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State Legislative Election Returns, 1967-2003 (ICPSR 21480)

Principal Investigator(s): Carsey, Thomas M., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Berry, William D., Florida State University; Niemi, Richard G., University of Rochester; Powell, Lynda W., University of Rochester; Snyder, James M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology


This data collection contains information on state legislative election returns from 1967 through 2003. Each observation in the data refers to an individual candidate who ran for state legislative office during this time period. There are a total of 259,000 observations. For some states, there are observations for candidates competing in primaries before 1990. For years after 1989, there are observations only for general elections.

Series: State Legislative Election Returns in the United States Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


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Study Description


Carsey, Thomas M., William D. Berry, Richard G. Niemi, Lynda W. Powell, and James M. Snyder. STATE LEGISLATIVE ELECTION RETURNS, 1967-2003. ICPSR21480-v1. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina [producer], 2007. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-04-22. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR21480.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR21480.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES-0136526, SES-0317924)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    candidates, constituencies, counties, election returns, historical data, performance, political history, political parties, political power, primaries, special elections, state elections, state legislatures, state politics, vote count, voting patterns

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1967--2003

Date of Collection:   

  • 2004--2007

Unit of Observation:    individual legislative candidate

Universe:    Observations on all legislative candidates for state legislature appearing in general election returns from 1967 through 2003, and for primary elections in several states from 1967-1989.

Data Type(s):    aggregate data

Data Collection Notes:

Some observations have missing values for one or more of the variables. Missing values for all numeric variables are represented in the data as a period (the default in Stata). Missing values for all string variables are represented as a blank. All missing values from STATE LEGISLATIVE ELECTION RETURNS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1968-1989 (ICPSR 8907) and from REVISED CANDIDATE-LEVEL STATE LEGISLATIVE RETURNS IN THE UNITED STATES WITH ADJUSTED CANDIDATE NAMES, 1968-1989 (ICPSR 3938) have been replaced by this consistent code.


Data Source:

Official and unofficial election returns from state governments, and local newspaper returns. The data come from three sources. The data from 1967 through 1989 comes directly from ICPSR 8907, Part 1, as updated by William D. Berry and Thomas M. Carsey in ICPSR 3938. Most of the observations in the data from 1990 through 2000 were provided by Richard Niemi and Jim Snyder. A portion of the 2000 data and all data after 2000 were entered by research assistants working for Carsey and Berry.


Original ICPSR Release:   2008-04-22

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