Listed below are resources that support research about the relationship between money and politics:
- Campaign Finance Institute Historical Data Tables -- this think tank provides historical data on congressional and presidential election fundraising, expenditures, and party, interest group, and PAC spending. Tables and figures are in PDF and cover 1974-present with many of these tables are available in Excel. The Institute also produces research reports as well as a Money in Politics Bibliography covering academic literature back to 2006.
- Database on Ideology, Money in Politics, and Elections -- a general resource produced at Stanford University for the study of campaign finance and ideology in American politics. The database contains over 130 million political contributions made by individuals and organizations to local, state, and federal elections spanning a period from 1979 to 2014. A corresponding database of candidates and committees provides additional information on state and federal elections.
- Federal Election Commission Campaign Finance Data -- the site contains a variety of data files that will allow you to download itemized and trend data and filings for contributions and disbursements by and for candidates, committees, PACs, and independent expenditures. Bulk downloads of detailed data are available from an old FEC site.
- FollowTheMoney.org – provides data and reports on money and spending in state-level politics. Covers campaign finance donations, spending by outside groups, and spending on ballot measures for all fifty states. You can view national or state overviews of spending; get breakdowns by district, candidate, party, industry, incumbency status, and more. The National Institute on Money in State Politics cleans, verified, and standardizes the data. Site also includes a helpful directory of State Disclosure Offices.
- MapLight -- a nonpartisan research organization that connects data on campaign contributions in congressional elections, legislative votes by members of Congress, and which interest groups, companies, and organizations support and oppose key bills. The site also includes the Federal Money and Politics Dataset of cleaned up FEC campaign contribution data for each cycle 2008-present.
- OpenSecrets.org – supported by the Center for Responsive Politics, this is a comprehensive source for data freely available for non-commercial use on campaign finance at the federal level. Covers contributions to candidates and PACs; campaign spending by outside groups; lobbying and interest groups; personal finances of politicians and the revolving door of politicians to lobbyists; political ad buys; and more. Coverage from 1998 to the present.
- State Campaign Finance Legislation Database – produced by the National Conference of State Legislatures, this database contains state legislation related to campaign finance processes and reform. Bills found here deal with campaign contribution limits, disclosure requirements, independent expenditure requirements and other campaign finance-related issues from 2015 onward. Bill information for the current year is updated each Tuesday. To view bills from previous years, visit NCSL’s Campaign Finance Legislation Database 1999-2013 and Campaign Finance Legislation Database 2014.
Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites and from Jeremy Darrington's American Politics Research Guide, Princeton University Libraries.