Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the sources of your data?

I strive to obtain data from as many primary sources as possible. Primary data sources consist of original publications produced by official election agencies within each state (the agencies are generally Secretary of State offices or State Board of Election offices). On the site, the title of the data source is located on the bottom of each county-level data page. This data page is linked in at the bottom of each state summary page.

Some state agencies compile data into annual or bienniel publications such as a legislative manual or "Blue Book". Some county-level and state-level data are from these publications. In addition, for a few state/year combinations where I have not yet been able to obtain a more primary source of data, I have filled in the holes using Congressional Quarterly's Presidential Elections 1789-2000. I am continuing to pursue primary sources of all election data to provide a complete and accurate set of data as possible.

Can I use your data/maps for my school project?

For academic purposes (essays, reports, etc.), my direct permission is not required. Please use the citation below in your work.

Leip, David. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. (date).

Can I use your data/maps for my publication or other commercial project?

Please email me to obtain copywrite permission to use any part of the site for a commercial publication or project.

Do you have the results broken down by Congressional District?

I am in the process of compiling Presidential data by Congressional District for 2004 and have a relatively complete tabulation for 2000. Note that most of the state agencies do not tabulate the results by Congressional District. In addition, there are many states that include county central precincts for tabulating early, absentee, and provisional ballots. For counties split between congressional districts, these data for Presidential Ballots can not be allocated to the correct districts. Furthermore, there are many states that have split precincts, increasing the number of votes not capable of being allocated to the correct congressional district.

For 2000, I have added a map for Presidential results by CD for all states. There are a few states that publish the results by CD directly (e.g. MD, VA, CT) and sevaral states where I can calculate the information ("At Large" states (e.g. ND, AK, VT, DE, etc.), or where CDs are comprised of whole counties (e.g. AR, WV, IA) or towns (New England - e.g. ME, NH)). Outside of this, there is a great deal of work required to compile precinct information into Congressional Districts.

Note that an exact tally for many states is not possible

Do you have the results broken down by demographic groups (age, race, income, etc.)?

No. Since voting is private, there are no official data with regard to whom voted for whom. The FEC has some data on voter turnout and voter registration by demographic groups. However, I am unaware of online data of actual votes by demographic groups. You may want to try companies that perform exit polling (I do not know any names).

Why are Republicans in blue and Democrats in red (while most other news organizations have the opposite)?

Elephants have a blue hue and donkeys have a red hue :) (Actually, as a visitor pointed out, elephants are actually gray - but they appear to look more blue than red :) Red and blue are chosen for the maps because they both are primary colors and because they both are incorporated in the flag. The choice of which party is represented by which color was somewhat arbitrary. I was perhaps influenced by maps that I had seen in the distant past (I still remember the solid blue field of Ronald Reagan's re-election in my hometown newspaper in 1984 - I was 14 at the time). Also, internationally, red typically represents parties on the left side of the political spectrum, i.e. the Democrats here in the U.S.

Do you know of a similar site that has the results for U.S Congressional races or Governor races? Will you build a site that covers the Congressional or Governor election results?

It would be wonderful to have a similar site that covers election results for these other races. At this time, I do not know of such a site. As for building one, whoa... my social life is already poor. If you are willing to volunteer to help with such a project, I am willing to host and provide the outline and navigation. However, I'll delegate the creation of the data pages to volunteers.

The election was weeks ago, why do the numbers keep changing?

It takes many weeks for states to compile all absentee, overseas, write-in, provisional ballots, etc. Each state completes its official results on a different schedule - typically between two and six weeks (Results from VT and WY came in during the second week of November while PA and CA didn't post their official tallies until the third week of December).

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