Funding & Campaign Finance Data Visuals For Congress Members

Erin Carson, Lead Analyst Wednesday May 28th 2014

VoteTocracy provides a unique view of campaign finance and funding data on each member of Congress.  We provide this using dynamic visualizations which help make relevant connections and relationships more clear, quickly.  Specifically, we have created several views which show the relationship between funding sources, organized using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the sources of employment and gross domestic product within each Congress member's' state. The visualization above shows the top donors in the 2010-2014 election cycle.  To see examples, click on either profile for Senator Dianne Feinstein or for Representative John Boehner.

Our approach uses NAICS, which is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.  We attributed 79% of listed contributions, sourced from OpenSecrets.org, to produce the available visuals (remaining funding data could not be classified by industry and was not included).  Note that organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations' PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.

VoteTocracy gives you three different ways to understand the relationship between donors and this leader.

  1. Overall Contributions; displaying in a bubble chart the contributions of various NAICS groups.  Data is viewed by scrolling over any given bubble.

  2. Cycle to Cycle; displaying a bubble chart which highlights the changes in campaign contributions cycle to cycle by NAICS group.  It is useful as a quick measure of which groups have increased and which groups have decreased contributions to a Congress member.

  3. Comparison; displaying a comparison of contributions by NAICS group, to the employment provided by that group and the GDP contributed by the group, within the state.  It is useful as a quick way for assessing whether any group's contribution is significantly greater or less than that group's contribution to an overall state GDP and employment profile. Data is viewed by scrolling over any given bar.