Campaign Budget Information

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.

In my files I've had approximations of various campaign monthly revenues and expenditures by line item. Here you can find these budgets for key congressional races from the last few cycles and/or every statewide campaign for constitutional office since 2002.

In order to produce these reports I downloaded the transaction data from the electronically filed reports of the candidates and then went through them one by one and assigned them to a category. This data is a very useful guide but it is still just an approximation, check out the FAQ for more information on why.

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.