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CQ's election reference books
In response to the request for a citation on the quality of CQ's election reference books versus those of psephologists, I offer the following.
1) For Presidential Elections prior to 1864, the best source is Michael J. Dubin's United States Presidential Elections, 1788-1860: The Official Results by County and State (2001). CQ does not print popular votes for presidential elections prior to 1824 even though the ICPSR has the information. Dubin's research is much preferable to that of the ICPSR data, though some errors crept into his books too. He conducted research at each state archives and state library to make sure that he was not repeating prior mistakes. The returns for 1788-1820 were mostly located by Phil Lampi of the American Antiquarian Society and incorporated into Dubin's work.
2) For presidential elections since the Civil War, the vote by counties was researched by historians and printed in a series of books: Walter D. Burnham's Presidential Ballots 1836-1892 (1955) [though his information before 1864 was revised and corrected as above], Edgar E. Robinson, The Presidential Vote 1896-1932 (1934), and They Voted for Roosevelt 1932-1944. Richard Scammon carried the information afterward. Burnham is an especially good reference because he discusses the complications resulting from the "general ticket" system in terms of reporting the vote and other issues regarding multiple slates of Electors. Many instances of what CQ calls the "Unknown" vote in presidential elections is explained in these books and (6) below.
3) For presidential primaries before 1956, CQ used a table compiled by James W. Davis in his book Presidential Primaries: Road to the White House (1967). This table, which is incomplete, was not a major part of Davis's research, and few of his results in the table are official. Psephologists have gone to state archives and consulted state manuals to complete the picture of presidential primaries before 1952. The only source I am aware of is at www.OurCampaigns.com. As an example, for the 1912 primaries, CQ leaves out seven states: AL, FL, GA, MS, AZ, RI, and TX.
4) For presidential nominating conventions of the major parties, the best source is Richard C. Bain and Judith H. Parris, Convention Decisions and Voting Records (1973).
5) For presidential nominating conventions of the minor parties, the best source is James T. Havel, U.S. Presidential Candidates and the Elections (1996). Havel corrected a lot of information from Joseph N. Kane's earlier work which was the basis for the CQ information. Havel annoyed a lot of psephologists by not citing his sources but only listing a long bibliography at the end of the two-volume work.
6) Several historians have researched state presidential returns and have corrected many CQ mistakes, but CQ continues to print the errors. Examples include Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990: Candidates and County Returns for President, Governor, Senate, and House of Representatives (Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992); Seth B. Hinshaw, North Carolina Election Returns 1790-1866 and Ohio Elects the President: Our State's Role in Presidential Elections 1804-1996.
7) The best source for returns for governor in the states is Michael J. Dubin, United States Gubernatorial Elections, 1776-1860: The Official Results by State and County (2003). Dubin does not use 5% as the cutoff for election returns (as CQ does most of the time but not always); his information is more complete and precise than CQ. His work supersedes that of Roy Glashan, American Governors and Gubernatorial Elections, 1775-1978, a book I did not find a great improvement over CQ though Glashan did include the totals of some candidates who received less than 5%.
8) The best source for returns for U.S. Senate and U.S. House is Michael J. Dubin, United States Congressional Elections 1788-1997 (1997). The CQ information varies in quality by state, with New Jersey being among the worst in the Guide to U.S. Elections. In many cases, losing candidates in NJ are only listed by last name, even when an incumbent was defeated and his full name was already known in 1965. Dubin also was more careful and precise in party affiliations than CQ. The state election references such as those in Illinois, Indiana, and North Carolina are still preferable to Dubin's book, though they are not available for many states. One advantage of Dubin's work is that he provides the date of the elections - since U.S. House elections were not held on the same day until 1960. In the early 19th century, congressional elections were held over a time frame of 16 months - nearly 1.5 years - which allows an analysis like these for 1800 and | 1842.
This is just a brief overview of psephological research of the recent past. The point of all this is that CQ assumes that no research into historical election returns is taking place and continues to publish its stale information from 1965. Chronicler3 (talk) 01:07, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
On September 24, 2009, the new owners of Congressional Quarterly laid off 40-odd employees, according to one laid-off editor, Chris Lehmann (see http://twitter.com/lehmannchris/status/4342716147, http://twitter.com/lehmannchris/status/4344052961, http://twitter.com/lehmannchris/status/4344291643, http://twitter.com/lehmannchris/status/4359108000, http://twitter.com/lehmannchris/status/4359163574).
It might be good to update this entry to reflect the layoffs. It might also be good to clarify that Roll Call, the new owners, are actually a subsidiary of the U.K.-based Economist Group (as mentioned in the Roll Call entry). 126.96.36.199 (talk) 04:57, 25 September 2009 (UTC)Max Clarke