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Politicians & Elections

Politicians need votes, certainly, to win election and re-election, but they also need money. And while an individual's vote carries an expectation that the candidate will look out for constituents' interests if elected, a campaign contribution may carry an expectation that the money will get repaid in the form of favorable legislation, less stringent regulations, political appointments, government contracts or tax credits-to name a few forms of payback. So where is all this money coming from? Who's giving it? Who's getting it?


There's no election in the world more expensive than the Race for the White House. Learn where the candidates are raising their money-the industries, the states and metro areas-and how they're spending it. You can also find data here for past presidential contests.


Members of Congress don't stop raising money once they're elected. Far from it, they dial for dollars and attend fundraising events when they're not busy representing you in Washington. How do they have the time to do it all, and doesn't something have to give? Speaking of giving, this is where you can see which industries and organizations are supporting your elected representatives in the House and Senate. You can review their profile for the current election cycle or a career profile that goes back to 1989.

Congressional Committees

The real business of lawmaking takes place in Congress's many committees, which review and revise legislation before it's voted on by the full legislature. Committee members are prime targets for contributions from industries and interests that they regulate. This is where you can see those connections.

Congressional Elections

The average House seat costs more than $1 million, and Senate seats can go for tens of millions. Here, you can see how the candidates in a given congressional race stack up. For challengers and candidates vying for open seats, we have analyses of their fundraising similar to what you'll find for incumbent members of Congress.

Joint Fundraising Committees

Joint fundraising committees can be created by two or more candidates, PACs or party committees to share the costs of fundraising, and split the proceeds.

Personal Finances

Want to see how your members of Congress and the president invest their own money, or compare your personal net worth to theirs? You can also see how much money elected and appointed officials have invested in industries they regulate and how they might stand to benefit personally from decisions your government makes. This is the Web's only searchable database of officials' personal financial reports, which are filed annually and are notoriously difficult to analyze.

Outside Spending

Outside groups spend hundreds of millions of dollars each election cycle to run ads, make phone calls, distribute literature and engage in other activities to sway the electorate about candidates and issues. A January 2010 Supreme Court decision (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) now permits corporations and unions to make such expenditures from their treasuries directly and through other organizations. We have the most complete and in depth information about these efforts available anywhere.


Raising huge sums 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.

Political Parties

In addition to the money candidates raise for their own campaigns, they often get help from their party's fundraising committees. You can track the fortunes of the major parties here.

Elections Overview

What's the big picture for this election? Who's raised the most, and what's the average? Who's spending the most on their own campaigns? Which industries, organizations and individuals are responsible for the most money? Answer those questions-and many more-here.

Get Local!

To drill down into information on your area, this is the best place to start. Select a state or ZIP code and then use the tabs that appear to explore where the money has been coming from.

Donor Lookup

This enormous-and enormously popular-database allows you to search Federal Election Commission data for individual campaign contributors to federal candidates, parties and political action committees for this election cycle or as far back as the 1990 election. Search by the donor's name, employer, state or ZIP code.

Count Cash & Make Change

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