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 http://gozips.uakron.edu/~dcoffey/index.htm 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.” http://statepartyplatforms.org
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
- Economic Development/Trade
- Social Welfare
- Health Care
- Criminal Justice
- General Principles
- Civil Rights
- Gay Rights
- Gender (removed up through 2012 due to few sentences; now included under Civil Rights)
- State-Local-Federal Sovereignty
- Cultural Development (Museums, eg)
- Campaign Finance
- General Foreign Policy
- Party (often, internal party rules, etc)
- Civil Liberties
- Gun Control
- Drug Policy
- Voting Procedure/Rights
- Open Government
Individual States (I will be adding more)