A little late but as promised I have updated the BUDGETS section. I had previously made available monthly fundraising and spending budgets (along with monthly payroll and weekly media buys) for about 12 competitive Illinois congressional races in the last few cycles. I had promised to update that report library with the 6 competitive congressional races from the 2012 cycle as well as go back and create the same reports for statewide races.
In order to produce these reports I downloaded the transaction data from the electronically filed reports of the candidates and then went through them line by line and assigned them to their proper budget section. Now not only are the latest congressional races included but I included every major party candidate for constitutional office (Gov, Lt. Gov, AG, SOS, Comptroller and Treasurer) from the 2010, 2006 and 2002 cycles (roughly 75 candidates). Further I created some quick glance tables in case you just want to look at the overall total raised/spent, and I put the entire database of transactions online. If you want to query all of the individual transactions I used to create these reports you can now copy that data for your own files and use it to build your own custom reports.
Even if you consider yourself a political junkie you may not find this part of the site particularly useful. It is really most helpful for campaign staffers who have to manage their campaign budget, usually just a campaign manager and/or an operations director. But for the candidates and staffers responsible for creating a campaign budget and managing the campaign’s spending decisions this data is almost invaluable and will save you hours while trying to figure out how other past campaigns have managed the same challenges.
The data includes three types of reports, 1) monthly campaign budgets; 2) monthly payroll budgets and 3) weekly general election paid media (mostly/usually television). There are a number of reasons this information can be useful. If you are running your campaign well you are going to try to keep your payroll and operating costs to a bare minimum, but it is helpful to know just how low you can reasonably keep those operating expenses and it’s valuable to see when other campaigns started hiring employees and/or incurring expenses.
Another issue that financial planners struggle with is figuring out how much your campaign will be able to spend on paid media and when to start spending. It’s helpful to see when other comparable races started their paid communication and it’s very helpful to see how comparable campaigns did in their fundraising in the final weeks/months of the campaign. You will almost certainly start spending your paid media budget before knowing how much money will still come in during the remainder of the campaign. You will have to make some estimates/predictions and you are going to want to base those estimates on comparable data if possible.
Campaign Raised/Spent Quick Glance
Here you will find quick glance tables listing the amount raised and spent during the election cycle for every statewide campaign and the key congressional races in my database.
Campaign Budget Reports
Here you will find monthly campaign budget reports, monthly payroll reports and weekly (fall) media buy reports for every statewide campaign and key recent congressional campaigns.
Campaign Budget Database
You may be curious about the individual transactions that were aggregated to assemble these campaign budget reports. Here you can query the database of individual transactions I used to build these reports including the various data fields I appended when I went through these transactions line by line. Every bit of data I have is available here. With this data you can build your own custom reports to suit your needs.
Like any other data set this one has limitations and caveats so if you’re planning to study this highly specialized data it’s probably worth your time to be aware of the additional information provided in the FAQ.