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Candidate and Constituency Statistics of Elections in the United States, 1788-1990

Resource Type
Dataset : aggregate data
  • Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
Other Title
  • Version 3 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
Free Keywords
candidates; election returns; elections; elective offices; political parties; vote count
  • Abstract

    These data are derived from CANDIDATE NAME AND CONSTITUENCY TOTALS, 1788-1990 (ICPSR 0002). They consist of returns for two-thirds of all elections from 1788 to 1823 to the offices of president, governor, and United States representative, and over 90 percent of all elections to those offices since 1824. They also include information on United States Senate elections since 1912. Returns for one additional statewide office are included beginning with the 1968 election. This file provides a set of derived measures describing the vote totals for candidates and the pattern of contest in each constituency. These measures include the total number of votes cast for all candidates in the election, each candidate's percentage of the vote received, and several measures of the relative performance of each candidate. They are appended to the individual candidate records and permit extensive analysis of electoral contests over time. This dataset contains returns for all parties and candidates (as well as scattering vote) for general elections and special elections, including information on elections for which returns were available only at the constituency level. Included in this edition are data from the District of Columbia election for United States senator and United States representative. The offices of two senators and one representative were created by the "District of Columbia Statehood Constitutional Convention Initiative," which was approved by District voters in 1980. Elections for these offices were postponed until the 1990 general election. The three offices are currently local District positions, which will turn into federal offices if the District becomes a state.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Performed consistency checks.; Standardized missing values.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Data File
    • DS2: SAS Data Definition Statements
Temporal Coverage
  • 1788 / 1990
    Time period: 1788--1990
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Candidates who ran for the offices of president, governor, and United States representative (1824-1990), United States senator (1912-1990), and one additional statewide office, usually attorney general or secretary of state (1968-1990).
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
  • 7757 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR07757.v4
  • Is new version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR07757.v2
  • Bó, Ernesto Dal, Bó, Pedro Dal, Snyder, Jason. Political dynasties. Review of Economic Studies.76, (1), 115-142.2009.
    • ID: 10.1111/j.1467-937X.2008.00519.x (DOI)
  • Gershtenson, Joseph. Mobilization Strategies of the Democrats and Republicans, 1956-2000. Political Research Quarterly.56, (3), 293-308.2003.
  • James, Scott C., Lawson, Brian L.. The political economy of voting rights enforcement in America's Gilded Age: electoral college competition, partisan commitment, and the Federal Election Law. American Political Science Review.93, (1), 115-131.1999.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Chhibber, Pradeep, Kollman, Ken. Party aggregation and the number of parties in India and the United States. American Political Science Review.92, (2), 329-342.1998.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Leithner, Christian. Electoral nationalisation, dealignment and realignment: Australia and the US, 1900-88. Australian Journal of Political Science.32, (2), 205-222.1997.
    • ID: 10.1080/10361149750904 (DOI)
  • Kawato, Sadafumi. Nationalization and partisan realignment in congressional elections. American Political Science Review.81, (4), 1235-1250.1987.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Brace, Paul. Progressive ambition in the House: A probabilistic approach. Journal of Politics.46, (2), 556-571.1984.
  • Midlarsky, Manus I.. Political stability of two-party and multiparty systems: Probabilistic bases for the comparison of party systems. American Political Science Review.78, (4), 929-951.1984.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Alpert, Eugene Jay. Risk and Uncertainty in Political Choice: Candidates' Policy Positions in Congressional Elections. Dissertation, Michigan State University. 1977.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 3 | Registration Date: 2015-06-30

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (1984): Candidate and Constituency Statistics of Elections in the United States, 1788-1990. Version 3. Version: v3. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.