Real-Time Federal Campaign Finance

Bulk Downloads

Last update: Nov. 23, 2014 | 11:39 p.m.

All files are provided as gzipped .csv files. The detailed contribution and disbursements files are quite large. (You may need to right-click the file name (in blue) to download the data). All files are regenerated several times a day--the most recent update was at Nov. 23, 2014, 11:39 p.m.

If you need assistance using this data or are in need of a customized dataset, please contact us. Members of the media should contact Sunlight’s Communications Director Gabriela Schneider at 202-742-1520 ext. 236.

Summary Files

The candidate summary file only includes information for candidates we believe to be running in a federal election held after Jan. 1, 2013. Because many candidates from previous cycles still have committees, this file will contain fewer candidates than data available elsewhere. These files include current independent spending totals for and against the candidates, as well as fundraising totals from 48-hour reports (covering contributions of $1,000 or more received in the 20 days before an election).

Super PAC Files

The contributions file includes contributions of $10,000 or more to super PACs, hybrid super PACs and to independent expenditure only groups. Because there's no special form for hybrid super PACs (also known as Carey committees) to use, these groups have been requested to list all donations to their "non-contribution account" on line 17, in the "other federal receipts" section of their FEC F3X form. FEC's guidance is for donations to hybrid PACs' "non-contribution" account to be clearly marked as such in the purpose field, though there's no guarantee that has been done. This file includes all receipts from hybrid super PACS of $10,000 or more, regardless of whether they are specifically earmarked for the non-contribution account. We're doing this because some hybrid super PACs appear to be ignoring the guidance and reporting oversized contributions on line SA11A1. For more about hybrid super PAC reporting see the FEC's guidance for Carey committees.

This file is a subset of the contributions included in the super PAC contribution file--described above--so all the same caveats apply. The only difference is that this file only includes receipts recorded as itemized contributions from individuals where an donating organization name is included. If both a donating organization name and an individual's name are listed on the original file, these lines are included, though in practice that occurs only rarely, if at all. Finally, a contribution from a PAC that is erroneously recorded on line 11AI will appear here.

Detailed Files of Line-Item Transactions

These files consist of transactions from Jan. 1, 2013, or later that are itemized on electronic filings. They include every line in every electronic filing that hasn't been superseded by an amended version of the filing and hasn't been given a memo code of "X". ("X" memo codes indicate that the data has been sub-itemized.) Senate committees, including the national Republican and Democratic senatorial committees--which are required to file paper records with the senate clerk's office--are not included. Voluntary senate electronic filings, which the FEC processes on an "experimental" basis, are not included, though we hope to add them in the near future.

For ease of use, a few non-standard schedules are included--they can be identified within the bulk files in the 'form_type' field.

  • Line F57--independent expenditures made by a non-committee (typically these are individuals, businesses or 501(c)(4)'s)--are included on schedule E.
  • Line F65--contributions of $1,000 or more given to candidate committees less than 20 days before an election and which are required to be reported within 48-hours of receipt--are included as if they were received on schedule A. These line items, however, are removed once a post-election report covering this time period is received
  • Line F56--contributions to non-committees (typically these are individuals, businesses or 501(c)(4)'s) that do not have to legally report contributions are included on schedule A. Line 56's received on 24/48-hour reports are replaced when a quarterly report covering the time period they were reported in is received.
  • Line F92--contributions to electioneering groups--are included on schedule A.
  • Line F132/133--contributions and refunds to a presidential inaugural committee--are included in schedule A. Lines F133--refunds--are always given as negative.

Documentation

For more detailed information, see data dictionaries for each of the downloadable files, a description of what each line type means, and more details about the various form types included.