The library at John Jay has a wealth of electronic resources that can enhance your own research on elections and political issues in this country.  We invite you to explore the many options available in the following databases.  

Vital Statistics on America Politics   (click on title)

This database provides summary data on political behavior such as: voter turnout, election results, public opinion on most important issues in campaigns, trends on media, sources for campaign news, newspaper endorsements, interest groups and campaign financing, etc. Some charts provide data since the 1790s, but most focus on the 1940s until 2006. Listed below are some topics that may spark your interest.   You can locate these charts and others on the same topic by using the search box in the gray banner toward the top of the page. 

Ideological Self-Identification of College Freshmen, 1970 - 2006   (type in search box on top: Freshmen)

The Most Important Problem: Domestic or Foreign,  1947 - 2007   (type in search box on top:  most important problem )

Public Opinion on the Death Penalty, 1972–2006   (type in search box on top: death penalty)

Loses by President's party in Midterm Elections for Congress   (type  in search box on top: midterm elections)

CQ Voting and Elections  (click on title)This database focuses on state or congressional district election results from past elections: Presidential 1789 – 2004; House 1822-2006; Senate 1908 – 2006; Governors 1824-2006;  Examples of additional data are: summary charts on voter turnout; detailed descriptions of election districts; This database does not have  data from 2008. 

CQ Almanac   (click on title) This database provides details about legislation in the House and Senate for years 1945 through 2006. You can trace legislation from the bills introduced in each house, to the compromises, to the legislation passed.  Topics of key interest this year might be past legislation introduced on health care reform or immigration legislation or taxation policy.   

 CQ Weekly   (click on title) This database covers CQ Weekly issues from 2008 – back to 1983. You can read the current issues or research the historical archives which provide great detail about the activities of Congress. Of particular interest are the charts giving the roll-call votes. You can use the search options in the left side column  to find floor votes on specific topics for the Senate or the House, or floor votes by topic or by date. The cover stories report on important issues before Congress or political party developments, or the primary elections, etc.   For example the cover story from the January 14, 2008 issue gives a breakdown and analysis of the votes cast in the Senate by Senator Clinton and Senator Obama.  

CQ Electronic Library   The CQ Electronic Library includes the four databases described in detail above and also the following nine databases.  You may use this  general link to explore all the CQ databases.    CQ Global Researcher (reports on issues with global focus; reports include an overview, detailed discussion, chronology on issues and suggested other sources; Recent topic is: Looming Water Crisis;)  

CQ Researcher (reports on social and political issues for this country; reports include an overview, detailed discussion, chronology on issues and suggested other sources;  one of most heavily used databases at John Jay;)

 CQ Supreme Court Decisions (decisions and background material, analysis of individual Supreme Court Justices, etc.)CQ Supreme Court Yearbook (excellent review of the decisions for a particular year for the Supreme Court;  Covers 1989/1990 year to 2006/2007)

CQ Politics in America  (2006 directory of who’s who in national and state governments – but only for historic interest – because not the most current directory;)

Washington Information Directory (2006/07 directory of all agencies in the national government and the many NGO’s and interest groups in Washington D.C.;  however this is not the most recent issue;)

CQ Historic Documents (primary sources from the government 1972 – 2006 with analysis;) 

CQ Congress and the Nation  (shows an historical perspective on the U.S. Congress and the events and people that shaped policy and politics over the years 1945 – 2004;  The time period 1945 – 1964 focuses only on Congress;  Starting with 1964 forward, the analysis also includes an overview of the influence of the “presiding” President;)

CQ Political Handbook of the World  (latest edition is 2007 – but data is 2006 for some countries;  includes details about the political structure in each country – the government, the political parties, the history of politics;) 

If you have any questions about these databases, you may contact the library faculty at the Reference Desk at 212-237-8246 or email Gretchen Gross, Electronic Resources Librarian at