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Campaign Expenditures in the United States, 1985-1986: Reports on Financial Activity (RFA) Data (ICPSR 8937)

Principal Investigator(s): Federal Election Commission


These data are produced in conjunction with Federal Election Commission (FEC) Reports On Financial Activity (RFA) and are taken directly from campaign finance reports filed by political committees and others who are required to file under the federal election laws. The data present summary information concerning filers' gross receipts, disbursements, debts, cash on hand, etc. They also include information on particular party and nonparty committee support of individual candidates. The data for United States congressional campaigns supply summarized information about the campaign, including the candidate's name, incumbency status, party affiliation, receipts, disbursements, contributions from the candidate, loans, debts, aggregate contributions by amount and source, and independent expenditures for and against the candidate. The party and nonparty political committee data contain summary information for committees including the committee name, special-interest group classification, receipts, cash and in-kind contributions made and received, disbursements, debts, and total expenditures for and against House and Senate candidates.

Series: Campaign Expenditures in the United States Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  House and Senate Spread Data - Download All Files (5.628 MB)
DS2:  House and Senate Crosstabs Data - Download All Files (19.143 MB)
DS3:  Party Committee Spread Data - Download All Files (5.14 MB)
DS4:  Party Committee Crosstabs Data - Download All Files (5.126 MB)
DS5:  Non-Party Committee Spread Data - Download All Files (6.983 MB)
DS6:  Non-Party Committee Crosstabs Data - Download All Files (19.917 MB)

Study Description


Federal Election Commission. CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1985-1986: REPORTS ON FINANCIAL ACTIVITY (RFA) DATA. Washington, DC: Federal Election Commission [producer], 1988. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1988. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08937.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08937.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    candidates, campaign contributions, campaign expenditures, campaign finance law, campaign funds, congressional elections (US House), congressional elections (US Senate), legislators, political elites, political organizations, political parties, United States House of Representatives, United States Senate

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1985-01-01--1986-12-31

Date of Collection:   

  • 1985-01-01--1988-01-29

Universe:    (1) Campaigns of all individuals who have registered with the FEC under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) as 1985 or 1986 candidates for the United States Senate or House of Representatives, or who have been certified by state authorities as official Senate or House candidates in a 1985 or 1986 primary, runoff, or general election but who have not registered as candidates under the FECA. (2) Party and non-party political committees registered with the FEC.

Data Type(s):    event/transaction data

Data Collection Notes:

For each of the three main types of data in this collection--House/Senate, party political committee, and nonparty political committee--there are two types of data files. The "spread" file contains one record for each campaign (House/Senate file) or committee (committee files). The "crosstabs" file contains one or more records per campaign or committee. For each candidate/filer or committee/candidate combination, there is a separate record that summarizes information about contributions and expenditures (for or against) a candidate. Data in this collection will not include any amendments to reports covering the period January 1, 1985 through December 31, 1986, that were received by the FEC after January 1988. This collection is part of a data series that contains the following previously released collections: CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1977-1978 AND 1979-1980 (ICPSR 8158), CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1981-1982 (ICPSR 8238), and CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1983-1984 (ICPSR 8511).


Sample:    Complete information is provided for all members of the sampling universe. An exception is made in the "Party Committee" files, which include only Democratic and Republican committees rather than all committees registered with the FEC.

Data Source:

self-enumerated forms


Original ICPSR Release:   1989-01-10

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File CB8937.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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