I have begun to maintain a Dataverse on which I store some datasets that are used in my research and some are intended for use by undergraduate students. If you are new to the Dataverse, you may wish to peruse the User's Guides
research resources at reed
The Department of Political Science has an extensive guide to conducting research in the "resources for majors" section of the student resources page.
collecting your own data
There are a variety of ways to conduct your own surveys. Brief guides to the main issues in survey research can be found at the The Roper Center and the survey research methods section of the research methods knowledge base. In the reed library, you may also wish to read sections of Weisberg, Krosnick and Bowen's introduction to survey research.
There are at least two good web-based survey programs. The well-known Survey Monkey can do most of what any student would want, especially if you get a paid subscription.
A promising new open source entrant is Lime Survey . The only hitch with Lime Survey is that you have to install a web server on your individual laptop, but this also means that you can conduct surveys any time and any where, whether or not you are attached to the web.
getting data from others
archives and compendia
The Roper Center is an archive
of more than 50 year of private public opinion surveys, exit polls, health surveys, and more. The
focus is on the US but there are comparative data as well. Data downloads and online analysis.
Validated Reed users have full access.
ICPSR is a large archive of academic and governmental datasets covering all areas of the social and behavioral sciences. Datasets can be downloaded and analyzed online. Validated Reed users have full access.
CQ Press political reference suite may look like a collection of guides and encyclopedias, but a number of vital statistics volumes have downloadable aggregate data on elections, campaigns, presidential actions, court caseloads, the federal budget, unemployment, inflation, etc.
Harvard Election Data Archive contains data on election results, voting behavior, and electoral politics, focusing on the US. The fore data are state, county, and district level returns for all recent state and federal elections. Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project provides an assortment of surveys and election return, most related to election administration.
global: outcomes, calendars, other info
Politicalresources.net has information about
elections and electoral systems worldwide. Click on the elections link.
Wikipedia guide to recent elections is very good.
Adam Carr archives election information and stats.
CEPPS (Consortirum for Elections and Political Process Strengthening) has a calendar and information about election systems
The Electoral Knowledge Network contains a vast amount of information and some of the best articles describing individual country election systems and legal frameworks.
The Lijphart Elections Archive has election statistics and links but has not been updated since 2003. Still an invaluable historical source.
US: registration, returns, turnout, results
Summary statistics on voter registration, turnout, and election returns are available at the individual websites of most states. In some states, individual vote history files and registration files are freely available; in other states, they must be ordered. I know of no one web site that lists all of the state websites.
CQ's Voter Turnout volume has downloadable datasets
on voter turnout
Election Assistance Commission, a Federal agency, collects county level information on voter registration, overseas and military voting, and election administration for each federal election cycle. VTP has made some of the EAC data accessible in alternative statistical formats.
Record of American Democracy was an ambitious effort to collect all American precinct level returns, along with sociodemographic, party registration, and other variables. The data spans 1984-1990.
Comparative Study of Election Systems is an ambitious
cross national study of voting and elections. Online data analysis guide is in Spanish.
The National Election Study is the premier academic survey dedicated to American elections. Also available at ISCPSR (data downloads and analysis) and SDA (online data analysis)
The Roper Center archives exit polls for presidential and congressional elections, primaries, and some state elections. Data downloads and online analysis (membership required, Reed is a member).
CQ Press Vital Stats on American Politics has a chapter on Congress with downloadable
Vote View provides information on spatial analysis of Congressional roll call voting, including analyses of current and historical events, and downloadable datasets.
news and information
National Journal’s Congress page
is a good place to hang out if you are a political junkie.
The Congressional Record has an iPad App!
Politico is the daily newspaper of DC. Roll Call is the daily paper of Congress, but a lot of content is gated.
The CQ Political Reference Suite provides invaluable information about the workings of the Congress. Useful sources include:
- Congress and the Nation, a history of congressional actions since 1945
- Guide to Congress, a useful resource to learn about rules, procedures, and history
- Politics in America profiles every member and every district
- Guides to Political Campaigns and to Elections can help you learn about congressional campaigning
public opinion data
Professor Gary King, a leader in the field of political methodology, regularly offers math refreshers and introductory and advanced level quantitative methodology courses. These courses can be taken for free and online . These are wonderful opportunities for advanced undergraduates who may wish to prepare themselves for graduate school.