FEC Data Platform

Overview

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) Data Platform processes and enriches contributions by individuals given to campaign committees of political candidates. Currently, all the individual contributions given to presidential candidates since 1976 to present that are disclosed to the FEC are included. Note that donations to senate and congressional candidates will be added in the future.

Contributions by individuals are reported in various ways to the FEC. The Elections Platform processes these sources and combines them in a single table in the Elections database. Electronic filings to the FEC are added before they are processed by the FEC and are later replaced by the processed version. Earmarked contributions are tracked back to the conduit committees and imported from their filings. Then, the contribution data is enriched by various other official data sources and finally accessible to the user via our APIs and interfaces.

The platform offers various interfaces to access the data:

  1. Our SQL Interface gives the user the full power of all the possible ways of data analytics and delivers the result as a CSV file.
  2. Our Application Programming Interface (API) endpoints answer the most frequently asked queries in a user-friendly way and give the results as a CSV file for further use (in Excel, Tableau, etc.). This is an easy way for non-data experts to explore the data.
  3. Our e.ventures Cohort Analysis Google Sheet Dashboard gives quick access to sophisticated data aggregations derived from our knowledge of 20+ years of financial startup analytics.

The FEC data is just our starting point. Our platform automatically enriches all the individual donor data (from 1976 to present) by a number of other data sources:

  1. Individual donor records are augmented with gender, age, and ethnicity using official data sources from ssa.gov and census.gov.
  2. Individual donors are assigned to income groups using the median household income per county.
  3. Our data enriching process transparency is as important as for the FEC data. Thus, each enriching dataset comes with its official, verifiable source.
  4. Enrichment by further data sources is under development and coming soon:
  • By querying included official BLS labor data, you will be able to assess how an increase in a county's unemployment rate influences its contributors' behavior. By combining that with the MIT election results (we are in the process of adding this to our database), you can see how changes in unemployment rates drive voter behavior.
  • From the FCC political spend data, we will process the raw media pdf invoices. This allows us to observe when and where campaigns are purchasing TV and radio time.
  • Ongoing data enrichment and additional data sources: we look at this as a collaborative effort and will add additional data sources over time. The newly added data will be clean, fully linked to the existing data set, and fully transparent with direct references to the underlying source data. The current focus is on the MIT historic election results for federal general as well as presidential primary elections, and adding Google and Facebook campaign spending data will be next on the roadmap. The intent is to combine and bring together all relevant data sources for a holistic view of donor behavior.

Our data and our platform are hosted in the cloud, hence latency is low and resources can be instantly scaled up in times of high demands.


What’s Next