Expenditures

Raising money is only the first step for any candidate or committee. The money also has to be spent — and reported to the Federal Election Commission.

While disclosure is often vague or incomplete, the FEC's expenditures data sheds light on the strategies that campaigns use to turn dollars into votes, the vendors making a fortune on elections, and the groups living large on their donors' money.

Campaigns must report to the FEC the purpose and payee of all disbursements over $200. The Center for Responsive Politics uses this information to classify campaign expenditures into nine major categories: Administrative, Campaign Expenses, Fundraising, Media, Contributions, Strategy & Research, Transfers, Wages & Salaries, and Unclassifiable.

Top Vendors 2020 Cycle

Rank Vendor Amount From Expenditures From Independent Expenditures
1 Assembly $506,787,107 $506,787,107 $0
2 Buying Time LLC $222,332,095 $222,293,120 $38,975
3 American Made Media Consultants $217,106,069 $217,106,069 $0
4 Facebook Inc $142,392,075 $134,402,206 $7,989,869
5 Google Inc $90,883,130 $87,565,360 $3,317,770
View All Vendors

Expenditures 2020 Cycle

Media: 41.83%
Salaries: 13.83%
Fundraising: 13.62%
Administrative: 10.13%
Unclassifiable: 9.83%
Strategy & Research: 5.42%
Campaign Expenses: 5.32%
Media $2,611,193,886 41.83%
Salaries $863,437,970 13.83%
Fundraising $850,387,140 13.62%
Administrative $632,263,528 10.13%
Unclassifiable $613,796,584 9.83%
Strategy & Research $338,729,885 5.42%
Campaign Expenses $332,409,963 5.32%

Top Spending Candidate Committees 2020 Cycle

Rank Committee Amount
1 Mike Bloomberg 2020 $1,094,692,821
2 Biden for President $350,384,873
3 Tom Steyer 2020 $345,113,300
4 Donald J Trump for President $306,147,156
5 Friends of Andrew Yang $39,398,771
View All Committees

NOTE: Numbers on this page are based on expenditures reported by candidates, parties, PACs and outside spending groups for the 2019-2020 election cycle, based on Federal Election Commission data available electronically on Friday, August 21, 2020.

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