U.S. Political Stats brings together thousands of data sets on all 3 branches of the U.S. government, allowing users to create visualizations and compare data with a few simple clicks. Designed to be intuitive for the novice researcher, yet robust enough for senior political scientists, the platform allows users to create graphs, charts, and maps to allow for a quick analysis of data trends. Data can also be exported to allow for more in-depth manipulation and analysis.
On the Home Page are rotating visualizations, showing samples of the data you can find in the tool. Click on any of these to see the data tables. All data is available for export to Excel for further manipulation. You can also export the visualizations as images to use in presentations or papers, and download the citation.
Across the top, there are 4 ways to browse content: Data, People, Policy, and Location.
Each year, a number of interest groups rate members of Congress on how well their voting records match the legislative goals of the group.
Under Interest Group Scores, select House under Office and American Civil Liberties Union under Interest Group. Click on the line chart to see the average score for all Members of the House. Now compare the House average to the Democratic Party average. Click on the Compare button, then select House under Office, American Civil Liberties Union under Interest Group, and Democrat under party. Click on the line chart. You can now see that the score for the Democrats has been historically higher than the score for the House as a whole.
Under People, you will find profile pages of political figures with links to relevant data sets. Select Presidency from the drop down menu, then select Franklin D. Roosevelt. The bio page has a number of key facts like birth and death dates and locations, dates of the terms served, and demographics such as religion, race, education, career, and military service. The demographics link directly to datasets, so you can see how many other presidents had the same characteristics. There are also links to his Vice Presidents and performance & approval scores.
The drop-down menu for Policy reveals a number of legislative topics. Let’s select Defense & National Security. Select ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy Repeal—Rule HR2965 by District. Here we see a congressional district map showing the votes that allowed the House to consider a bill that would repeal the controversial Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which prohibited men and women of the armed services from revealing their sexual orientation.
Finally, under Location, we can find profile pages of each Congressional District. Let’s search for California 33, the coastal area of Los Angeles. Here we can find the current and past House Representative for the District, with links to their bio pages, links to the election results, and maps showing how the district has been redrawn over the years.