Category Archives: Campaigns & Elections

CRS Reports: Valuable Sources

Looking for in-depth, expert research on current issues? CRS Reports are a great resource! The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is an arm of the Library of Congress that exists to keep members of Congress informed about issues related to pending legislation. CRS staff are subject experts in a variety of fields and they produce nonpartisan reports that relate these issues in an easily-digestible format.  

CRS Reports can be hard to find. The federal government doesn't currently make them widely available to the public: you must request a CRS Report by title (or report number) from a member of Congress. However, you can find CRS Reports through subscription databases (like ProQuest), for some vendors for a fee, or for free from the following collections. 

CRS Reports on many subjects:

Collections with specific topic areas:

Subscription database for CRS Reports:

Search strategy for finding other CRS Reports:

More about CRS Reports…

This presentation talks more about CRS, summarizes past legislation that attempted to make CRS Reports public, and how to write your member of congress to request a report. For more information about CRS Reports, see this OpenCongress.org page: http://bit.ly/CRSReports

Finding Campaign Finance Information

There are a number of independent groups, government boards and commissions who provide information and data on campaign finance and individual political contributions.  The following are just a few of these fantastic resources from the Campaign Finance Research Guide:

Find these and other resources using the Campaign Finance Research Guide.  Have additional questions?  Ask us!  journalism@libraries.cul.columbia.edu.

NYC Election Research

Looking for research on NYC elections and campaign finance information?  Try these sites!

New York City Board of Elections website provides:

New York City Campaign Finance Board website provides:

  • CFB Searchable Database that allows you to search by election cycle, candidate, contributor name, amount of contribution, date of contribution, contributor employer
  • campaign finance summaries for citywide elections
  • press tools, including calendar of scheduled board meetings, campaign finance law, enforcement information

Public Records – Criminal Records, Political Contributions, Real Estate Records

Looking for sources on criminal records, political contributions, and real estate records?  Then look no further than this public records guide.

NYC Elections Links

Election Night Links

MSNBC Presidential Election Results Widget –

Also, check out the following sites –

Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections – http://uselectionatlas.org/INFORMATION/ARTICLES/ElectionNight2008/pe2008elecnighttime.php – includes data and maps for the electoral vote counts and a timeline for poll closings. This site also features past Presidential Election results since 1789 as well as an electoral college calculator and map generator.

CNN.com Live Election Day coverage – http://www.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?stream=stream2

CNN.com Electoral Map Calculator – http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/calculator/

From Dean Sreenivasan’s email, 11/4/2008 —>

Dean Grueskin is part of the WSJ’s “Instant Analysis” blog team tonight, posting throughout the evening. This is a reprise of what he used to do at the WSJ internally, but is now doing it on the web.

See his latest post here…
How to watch swing counties and single-party strongholds for early signs of a McCain upset or an Obama landslide:
http://blogs.wsj.com/instantanalysis/2008/11/04/18/

And keep an eye on Instant Analysis to see the rest of his – and the team’s posts:
Insights on election night from Journal columnists and around the Web
http://blogs.wsj.com/instantanalysis/

Let him know how he’s doing: bgrueskin@columbia.edu

Later tonight, he’ll be doing some of this analysis on the air for
DecisionNYC on http://www.columbiajournalist.org/elections/

2008 Presidential Election Results

11/5/2008, New York Times Results Maps, Victory/Concession Speeches+transcripts, Exit Polls with Demographic Information –

For an electoral map with the option to view county results (click on the link for “County Bubbles” on the left), for Obama’s Victory Speech and McCain’s Concession Speech, for Exit Polls with corresponding demographic information, and for the Big Board with expected results alongside actual results, click here.

Visual NYC Data for RW1 Students

The Journalism School along with the Center for New Media Teaching and Learning created an amazing new reporting resource for RW1 students – an electronic map of New York City that allows students to view census data by neighborhood, election district, etc. To use this resource, and for more information on how to use it, follow the link below (authentication required) –

http://jour6001-000-2008-3.wikispaces.columbia.edu/