Political, Election, and Polling

United States

Ad$pender (AdSpender)

  • Time period: 2007 – present
  • Geographic coverage: US
  • Geographic unit(s): top 100 media markets, nation
  • Unit of observation: “categories” and products
  • AdSpender provides a fast, top-level summary of the multi-media advertising marketplace, including political advertising. This web-based tool spans five years of national summary spending trends, accessible by industry, parent company, and brand. Data is available via customizable reports with easy data exporting abilities to popular spreadsheet and flowchart programs. Our subscription only covers 3 simultaneous users, so please click the “Logout” button in the top-right prior to closing the window.

American National Election Studies (ANES)

  • Time period: 1948 – present
  • Geographic coverage: US
  • Geographic unit(s): state, region
  • Unit of observation: individual
  • The ANES is one of the major sources for electoral and political data in the US; it provides data from its own surveys on voting, public opinion and political participation. Register an account (it’s free) to download data files and documentation from their Time Series Studies (conducted during years of national elections), Pilot Studies (conducted in the “off-years”) and other special studies.

Dave Leip Election Data

  • Time period: 1972 – 2016 (varies by election)
  • Geographic coverage: US
  • Geographic unit(s): county, state
  • Unit of observation: county, state
  • This collection contains county-level returns for elections to the offices of president, governor, United States senator, and United States representative for select years. Files contain the total number of votes for each candidate on the ballot and include state and county FIPS codes.

Gallup Analytics

  • Time period: U.S. Dailies: 2008-present; World Poll: 2006-present; Gallup Brain: 1935-present
  • Geographic coverage: US, 160+ other countries
  • Geographic unit(s): nation, state, MSA
  • Unit of observation: statistics
  • Gallup Analytics offers economic, well-being, and political polling data collected daily in the US since 2008, and the data can be broken down by state or MSA. Gallup also provides the World Poll, which captures economic, social, and well-being data for 160+ countries going back to 2006. Gallup Brain presents historical public opinion polling going back to 1935.

Historical Statistics of the United States

  • Time period: 1790 – 2000
  • Geographic coverage: US
  • Geographic unit(s): mostly nation
  • Unit of observation: statistics
  • This is the standard source for quantitative indicators of American history. HSUS contains time series tables that cover the demographic, economic, social, political, and institutional history of the U.S. Find political and election relation tables such as voter turnout, congressional legislation, as well as presidential and congressional elections. The tables can be downloaded in Excel. The introductory essays provide guidance on sources and reliability and interpretation.

ICPSR

  • Time period: varies by dataset
  • Geographic coverage: mostly US, some other countries and global
  • Geographic unit(s): varies by dataset; mostly state and nation, some precinct
  • Unit of observation: varies by dataset; individual for some datasets
  • Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is one of the world’s oldest and largest social science data repositories and contains many large-scale studies. Find political and electoral studies and datasets in topics such as voting behavior, political parties, political attitudes, and election returns, results, campaigns, forecasting, and more.

Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

  • Time period: 1997 – present
  • Geographic coverage: US
  • Geographic unit(s): varies by survey
  • Unit of observation: mostly individual/household
  • The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press conducts regular polls on numerous topics. Some of political related data are available for downloading, such as monthly political survey, post-election survey and political polarization survey.

PolicyMap

  • Time period: mostly 2000 – present
  • Geographic coverage: US
  • Geographic unit(s): block group, tract, city, county, state, ZIP code, congressional district
  • Unit of observation: varied
  • PolicyMap is an online data and mapping tool that enables researchers to access data about communities and markets across the United States. It contains over 15,000 continuously updated datasets related to demographics, economy, health, education, quality of life and more. Find political and election information such as presidential and senate elections, house of representatives, and voter turnout.

Polling the Nations

  • Time period: 1986 – present
  • Geographic coverage: US and some international surveys
  • Geographic unit(s): mostly country, some state and local
  • Unit of observation: statistics; individual/household (public opinion)
  • Polling the Nations is an excellent source of polling results, especially for international polls.  There is broad coverage of political, economic and social issues.

Roper Center for Public Opinion Research: US Elections

  • Time period: 1938- (varies by election)
  • Geographic coverage: US
  • Geographic unit(s): mostly state and nation
  • Unit of observation: statistics; individual/household (public opinion)
  • The Roper Center has a collection of US elections which includes presidential elections, exit polls, and congressional elections. In addition, iPOLL offers over 80,000 questions on elections and voting, while over 7,000 datasets in RoperExpress allow researchers to conduct studies on vote preference, voter participation, and more.

Statistical Abstract of the United States

  • Time period: 1800-present (2013-2016 editions)
  • Geographic coverage: US
  • Geographic unit(s): state, region
  • Unit of observation: statistics
  • The Statistical Abstract of the United States provides statistics on election politics, such as political parties, House of Representatives, presidency, senate, campaign funds, and more. The source notes can be used to find more detailed tables and machine-readable datasets.

WiscAds

  • Time period: 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008
  • Geographic coverage: United States
  • Geographic unit(s): media markets (DMAs)
  • Unit of observation: political advertising
  • The Wisconsin Advertising Project (“WiscAds”) is a research project that analyzes how political candidates, political parties, and special interest groups communicate with voters via advertising.  Between 2000-2008, WiscAds grew from the 75 largest media markets (DMAs) to the entire country.  Each ad comes with a variety of codes, including issues mentioned (e.g., economic and social policies), suggested actions for a voter to take, and who paid for the ad.
International

Afrobarometer

  • Time period: 1999-
  • Geographic coverage: Africa
  • Geographic unit(s): nation
  • Unit of observation: individual
  • Afrobarometer conducts public attitudes surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions and related issues in more than 35 countries in Africa. Find political and electoral data from survey topics such as participation in campaigns, elections, development efforts and protests, as well as public attitudes and opinions toward democracy and governance performance, social service and so on. The merged data files are available for downloading.

European Election Studies (EES)

  • Time period: 1979-2014
  • Geographic coverage: Europe
  • Geographic unit(s): country
  • Unit of observation: individual
  • The EES provides data about electoral participation and voting behaviour in European Parliament elections, and more. Being the central part of the EES, the Voter Studies are generally post-election surveys conducted after the European Parliament Elections, with a number of pre-electoral components. The information of their two other studies, Elite Study and Media Study can be found on the site as well.

Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES)

  • Time period: 1996- (varies by nation/polity)
  • Geographic coverage: international
  • Geographic unit(s): electoral district, region of residence
  • Unit of observation: individual
  • The CSES is a joint effort of election study teams from around the world, which provides merged datasets for use in comparative study and cross-level analysis. See table of election studies appearing in CSES datasets by country/province. Look for variables included in the data.

Constituency-Level Elections Archive (CLEA)

  • Time period: 1788- (varies by nation)
  • Geographic coverage: international
  • Geographic unit(s): sub-national geographical unit; nation; region
  • Unit of observation: constituency
  • The Constituency-Level Elections Archive (CLEA) is a repository of election results at the constituency level for lower house legislative elections from around the world. See the available countries/years and variables.

World Values Survey (WVS)

  • Time period: 1981-present
  • Geographic coverage: international (over 100 countries)
  • Geographic unit(s): country
  • Unit of observation: country
  • The World Values Survey is the “largest non-commercial, cross-national, time series investigation of human beliefs and values.”  Topics include economic development, democratization, religion, gender equality, social capital, and subjective well-being.