Population. All population figures, excluding unemployment rates and voter registration, are from the Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington D.C. 20230, 301-763-4040. Official April 1, 1990, Census figures are used as well as July 1, 1998, estimates for each state.
Race and Ethnic Origin. Race and Ethnic Origin. For the 1990 Census, the Census Bureau asked people what their race or ethnic origin was. Race, as defined by the Bureau of the Census, reflects the individual respondents' perception of his or her racial identity and does not reflect any biological or anthropological definition. The basic racial categories are: American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian or Pacific Islander; Black; and White. Hispanic origin is defined as an ethnicity, and includes those who classified themselves in one of three specific Hispanic categories on the census form (Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican) or as of "other Spanish/Hispanic origin"; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. The "Other" category was intended to include those persons who do not consider themselves to be in the basic racial or ethnic categories.
Households and Housing Information. A Household is defined as including all persons occupying a housing unit; a Married Couple Family is a household of persons related by marriage. Owner occupied housing units include only single-family houses on less than ten acres with no business or medical office on the property. The value of a housing unit is the respondent's estimate of how much the unit would sell for if it were for sale, and determines Median House Value. Monthly rent is defined as the per-month contract rent agreed to for a unit, regardless of any goods or services that may be included (e.g. utilities), and determines Median Monthly Rent.
Age. The Bureau of the Census defines age as based on the number of years a person completed as of April 1, 1990. This definition was used to determine the voting age population, the percentage of population over 65 years of age, and the median age. Many people, however, provided their age as of the date they completed the census form rather than the definition provided by the Bureau of the Census.
Education. The level of higher education is measured by the Census from persons over 25 years of age who have pursued vocational, public, or private forms of college education not necessarily leading to graduation.
Unemployment. All unemployment figures are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. 20210, 202-606-7828. These figures represent the average rate of unemployment for each state for 1998.
Registered Voters. Registered voter numbers are from the individual states' election bureaus or political parties, and represent the number of voters officially registered as close as possible to the November 1998 election. Some states have no voter registration.
Political Lineup. This block includes the names of top state officials as well as a breakdown by party of the state legislative bodies. The names of U.S. senators and a party breakdown of the state's congressional delegation are also provided.
Presidential Vote. The 1992 and 1996 presidential vote is included for each state and congressional district. Presidential vote by state and by congressional district was derived from state, county and precinct results as compiled by the staff of the National Committee for an Effective Congress (NCEC), 122 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, 202-638-8300. The 1992 and 1996 presidential vote by congressional district was recalculated in eight states to reflect redistricting (remapping) changes. The eight states are: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Results of the presidential primaries were provided by the states and the FEC. Caucus results are not provided.
Biography. This section lists when each governor, senator and representative was elected or appointed, date and place of birth, home, college education and degrees obtained (if any), religion, marital status and, if applicable, spouse's name. Also listed is a brief outline of the politician's past elected offices, professional career and military service and his or her office addresses and telephone numbers. Committee and subcommittee assignments, as of June 15, 1999, are provided as well. (Note: On many committees, the chairman and ranking minority member are ex officio members of each subcommittee on which they do not hold a regular assignment.)
Group Ratings. The congressional rating statistics of 11 interest groups provide an idea of a legislator's general ideology and the degree to which the legislator represents different groups' interests. Not just a record of liberal/conservative voting behavior, these ratings come from a range of groups concerned with everything from single issues (environmental concerns) to the political interests of a particular sector (e.g., businesses). The order of the groups is such that the more "liberal" groups are on the left and the more "conservative" are on the right. Five groups, ACLU, LCV, NFIB, NTLC and CHC provide one rating for the two-year congressional session. Following is a general description of each organization, its address and telephone number.
ADA - Americans for Democratic Action
1625 K St., N.W., #210, Washington, D.C. 20006, 202-785-5980.
Liberal: Since its founding in 1947, ADA members have pushed for legislation designed to reduce inequality, curtail rising defense spending, prevent encroachments on civil liberties and promote international human rights. The ADA uses a broad spectrum of issues for its vote analysis.
ACLU - American Civil Liberties Union
122 Maryland Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, 202-544-1681.
Pro-individual liberties: ACLU seeks to protect individuals from legal, executive and congressional infringement on basic rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The ACLU ratings are published for every Congress; the 1998 ratings include the years 1997 and 1998.
AFS - American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
1625 L St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, 202-429-1000.
Liberal Labor: As the nation's largest public employee and health care workers union, representing more than 1.3 million members, AFSCME is committed to achieving dignity and improving working conditions through collective bargaining. The AFSCME voting records are based on a representative sample of roll call votes from the First and Second Sessions of the 105th Congress.
LCV - League of Conservation Voters
1707 L St., N.W., #750, Washington, D.C. 20036, 202-785-8683.
Environmental: Formed in 1970, LCV is the national, non-partisan arm of the environmental movement. LCV works to elect pro-environmental candidates to Congress. LCV ratings are based on key votes concerning energy, environment and natural resource issues, selected by leaders from major national environmental organizations.
CON - Concord Coalition
1019 19th St., N.W., #810, Washington, D.C. 20036, 202-467-6222.
Pro-Balanced Budget: The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to eliminating the federal budget deficit and reforming entitlement programs. The Coalition, with members and active chapters in all 50 states, is determined to educate the American public about the dangers of the federal deficit.
NTU - National Taxpayers Union
108 N. Alfred St., Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-683-5700.
Pro-Taxpayer Rights: NTU is the nation's largest and oldest taxpayers' rights group, representing 300,000 members in all 50 states. NTU analyzes every roll call vote taken during both sessions of Congress that significantly affects federal taxes, spending, debt, or regulatory impact.
NFIB - National Federation of Independent Business
600 Maryland Ave., S.W., #700, Washington, D.C. 20024, 202-554-9000.
Pro-Small Business: The National Federation of Independent Business represents small and independent business owners -- every kind and size of commerical enterprise; high-tech, family farmers, neighborhood retailers and service companies. Founded in 1943, NFIB gives small and independent business a voice in governmental decision making in Washington, D.C. and all 50 states.
COC - Chamber of Commerce of the United States
1615 H Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20062, 202-659-6000.
Pro-business: Founded in 1912 as a voice for organized business, COC represents local, regional and state chambers of commerce in addition to trade and professional organizations.
ACU - American Conservative Union
1007 Cameron St., Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-836-8602.
Conservative: Since 1971, ACU ratings have provided a means of gauging the conservatism of members of Congress. Foreign policy, social and budget issues are their primary concerns.
NTLC - National Tax-Limitation Committee
151 North Sunrise Ave., #901, Roseville, CA 95661, 916-786-9400.
Pro-tax limitation: NTLC was organized in 1975 to seek constitutional and other limits on taxes, spending and deficits at the state and federal levels. NTLC actively pursues a balanced budget/tax limitation amendment to the U.S. Constitution. These ratings are based on budget issue votes and bills which would have a major impact on long-term government taxing and spending programs.
CHC - Christian Coalition
227 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., #101, Washington, D.C. 20002, 202-547-3600.
Conservative: Pro-family citizen organization and national lobby founded in 1989 working for family-friendly public policy on a local, state and national level with over 1.5 million members and activists.