting and Elections Collection
    Integrates data, authoritative analyses, concise explanations, and historical material to provide a research and reference tool on voting and elections in America. From the American voter, to major and minor political parties, to actual races for Congress, the presidency, and governorships, the collection provides context-driven intelligence on the state of elections in America. Chronological coverage varies by office. Presidential coverage begins 1789. Election data can be downloaded.
  • Congressional Research Service Reports
    Search for the full text of all Congressional Research Service Reports, 1916-present. Use terms such as "campaign finance," "elections" or provided subject terms.
  • Deskins, Donald Richard.
    Presidential Elections, 1789-2008 : County, State, and National Mapping of Election Data.
    Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2010.
    Call Number: JK 524 .D47 2010
  • Dubin, Michael J.
    United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997.
    Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c1998.
    Call Number: R328.73 D85
    Election data for each Congress, arranged alphabetically by state and congressional district, giving candidate's names, party affilation, popular vote, and percentage of the vote. Each election ends with a statistical summary, notes, and a bibliography.
  • Election Data Services
    Election Data Services Inc. is a political consulting firm specializing in redistricting, election administration, and the analysis and presentation of census and political data with GIS (geographic information systems).
    Voting Equipment Studies
  • Encyclopedia of Interest Groups and Lobbyists in the United States. 2 vols.
    Armonk, NY : Sharpe Reference, c2000.
    Call Number: JK 1118 .N47 2000
  • Encyclopedia of U.S. Campaigns, Elections, and Electoral Behavior.
    Los Angeles : Sage, c2008.
    Call Number: R324.73 En2
  • Fair Vote: Center for Voting and Democracy
    A non profit educational organization which educates the public about the impact of voting systems on political representation, proportional representation, voter turnout, and the influence of money in elections.
  • Government Accountability Office: Search on "elections:
  • Guide to U.S. Elections. 6th ed. 2 vols.
    Washington, DC : CQ Press, : 2010.
    Call Number: JK 1967 .C662 2010
  • Martin, Fenton S.
    How to Research Elections.
    Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, c2000.
    Call Number: Z 7164 .R4 M37 2000
  • Martis, Kenneth C
    The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts, 1789-1983.
    New York : Free Press ; London : Collier Macmillan, c1982.
    Call Number: G 1201.F9 M3 1982
  •, the web site for the Center for Responsive Politics, is a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that specializes in the study of Congress and particularly the role that money plays in its elections and actions. The Center conducts computer-based research on campaign finance issues for the news media, academics, activists, and other interested observers of Congress. The Center's databases are available for searching at its site.
  • The Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior (May 2010)
  • Presidential Elections: Resource Guides
    The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a large selection of primary source materials associated with individual presidential elections, including manuscripts, letters, broadsides, government documents, prints, photographs, sheet music, sound recordings, films, and newspaper articles. These resource guides compile digital materials that are available throughout the Library’s Web site. In addition, each resource guide provides links to external Web sites and a bibliography containing selected works.
  • Public Citizen
    A national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization created to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.
  • Renstrom, Peter G.
    The Electoral Politics Dictionary.
    Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-Clio, c1989.
    Call Number: JK 1971 .R46 1989
  • Rusk, Jerrold G.
    A Statistical History of the American Electorate.
    Washington, DC : CQ Press, 2001.
    Call Number: JK 1967 .R87 2001
  • Sabato, Larry.
    Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections.
    New York : Facts On File, c2006.
    Call Number: JK 2261 .S218 2006
  • U. S. Election Assistance Commission
    The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). EAC is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration. EAC administers the biennial Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS), an instrument used to collect state-by-state data on the administration of federal elections. EAC also accredits testing laboratories and certifies voting systems, as well as audits the use of HAVA funds.
      The Electoral College (2012)
    An explanation of its operation.
  • U.S. Election Campaigns : a Documentary and Reference Guide.
    Santa Barbara, Calif. : Greenwood, c2011.
    Call Number: JK 2281 .U34 2011
  • U.S. Electoral College
    The National Archives and Records Administration's Electoral College Home Page. The Office of the Federal Register coordinates the functions of the Electoral College on behalf of the Archivist of the United States, the States, the Congress, and the American People. They have assembled a variety of information and statistics on presidential elections, past and present.
  • U.S. Federal Election Commission
    Law and Regulations
    Campaign Finance Disclosure Portal
    View or download financial disclosure reports filed electronically by House and Presidential Campaigns, Parties and PACs and see graphical presentations of expenditures.
  • Voting And Registration, from the U.S. Census Bureau
    Information on reported voting and registration by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics is collected for the nation in November of congressional and presidential election years in the Current Population Survey (CPS). Detailed information from recent surveys and historical trends in selected areas is listed. Projections of the voting-age population by age, race, Hispanic origin, and gender derived from administrative data are also produced every other year in anticipation of the elections.
  • Walton, Hanes.
    The African American Electorate : a Statistical History.
    Thousand Oaks, Calif. : SAGE/CQ Press, c2012.
    Call Number: JK 1924 .W36 2012

U.S. Political Parties

  • Bass, Harold Franklin.
    Historical Dictionary of United States Political Parties.
    Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 2000.
    Call Number: JK 2261 .B345 2000
  • Kruschke, Earl R.
    Encyclopedia of Third Parties in the United States. 3 vols.
    Armonk, N.Y. : Sharpe Reference, c2000.
    Call Number: JK 2261 .E474 2000
  • Kurian, George Thomas.
    The Encyclopedia of the Republican Party ; The Encyclopedia of the Democratic Party. 4 vols.
    Armonk, N.Y. : Sharpe Reference, c1997 and supplement, 2002.
    Call Number: R329.973 K96
  • Martis, Kenneth C.
    The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress 1789-1989.
    New York : Macmillan Pub. Co., 1989.
    Call Number: G 1201 .F9 M26 1989
  • National Party Conventions, 1831-2008.
    Washington, DC : CQ Press, c2010.
    Call Number: JK 2255 .N373 2010
  • Political Parties
    Brief descriptions, contact information, and web sites for political parties in the U.S., large and small, from Project Vote Smart.
  • Sabato, Larry.
    Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections.
    New York : Facts On File, c2006.
    Call Number: JK 2261 .S218 2006

Campaign 2012 Resources


Previous Campaign Resources

  • Election 2008 Web Archive
  • The Elections of 2008.
    Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, c2009.
    Call Number: JK 1968 2008 .E54 2009
  • Election 2006 Web Archive
  • Abramson, Paul R.
    Change and Continuity in the 2004 and 2006 Elections.
    Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, c2007.
    Call Number: JK 526 2004 .A26 2007
  • Election 2004 Web Archive
  • The Elections of 2004.
    Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, c2005.
    Call Number: JK 526 2004 .E64 2005
  • Election 2002 Web Archive
    The Election 2002 Web Archive is a selective collection of nearly 4,000 sites archived between July 1, 2002 and November 30, 2002. The initial March 4th, 2003 release of the Election 2002 Web Archive includes web sites produced by congressional and gubernatorial candidates. Future releases will include party, interest group, press, government, civic, and other selective web sites related to the 2002 national and statewide elections. Additional materials will be made available as the collection is processed for long-term preservation. Created by the Library of Congress.
  • Election 2000 Web Archive
    The Election 2000: an Internet Library is a selective collection of nearly 800 sites archived daily between August 1, 2000 and January 21, 2001, covering the United States national election period.
  • The Elections of 2000.
    Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, c2001.
    Call Number: JK 526 2000e

Campaign Finances & Electoral Reform

Congressional Voting Records

  • Bosnich, Victor W.
    Congressional Voting Guide: a Ten Year compilation. 4th ed. 1992.
    Bronx, N.Y. : H.W. Wilson Co., 1992.
    Call Number: JK 1051 .B67 1992
  • CQ Floor Votes. from Congressional Quarterly
    Check the voting records for Senators and Representatives back to 1991.
  • Congressional Roll Call. Annual.
    Washington, Congressional Quarterly, inc., 1969-
    Call Number: JK 1 .C663
  • National Environmental Scorecard
    From the League of Conservation Voters, a bipartisan political arm of the environmental movement; Congressional scorecards 1993-present.
  • ACLU Congressional Scorecard: from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • Project Vote Smart
    Key Votes: 1991 to present
    Interest Group Ratings: ratings by dozens of special interest groups, across the political spectrum
  • Sharp, J. Michael.
    The Directory of Congressional Voting Scores and Interest Group Ratings. 2 vols. 4th ed.
    Washington, D.C. : Congressional Quarterly, c2006.
    Call Number: JK 1051 .S555 2006
  • U.S. Congress Votes Database, from the Washington Post
    The U.S. Congress Votes Database documents every vote and member of the House and Senate since 1991. Data is pulled from several sources, including the House clerk, the U.S. Senate and the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress. For the 112th Congress, users can analyze members and votes by various metrics, including caucus affiliations, 2010 margin of victory, and members endorsed by Tea Party Express or Freedom Works during the 2010 campaign.
  • Voter Information Services, Inc.
    Voting records for members of Congress, and ratings of members of Congress based on their votes on legislation supported or opposed by over 20 special interest/lobbying groups

Election Results & Statistics

  • America at the Polls: a Handbook of American Presidential Election Statistics, 1920-1964.
    New York : Arno Press, 1976, c1965.
    Call Number: JK 524 .G6 1976
  • America at the Polls, 1960-2000 John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush: a Handbook of American Presidential Election Statistics. 2 vols.
    Washington, DC : Congressional Quarterly, 2001.
    Call Number: JK 524 .A73 2001
  • America Votes: a Handbook of Contemporary American Election Statistics. Biennial.
    Washington, DC : Congressional Quarterly, 1956-
    Call Number: JK 1967 .A8
  • American National Election Studies
    Produces high quality data on voting, public opinion, and political participation to serve the research needs of social scientists, teachers, students, policy makers and journalists who want to better understand the theoretical and empirical foundations of national election outcomes.
  • Atlas of United States Presidential Elections: 1932-1996.
    Richmond, VA : Klipsan Press, 1997.
    Call Number: JK 1967 .M55 1997g
  • Deskins, Donald Richard.
    Presidential Elections, 1789-2008 : County, State, and National Mapping of Election Data.
    Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2010.
    Call Number: K 524 .D47 2010
  • Dubin, Michael J.
    United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997 : the Official Results of the Elections of the 1st Through 105th Congresses.
    Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c1998.
    Call Number: R328.73 D85
  • Dubin, Michael J.
    United States Presidential Elections, 1788-1860 : the Official Results by County and State.
    Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c2002.
    Call Number: R324.73 Un33
  • Gans, Curtis.
    Voter turnout in the United States, 1788-2009.
    Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, c2011.
    Call Number: JK 1967 .G36 2011
  • Guide to U.S. Elections. 6th ed. 2 vols.
    Washington, DC : CQ Press, c2010.
    Call Number: JK 1967 .C662 2010
  • Historic Documents on Presidential Elections, 1787-1988.
    Washington, D.C. : Congressional Quarterly, 1991.
    Call Number: JK 1965 .H56 199
    Includes 70 items from party platforms, speeches, debates, newspaper articles and broadsides, third parties, constitutional origins & developments, etc.
  • Historical Voting Tables: Congressional Elections
    Statistics of various kinds for Congressional elections, 1966-1996, from the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Presidential Elections, 1789-2008: County, State, and National Mapping of Election Data.
    Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2010.
    Call Number: JK 524 .D47 2010
  • The Record of American Democracy, 1984-1990 (ROAD)
    A massive new aggregate data set on American politics is now available. The Record Of American Democracy (ROAD) data include election returns, socioeconomic summaries, and demographic measures of the American public at unusually low levels of geographic aggregation. The NSF-supported ROAD project covers every state in the country from 1984 through 1990 (including some off-year elections). One collection of data sets includes every election at and above State House, along with party registration and other variables, in each state for the roughly 170,000 precincts nationwide (about 60 times the number of counties). Another collection has added to these (roughly 30-40) political variables an additional 3,725 variables merged from the 1990 U.S. Census for 47,327 aggregate units (about 15 times the number of counties) about the size one or more cities or towns. These units completely tile the U.S. landmass. This collection also includes geographic boundary files so users can easily draw maps with these data.
  • U.S. Electoral College:
    Historical Election Results: View the electoral votes, popular votes, electors, and certificates of past presidential elections, 1788-2008.
  • U.S. Federal Election Commission
    Election Results
    This biennial publication from the Federal Election Commission provides an accurate, historical record of federal election results, including primary, runoff and general elections. Color maps, bar graphs and summary charts are also included to illustrate the data.
  • U.S. House of Representatives. Office of the Clerk.
    Election Statistics
    Official vote counts for federal elections from 1920 to the present.
  • Voter Turnout in the United States, 1788-2009
    This book traces turnout—the percentage of eligible Americans who have cast their ballots—from 1788 through the present. From 1788 until 1902, it traces the votes for president, state governor, and statewide aggregate vote for U.S. House of Representatives—both overall and by party—by state and aggregated nationally.
  • Voting America: U.S. Politics, 1840-2008
    Voting America offers a wide spectrum of cinematic and interactive visualizations of how Americans voted in presidential elections at the county level over the last 164 years.
  • Voting and Registration
    Information on reported voting and registration by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics is collected for the nation in November of congressional and presidential election years in the Current Population Survey (CPS). 1994 and 1996 are available. Projections of the voting-age population by age, race, Hispanic origin, and gender derived from administrative data are also produced every other year in anticipation of the elections. 1996 and 1998 projections are available. There are also Historical Time Series Tables for 1964-1996.

Media & Politics

  • Atlantic Unbound: Politics
    The emphasis at this site is on analysis; the major area is The Issues, which contains fulltext articles from past issues on Abortion, Budget, Congress, Crime, Defense, Economy, Education, Environment, Family, Foreign Policy, Health Care, Immigration, Politics, Poverty, Race, and Religion.
  • Campaigns & Elections. Monthly.
    Washington, D.C., Campaigns & Elections Pub. Corp., 1984-
    Call Number: JK 1976 .C61
  • C-SPAN Online
  • CNN Interactive
  • The Patriot Post: the Conservative Journal of Record
    Requires a free subscription to access the full text.
  • Freedom Forum Online
  • Mother Jones
  • National Journal Weekly. 1981-
    Call Number: JK 1 .N28
  • National Review. Weekly. 1955-
    Call Number: 051 N214
    The web site includes selected material from the current issue, including full text of the lead article and columns, plus info exclusive to the web site.
  • The New Republic. Weekly. 1948- .
    Call Number: 051 N473
  • The Rhodes Cook Letter
    The Rhodes Cook Letter tracks election results for president, Congress and the nation's governorships--in terms of primaries, general elections, and even special elections when they occur. But each issue goes beyond the basics to provide a distinctive analysis of the American political scene - with texts, maps and a variety of other colorful graphics that seek to put current elections into a broader historical context.
  • Roll Call Online
    Web version of the "newspaper of Capitol Hill", including News, Opinion, Politics, Vested Interests, Around the Hill, Congressional Clearinghouse, and Special Features.
  • Slate
    Slate is a daily magazine on the Web. Founded in 1996, i is a general-interest publication offering analysis and commentary about politics, news, business, technology, and culture. Slate is owned by The Washington Post Company.

Political Polling Resources

Many of the sites in the previous section, Campaign Resources, conduct their own polls of Internet users. Most of them are very limited in scope and questionable in terms of the size and demographics of their samples. The resources in this section represent many of the "standard" national polling organizations.

  • American Public Opinion Index. Annual.
    Louisville, KY : Opinion Research Service, 1981-2000.
    Call Number: HM 261 .A463
    Includes many of the polls listed in this section. The Index lists the questions asked; the answers (data) are available in the companion microfiche set, FX3 4117, located in Lehman and Butler.
    The web version, Polling the Nations, is a compilation of more than 14,000 surveys conducted by over 1000 polling organizations in the United States and 100 other countries from 1986 to the present.
  • The ANES (American National Election Studies) Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior
    Provides political observers, policy makers, journalists, teachers, students, and social scientists with immediate access to tables and graphs that display the ebb and flow of public opinion and electoral behavior and choice in American politics since 1948. The Guide presents a small portion of responses to the questions that have been asked in the 1952-2008 American National Election Studies time-series. The data displays are organized into nine topics: Social and Religious Characteristics of the Electorate, Ideological Self-Identification, Public Opinion on Public Policy Issues, Support for the Political System, Political Involvement and Participation in Politics, Evaluation of the Presidential Candidates, Evaluation of Congressional Candidates, Vote Choice
  • The Gallup Organization
  • Harris Interactive, formerly the Louis Harris Poll
  • Public Opinion Quarterly. 1937-
    HM 261 .A1 P8
  • Quinnipiac College Polling Institute, Hamden, Connecticut
    The only independent poll which surveys residents in the states of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey about issues and candidate preferences for state and national races; it also studies issues of common concern for the tri-state region.
  • Roper Center for Public Opinion Research
    A non-profit, non-partisan public opinion data archive at the University of Connecticut
    • iPoll Databank.
      iPoll is a comprehensive, up-to-date source for US nationwide public opinion. A full-text retrieval system, the iPoll online database is organized at the question level, providing the tools to sift through nearly a half million questions asked on national public opinion surveys, 1935 to present. Surveys archived in the Roper Catalog were originally gathered by academic, commercial and media survey organizations such as Gallup Organization, Harris Interactive, Pew Research Associates, and many more.
    • America at the Polls, 1994.
      Storrs, CT : Roper Center ; University of Connecticut, 1995.
      JK 1968 1994
    • America at the Polls, 1996.
      Storrs, CT : Roper Center ; University of Connecticut, 1997.
      JK 1968 1996
    • The Public Perspective: a Roper Center Review of Public Opinion and Polling. Bimonthly.
      Storrs, CT : The Center, 1989-2003.
      HM 261 .P88 - Lehman