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Elections in the US: Getting Started

resources on US elections from campaigns through primaries, elections, and results; some state and local level info.

Subject Guide

Hannah Rozear's picture
Hannah Rozear
Hannah will be on leave until September 2017. Contact for immediate research assistance.

Government sites

Federal Election Commission
Campaign finance reports and data, laws and regulations, interactive campaign finance maps.

Electoral College
Information and historical data on the electoral college from the U.S. National Archives

Census: Voting and Registration Data
Census Bureau data on registration and voting by demographic and socioeconomic groups. 1964-present.

About this guide

This guide suggests resources available through Duke Libraries for the academic study of campaigns and elections in the US.

For a few selected free sites on current events, voter education organizations, political blogs etc. see the 2012 Elections tab.

Reference sources for background

Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections e-book 2010
The electoral process, analysis of specific eras and issues, historical coverage of federal and gubernatorial elections.

Elections A to Z  print 2008
Summary of the major parties' conventions, debates, presidents and vice-presidents, members of Congress

The Oxford handbook of American elections and political behavior e-book 2010
Chapters cover research design, political participation; vote choice; presidential and non-presidential elections; issues, interests, and elites as influences on individuals' political behavior.

Encyclopedia of U.S. Campaigns, Elections, and Electoral Behavior e-book, 2008

Encyclopedia of Media and Politics, print 2007

Encyclopedia of politics, the media, and popular culture e-book 2009

CQ Press Voting and Elections
Includes an encyclopedia, facts & figures, biographies

Political Parties and Elections in the United States: an encyclopedia print, 1991
American political history from colonial times to the Bush administration.

On Candidates and Groups

Politics in America [e-book](2000-present) and [print](1990-present)

  • Descriptions of political careers and activities of current U.S. senators and representatives
  • Some interest group ratings, voting records, campaign financing
  • Background info on political climate of each state and district

Almanac of American Politics [electronic resource] (1998 to present) and [hardcopy] (1972 to present)

  • similar to CQ's Politics in America; from National Journal
  • Ratings by 11 interest groups for each member; the groups are described in the Guide to Usage

Encyclopedia of Minorities in American Politics 2000
Covers key issues that face minorities in American politics. Volume I: African and Asian Americans; Volume II: Native and Hispanic Americans.
Appendices include speeches and documents.

Almanac of Federal PACs
print  (from 1986)--latest 2009 in Perkins Reference

  • Brief descriptions of political action committees
  • Receipts, expenditures, and contributions to Democrats and Republicans

Who’s giving how much to whom (primarily from 2000 election to present)

  • Use the tabs at top for Who Gives and Who Gets or search for individual donor records from left sidebar
  • Use the Election Overview tab/ Big Picture for historical data