Serious students of Congress constantly consult Congressional Quarterly (CQ), in either its weekly or annual Almanac versions, and the biennial Almanac of American Politics by Michael Barone and Grant Ujifusa, published by the National Journal in Washington, D.C. CQ is a paragon of impartial, fact-laden reporting. The Barone/Ujifusa volumes are totally reliable in matters of fact and, despite what some critics see as their conservative bias, highly reliable in matters of interpretation.
Guidance on the social and political history of the states considered in this book was provided by the somewhat dated but still valuable The Book of America: Inside Fifty States Today by Neal R. Peirce and Jerry Hagstrom ( New York: W. W. Norton, 1983).
Campaign financial figures were taken from the Almanac of American Politics, the Federal Election Commission's Office of Public Records, and Public Disclosure, Inc. The FEC Internet site at www.fec.gov is helpful but not, in computer jargon, "user friendly." For instance, it usually does not break down candidates' filings according to the percentage of PAC versus individual, or in-state versus out-of-state, contributions. Public Disclosure, Inc. performs this needed service at www.fecinfo.com.
A wealth of studies examines how Congress operates, but there is a dearth of inquiries into how members of Congress regularly win re-elections. Analyses of the workings of the post-Watergate Congress, the PAC system of campaign financing, and modern media politics are too numerous to list, especially