What's New with U.S. Political Stats
2020 election results are on the way. Our editorial staff is currently working on databasing the 2020 primary elections. We spend many months gathering, cleaning and updating elections data as the states release their certified results.
In order to profile an individual candidate's election record over time, we have to ensure that they are properly tracked from election to election. For example, we need to verify whether John Smith from a 2008 election is the same as one who ran in 2020. This means hand-selecting candidates for each race and verifying past election records to reduce the likelihood of mistakes.
We only begin to collect data when each state has certified their results. This could take days or weeks (or longer) after the general election. Each state has its own way of displaying data, from advanced online portals to exportable PDF files. Because of the significant variability of formatting for each state we have to enter all returns by hand. Sometimes this means performing our own calculations because of the way a state has organized their returns. As we publish data at the county level for most races, you can imagine how it would take to collect and verify data for states like New York. After entering all of the returns into the database, every race is checked against the source material for accuracy.
Voting record analyses for the 2018 legislative year are now available in U.S. Political Stats as well as 2020 floor votes. Interest group ratings are available from a number of groups who annually review members' votes on legislation of interest to their particular cause. This kind of data can be an interesting way to look at voting records through a specific ideological lens. For clarification on the different groups use the "i" button on each interest group data set to learn more.
CQ-Roll Call has been analyzing member voting for decades. They are a non-partisan news organization and their consistent methodology allows for longitudinal analysis from the early 1980s to the present. The data allow users to see how closely members are aligned with the president's legislative position as well as that of the majority of their party. Offered for the first time in a databased format, U.S. Political Stats allows mapping and comparison of member voting score data across time and geography.
New congressional roll calls are added on a monthly basis and offer not only the traditional designations available from THOMAS, but additional designations buried in the Congressional Record.