We are engaged in a study of the current and past condition of party organizations in the United States. The research examines parties within an institutional framework and seeks to measure the strength of party organizations at the national, state, and local levels. But in order to compare parties over time it is necessary to have longitudinal data. The purpose of this note is to ask interested researchers to share with us documented data on state party central committee staff and annual operating budgets or expenditures for the period 1960–1978. We would also appreciate suggestions for sources of such data for any of the state parties.
Table 1 presents the state party central committee budget and staff data collected to date. The 21-year period 1960–1980 yields 2,100 possible data points for the 100 state party organizations. We have collected budget data for 964 (45.9 percent) and staff data for 1,000 (47.6 percent) of the data points. These data have come from a variety of sources:
1. interviews with state party officials in 27 sample states (states selected for analysis in the cross-sectional portion of our research;
2. questionnaires sent to 556 former state party chairmen;
3. surveys by Roland H. Ebel, Cornelius P. Cotter, and Bernard C. Hennessy;
4. data collected and generously made available by William J. Crotty;
5. Jerome M. Mileur's 1977 survey of state party central committees;
6. Robert J. Huckshorn's collection of state party data;
7. surveys conducted by the Democratic National Committee in 1962, the Republican National Committee in 1968–69, and by the president of the Association of State Democratic Chairmen in 1974.