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HOME / CAMPAIGN FINANCE RPTS AND DATA / DOWNLOADABLE DATA / DETAILED FILES

Detailed Files About Candidates, Parties and Other Committees

Files by Election Cycle

Tutorial: Working with Downloadable FEC Data Files Using MS Access.

These files contain committee, candidate and campaign finance data for the current election cycle and for election cycles through 1980. The files for the current election cycle plus the two most recent election cycles are regularly updated. The Committees, Candidates and Linkages files are updated daily. The Itemized Records, Contributions to Candidates, Individual Contributions and Operating Expenditures files are udated weekly on Sunday. When these files are updated they include data entered into the FEC database through that date. Please note for financial data complete entry from each reporting period takes about 30 days. It is important to be careful when making conclusions from these data because some information may not have completed the entry process when these files where created.

Committees (Committee Master)

The committee master file contains one record for each committee registered with the Federal Election Commission. This includes federal political action committees and party committees, campaign committees for presidential, house and senate candidates, as well as groups or organizations who are spending money for or against candidates for federal office.

The file contains basic information about the committees. The ID number the Commission assigned to the committee is first, along with the name of the committee, the sponsor, where appropriate, the treasurer's name and the committee's address. The file also includes information about what type of committee is being described, along with the candidate's ID number if it is a campaign committee. A comma delimited header file is available on this file's data dictionary page.

Candidates (Candidate Master)

The candidate master file contains one record for each candidate who has either registered with the Federal Election Commission or appeared on a ballot list prepared by a state elections office.

The file contains basic information about the candidate, including name, party, whether the candidate is an incumbent, challenger, or involved in an open seat, address, state and district in which the candidate is running and the year of the election for which the candidate is registered. (Note that incumbent/challenger status is dynamic in the current election cycle and there may be delays in identifying districts that will involve open seats. The file also includes the ID number assigned to the candidate by the FEC which is used in tracking campaign finance information about the campaign, as well as the ID number of the candidate's principal campaign committee. A comma delimited header file is available on this file's data dictionary page.

Linkages (Candidate-Committee Linkage)

This file contains one record for each candidate to committee linakge.

Itemized Records (Any Transaction from One Committee to Another)

The itemized records (miscellaneous transactions) file contains all transactions (contributions, transfers, etc. among federal committees). It contains all data in the itemized committee contributions file plus PAC contributions to party committees, party transfers from state committee to state committee, and party transfers from national committee to state committee. Note that this file only includes federal transfers not soft money transactions. A comma delimited header file is available on this file's data dictionary page.

Contributions to Candidates (Contributions to Candidates (and other expenditures) from Committees)

The itemized committee contributions file contains each contribution or independent expenditure made by a PAC, party committee, candidate committee, or other federal committee to a candidate during the two-year election cycle. It includes the ID number of the contributing committee and the ID number of the recipient. You will need to use the committee master and candidate master files in conjunction with this file to set up a relational database to analyze these data. A comma delimited header file is available on this file's data dictionary page.

Individual Contributions (Contributions by Individuals)

The individual contributions file contains each contribution from an individual to a federal committee if the contribution was at least $200. It includes the ID number of the committee receiving the contribution, the name, city, state, zip code, and place of business of the contributor along with the date and amount of the contribution. NOTE: this file can be very large file. A comma delimited header file is available on this file's data dictionary page.

Operating Expenditures

The Operating Expenditures file contains disbursements reported on FEC Form 3 Line 17, FEC Form 3P Line 23and FEC Form 3X Lines 21(a)(i), 21(a)(ii) and 21(b). Operating expenditures disclosed by electronic filers are available for the current election cycle and for election cycles through 2004. Operating expenditures disclosed by paper filers, excluding Form 3P, are available for the current election cycle and for election cycles through 2006. Please note, operating expenditures disclosed by paper filers during the 2006 cycle are only available from reports filed in October 2005 and later. NOTE: this file can be very large file. A comma delimited header file is available on this file's data dictionary page.

Archive Files (1980 - 2010)