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

Resource Type
Dataset : aggregate data
  • Clubb, Jerome M. (University of Michigan)
  • Flanigan, William H. (University of Minnesota)
  • Zingale, Nancy H. (College of St. Thomas)
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Science Foundation
Free Keywords
candidates; congressional elections; counties; election returns; elections; legislative districts; political attitudes; political behavior; political parties; presidential elections; states (USA)
  • Abstract

    This collection contains county-level returns for elections to the United States presidency and to the United States House of Representatives for the years 1840 to 1972. The variables for the presidential vote include the percentages of ballots cast for major and "significant" minor party candidates (with residual votes collapsed into an "other" category), total numbers of votes for all candidates in an election, and estimates of voter turnout in the presidential elections. There are similar variables for the congressional vote except that returns are reported for parties and not for candidates. Congressional district numbers are also reported for each county for every election.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • 1840 / 1972
    Time period: 1840--1972
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Population of United States voters in presidential and congressional elections, 1840-1972.
Collection Mode
  • The variable V3 (COUNTY IDENTIFICATION NO) is not necessarily equivalent to the FIPS code for a given county.

    Some of the data in this collection were compiled from ICPSR 0003. Since the time of this data collection's first release, ICPSR 0003 has been updated and is available as ICPSR 2896 (HISTORICAL, DEMOGRAPHIC, ECONOMIC, AND SOCIAL DATA: THE UNITED STATES, 1790-2000). Users of the current data collection should check ICPSR 2896 for specific information about updates that may affect the analysis of the data in this collection.

2006-11-13 The codebook has been updated to reflect revisions made to the processing notes, which now include an explanation for computing partisan and voter turnout percentages.2005-01-27 A processor's note has been added to the codebook to explain an apparent discrepancy between the 'V3 -- COUNTY IDENTIFICATION NO' variable and FIPS, which are in fact independent of one another. Also, the codebook has been converted to PDF form. Funding insitution(s): National Science Foundation (GS-28913, GS-42717, GS-28911, GS-42730, and GS-42733).
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 8611 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08611.v1
  • Elias, Ferran. Non-discriminatory electoral rules, local public goods, and redistribution: Evidence from US municipalities . . 2014.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Hawley, G., Sagarzazu, I.. Where did the votes go? Reassessing American party realignments via vote transfers between major parties from 1860 to 2008. Electoral Studies.31, (4), 726-739.2012.
  • Bailey, Amy Kate, Snedker, Karen A.. Practicing what they preach? Lynching and religion in the American South, 1980-1929. American Journal of Sociology.117, (3), 844-887.2011.
    • ID: 10.1086/661985 (DOI)
  • Costa, Dora L., Kahn, Matthew E.. Health, wartime stress, and unit cohesion: Evidence from Union Army veterans. Demography.47, (1), 45-66.2010.
    • ID: 10.1353/dem.0.0095 (DOI)
  • Go, Sun, Lindert, Peter. The uneven rise of American public schools to 1850. Journal of Economic History.70, (1), 1-26.2010.
    • ID: 10.1017/S0022050710000033 (DOI)
  • Hennessey, Jessica. The Adoption of Constitutional Home Rule: A Test of Endogenous Policy Decentralization. University of Maryland, Department of Economics, . 2008.
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  • Costa, Dora L., Kahn, Matthew E.. Deserters, social norms, and migration. Journal of Law and Economics.50, (2), 323-354.2007.
    • ID: 10.1086/511321 (DOI)
  • Go, Sun, Lindert, Peter H.. The Curious Dawn of American Public Schools. NBER Working Paper Series.13335, Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. 2007.
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  • Glaeser, Edward L., Ward, Bryce A.. Myths and realities of American political geography. Journal of Economic Perspectives.20, (2), 119-144.2006.
    • ID: 10.1257/jep.20.2.119 (DOI)
  • Jenkins, Jeffrey A., Schickler, Eric, Carson, Jamie L.. Constituency Cleavages and Congressional Parties: Measuring Homogeneity and Polarization, 1857-1913. Social Science History.28, (4), 537-574.2004.
    • ID: 10.1215/01455532-28-4-537 (DOI)
  • Campbell, David E., Monson, J. Quin. Following the Leader? Mormon Voting on Ballot Propositions. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.42, (4), 605-619.2003.
    • ID: 10.1046/j.1468-5906.2003.00206.x (DOI)
  • Costa, Dora L., Kahn, Matthew E.. Cowards and Heroes: Group Loyalty in the American Civil War. Quarterly Journal of Economics.118, (2), 519-548.2003.
    • ID: 10.1162/003355303321675446 (DOI)
  • Brooke, John L.. To Be 'Read By the Whole People': Press, Party, and Public Sphere in the United States, 1790-1840. Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, April 2000.Worcester, MA: American Antiquarian Society. 2002.
  • Southworth, Caleb. Aid to Sharecroppers: How Agrarian Class Structure and Tenant-Farmer Politics Influenced Federal Relief in the South, 1933-1935. Social Science History.26, (1), 33-70.2001.
    • ID: 10.1215/01455532-26-1-33 (DOI)
  • Kaufman, Jason. Three Views of Associationalism in 19th-Century America: An Empirical Examination. American Journal of Sociology.104, (5), 1296 -1999.
    • ID: 10.1086/210176 (DOI)
  • Husted, Thomas A., Kenny, Lawrence W.. The effect of the expansion of the voting franchise on the size of government. Journal of Political Economy.105, (1), 54-82.1997.
    • ID: 10.1086/262065 (DOI)
  • Cantrell, Gregg, Barton, D. Scott. Texas Populists and the Failure of Biracial Politics. Journal of Southern History.55, (4), 659-692.1989.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Clubb, Jerome M., Flanigan, William H., Zingale, Nancy H.. Analyzing Electoral History: A Guide to the Study of American Voter Behavior. Beverly Hills: Sage. 1980.
  • Clubb, Jerome M., Flanigan, William H., Zingale, Nancy H.. Partisan Realignment: Voters, Parties, and Government in American History. Sage Library of Social Research series, vol. 108.Beverly Hills: Sage. 1980.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Clubb, Jerome M.; Flanigan, William H.; Zingale, Nancy H. (1987): Electoral Data for Counties in the United States: Presidential and Congressional Races, 1840-1972. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.