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EN 104 - The Candidate


This is a guide to selected sources of information related to "The Candidate" in Geisel Library. It is meant as a starting point for your research. For further research assistance, please take advantage of the reference services available to you in the Library. Stop by the Reference Desk in person or online at Ask a Librarian.


Research Basics

The reference librarians have created a group of Web pages named Research Help, designed to help teach you the basics of library research and to introduce you to Geisel Library. On the Research Help pages, you will find a guide on Research Basics and a helpful guide about evaluating your Web sources, our guide on Evaluating Websites. Please take advantage of these resources.


Reference Sources for Background Information

Reference books are shelved by Library of Congress call number in the reference stacks near the reference desk. They may not be checked out, but photocopiers are available on the lower level of the Library. Online reference sources can be found in the library catalog, or listed on Reference E-Resources.

General Resources

Almanac of American Politics
     Ref JK1012 .A44 (print version)

Congressional Quarterly Almanac
     Ref JK1 .C66

Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections
     Ref JK1967 .C662

Congressional Quarterly's Politics in America
     Ref JK1012 .C63

CQ Weekly
     NHIOP, Room 5000: Vol.61, no.4 (Jan. 25, 2003) - (Call number JK1.C15)

How to Research Elections
     Ref JK1976 .M37

Polling Report 2008
A collection of early polls gauging public opinion about potential contenders for the presidency in 2008.

Vital Statistics on American Politics, 2005-2006
     General Collection JK274 .S74 2006
This handy compendium includes interest-group ratings of the voting records of members of Congress, plus summaries of public opinion data on important issues.

Biographies and Voting Records of Candidates Elected Officials
Brief biographical information on members of the US Congress, including votes on recent key bills and breakdowns of contributions from political action committees.

Congressional Quarterly Almanac
     Ref JK1 .C66 (1963 - present)
U.S. Congress House and Senate roll call vote records are in the appendixes of these books.

Congressional Record (GPO)
Congressional Record (Thomas)
Both of these websites allow you to search the transcripts of the floor debate from the US Senate and House. Thomas has a nicer search engine, but GPO enables you to search through multiple years at once.

Directory of Congressional Voting Scores and Interest Group Ratings
     Ref JK1051 .S555

National Journal
Click on the "Campaigns" menu option to read news and analysis regarding the 2008 race, and see the "Race Rankings" for profiles of individual candidates.

Presidency 2008
This website provides a "first look" at people who have announced their candidacy for President in 2008, as well as others who could potentially enter the race. Includes basic info plus links to each candidate's official and unofficial websites.

Project Vote Smart: Biographical Information
An excellent resource that includes interest group ratings, voting records, speeches, and statements by current officials and candidates.

THOMAS: Roll Call Votes
Legislative information from the Library of Congress, including both House and Senate roll call votes from the 101st congress and onward.

Issues and Policies

Congress and the Nation: Politics and Policy
     Ref KF49 .C653
For each Congress, these volumes provide overviews of the major policy initiatives and debates, organized by subject. They also include vote records for House and Senate floor votes.

CQ Researcher
Lengthy reports on hot social and political issues from the nonpartisan CQ Press. All include suggestions for further reading.

Encyclopedia of Presidential Campaigns, Slogans, Issues, and Platforms
     Ref E176.1 .R6

IssueWeb: A Guide and Sourcebook for Researching Controversial Issues on the Web
     Ref ZA4228 .D53
This book points you to the best Web-based sources for information and discussion of numerous issues facing the country.

Political Advocacy Groups: A Directory of United States Lobbyists
A directory of lobby groups organized by subject.

Political Party Platforms
Platforms for the major parties from 1840 through the present, from the American Presidency Project.

Statistical Abstract of the United States
     Ref HA 202 .U5 S93 (print version)
Use this annual publication to look up statistics related to health care, education, crime, and other issues in the United States.

Congressional Districts

Congressional Districts in the 2000s: A Portrait of America
     NHIOP, Room 5006 JK1341 .C65 2003

Fast Facts for Congress (US Census)
Select a state and then a congressional district to view basic demographic and economic information about each district.


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Selected Websites

Political Parties

Directory of U.S. Political Parties
Descriptions of many political parties in the U.S. with links to their Web sites.

Constitution Party

Democratic National Committee
Contains news, hearings updates and extensive information of the Democratic National Committee.

Green Party of the United States
Covers the Green Party platforms, candidates, events, and contact information.

Libertarian Party
Includes the Libertarian Party's philosophy, membership information, current activities, directories,
official documents, information by state.

Republican National Committee
Links to news, video clips and chat line, and more.

Socialist Party

Campaign Finance/Contributions

Federal Election Commission: Campaign Finance Reports & Data
Searchable source for campaign finance reports and data that date back to 1993.
Presents data on campaign contributions gathered from public records.

Presidential and congressional campaign contributions searchable by name, state, donor or Political Action Committee since 1980. Includes information about hard and soft money.

News Links

ABC News

CBS News


Fox News


News and Politics Magazines
Links to web-based politics magazines from both sides of the political spectrum.


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Find Books/Secondary Sources

The library owns copies of books by most of the major contenders for the presidency in 2008. To find books by or about a specific candidate, search his or her name as a Keyword in the online Catalog.

General Subject Headings to consider using in the online Catalog:

  • Presidents - United States - Election
  • Presidents - United States - Nomination
  • Elections - United States - History
  • Political parties - United States
  • Political participation - United States

Topic-specific Keywords to consider using in the online Catalog:

  • global warming
  • affirmative action
  • abortion AND (law OR poli*)
  • Iraq AND war
  • (gun OR guns) AND (control OR violence)
  • school choice OR (education AND voucher*)
  • (gay OR homosexual*) AND marriage
  • energy AND (renewable OR alternative*)
  • immigration AND policy AND (United States OR Americ*)
  • health AND (insurance or uninsured) AND policy

Use the * (asterisk) as a truncation symbol to retrieve variant forms of a word root. Use the Boolean OR to expand your search by including synonyms and related terms. When using two different Boolean commands in the same search statement ("and" and "or" in the preceding examples) you must include parentheses to indicate which command is to be performed first.

Some General Collection Books to Consider

Choosing Our Choices: Debating the Presidential Nominating Process
     JK521 .D49

In Pursuit of the White House: How We Choose our Presidential Nominees
     NHIOP room 5006, JK521 .I5

See How They Ran: The Changing Role of the Presidential Candidate
     JK524 .T76

Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Political Issues
     NHIOP room 5007, JK271 .T35

If you are unable to locate materials in the Geisel Library Catalog, search libraries worldwide using WorldCat.


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Find Journal & Newspaper Articles

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
"CSA Worldwide Political Science Abstracts provides citations, abstracts, and indexing of the international serials literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration / policy."

LexisNexis Academic Universe
Find full-text newspaper articles from local, national and international papers. Gain access to full-text law reviews as well as company news and financial information, medical information, laws and regulations, polls and surveys, and general reference information. The news module also includes transcripts from all major network news shows.

Academic Search Premier
A broad index providing abstracts and some full-text for a range of academic areas, including politics.

America: History and Life
Provides abstracts to journal articles, book/media reviews, and dissertations with a focus on United States and Canadian history and culture from prehistoric times to the present. (1964 - present)     Journal List (PDF/59KB)

JSTOR provides full text of 220 scholarly journal titles from 37 publishers. The following political science journals are included: American Journal of International Law, American Journal of Political Science, Midwest Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, International Organization, Journal of Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Proceedings of the American Political Science Association, Public Opinion Quarterly, World Politics.

LexisNexis Academic Universe: Polls and Surveys
This module within Lexis-Nexis provides access to results from opinion polls from many of the major sources, including Gallup, Harris, Roper, and many major newspapers and television networks.
Search this database for full-text articles in the areas of politics and public policy. Based in Washington, D.C., its publications include: National Journal, CongressDaily, The Hotline, and Technology Daily. Other links include Capital Source, Bill Status Reports, Ad Spotlight, Almanac of American Politics, Buzz Columns, Campaigns (at a glance), and book reviews.

Project MUSE
This database offers all full-text articles from over 300 peer-reviewed journals; subjects include humanities, arts, medicine, mathematics, social sciences, and more.

SocINDEX with Full Text is a comprehensive sociology research database. SocINDEX with Full Text contains full text for 235 "core" coverage journals dating back to 1895, and 72 "priority" coverage journals. This database also includes full text for 545 books and monographs, and full text for 6,601 conference papers. Use this database to read the scholarly journal literature about major social issues.

Wall Street Journal
Full text access to the Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition) from 1984 to the present.


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Citing Sources

See the library's Citing Sources guide for resources on how to properly cite research materials. Always confirm the style required by your instructor.


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