State Party Platforms Data

I receive a lot of requests for state party platforms. I have platforms from 2000 to 2016 available upon request. I am currently working on providing all of my coding for these years (and up through 2020) on this site for other researchers. My original website at will stop functioning soon. So, scroll down and all of the 2012 platform coding is provided below for each individual platform. The excel files contain the issue coding of each sentence in each platform. Certainly, topic models can analyze thousands of texts quickly to discover topics, but there is still value in human coding, especially when policy issues remain stable over time. A consistent coding structure provides researchers with a useful baseline to understand changes in policy debates overt time. Soon, I hope to have all of the 2008 and 2016 text similarly coded and available on this page. I am currently in the process of coding 2018 and 2020 state party platforms. 

Obtaining and coding political texts can be difficult. State political party platforms are an excellent data-source, but many researchers are often hesitant to use them because of the difficulty of collecting and coding the texts. So, I will provide as much of my coding as possible to help other researchers.

For the time being, I am providing all of my 2012 coding in two formats: the “cleaned” platforms txt files and the corresponding coding for each sentence in each platform in Excel. Here, I have taken the original document and cleaned it while preserving most text features (note: the text files are a little rough, but I chose to leave the text as close as possible to the original formatting, including headings, etc.). Each quasi-sentence is numbered. The text and Excel can be directly tied to the coding in terms of issue and ideology. There are 25 issues (see codebook below) and a five point ideology scale (-1 conservative to 1 liberal).

While anyone is free to download this data, I ask that users of the data posted here cite the work I have done. This coding was largely manual and without funding and took hundreds of hours. My hope is that other academics will be able to use this. For example, it may be a useful benchmark to compare automated topic models of state issue priorities to this human-based coding scheme.

Please let me know about any errors or inconsistencies. I will do my best to make corrections in these files as I want to make sure that these are as accurate as possible.

Citation for data:

Coffey, Daniel J. 2019. “State Party Platform Project.”

Recommended published citations:

Coffey, Daniel. 2014. “Federal Parties and Polarization.” in The State of the Parties, 7th ed. John C. Green,      Daniel J. Coffey and David Cohen eds. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 137-155.

Coffey, Daniel. 2018. “State Party Activism in 2016.” in The State of the Parties, 8th ed. John C. Green and Daniel J. Coffey, eds. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 84-95. 

DATA and Coding

Issues Codes:

  1. Budget/Taxes
  2. Economic Development/Trade
  3. Social Welfare
  4. Health Care
  5. Infrastructure
  6. Veterans
  7. Criminal Justice
  8. General Principles
  9. Immigration
  10. Civil Rights
  11. Gay Rights
  12. Abortion
  13. Gender (removed up through 2012 due to few sentences; now included under Civil Rights)
  14. Education
  15. Environment
  16. State-Local-Federal Sovereignty
  17. Cultural Development (Museums, eg)
  18. Campaign Finance
  19. Terrorism
  20. General Foreign Policy
  21. Party (often, internal party rules, etc)
  22. Civil Liberties
  23. Gun Control
  24. Drug Policy
  25. Voting Procedure/Rights
  26. Open Government

Overall Coding: 

2012 Platform Ideology

2012 Platform Issues

Individual States (I will  be adding more)

AZ DEM_2012

AZ GOP_2010

AR GOP_2012

AR DEM_2010

AL GOP_2012

AL DEM_2012

AK DEM_2012

AK 2012 GOP

CA GOP 2012

CA DEM 2012

CO 2012 GOP

CO DEM 2012

CT DEM 2012

DE DEM 2012

DE DEM 2012

FL_DEM 2012

GA GOP 2012

GA DEM 2012

HI 2012 GOP

HI 2012 DEM

IA DEM 2012

IA GOP 2012

ID 2012 DEM

ID 2012 GOP

IN DEM 2012

IN GOP 2012

KS DEM 2012

KS GOP 2012

MA DEM 2012

MA GOP 2012

ME 2012 DEM

ME 2012 GOP

MN 2012 DEM

MN 2012 GOP

MS 2012 DEM

MS 2012 GOP

MT 2012 GOP

MT DEM 2012

NC DEM 2012

NC GOP 2012

ND DEM 2012

NE DEM 2012

NE GOP 2012

NH 2012 DEM

NH 2012 GOP

NM 2012 DEM

NM 2012 GOP

NV 2012 DEM

NV 2012 GOP

OR 2012 DEM

OR 2012 GOP

SC 2012 DEM

SC 2012 GOP

SD 2012 DEM

SD 2012 GOP

TX DEM 2012

TX GOP 2012

UT 2009 GOP

UT 2010 DEM

VT 2012 DEM

WA 2012 DEM

WA 2012 GOP

WI 2012 DEM

WI 2012 GOP

WV 2012 DEM

WV 2012 GOP

WY 2012 DEM

WY 2012 GOP