General Election Data for the United States, 1950-1990 (ICPSR 13)

Published: Nov 22, 2013

Principal Investigator(s):
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research


Version V2

This data collection consists of national files containing county-level returns for elections to the offices of president, United States senator and representative, and governor. Also included are returns for one additional statewide office (usually attorney general or secretary of state) for those states that elected state offices in 1970 through 1990.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. General Election Data for the United States, 1950-1990. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-11-22.

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1950 -- 1990

The codebooks for later years in this collection, such as 1988 and 1990, contain variable descriptions that are not present in the codebooks for earlier years which may be helpful when reviewing the data.

The variable labels in several of the datasets for this collection are not clearly defined. According to the codebooks for more recent years, the following general description may apply to similar variables in the data for earlier years: For example, the variable label V34="825 2 GOV 9001 VOTE" is interpreted as year of election/code for elected office/type of election/elected office/party code.

official election returns provided by state governments

aggregate data



2013-11-22 The SPSS setup files were updated to conform to current standards. SAS and Stata setup files, as well as SPSS and Stata system files, a SAS transport (CPORT) file, an R data file, a tab-delimited data file, and a PDF codebook have been added to the collection.

1984-06-19 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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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