Data comes from the FEC’s “Independent Expenditures” data export for the 2020 election cycle. The file contains detailed information about independent expenditures, including who was paid, the purpose of the disbursement, date and amount of the expenditure and the candidate for or against whom the expenditure was made.
The FEC data updates throughout the day and Lexio is updated several times per day.
Candidates have a single ID, but can have several names in the dataset. We have processed the data to contain a single name for each unique candidate identifier.
Independent Expenditures Defined
An expenditure for communication:
That expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate
That is not made in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate, or his or her authorized committees or agents, or a political party committee or its agents. 11 CFR 100.16.
Online Ad Spend
Online Ad Spending for Joe Biden and Donald Trump come from the Center for Responsive Politics which is nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit. “The Center for Responsive Politics is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.”
For Facebook Ad Spend, “This data comes from aggregated spending totals on political advertisements purchased by Facebook pages, as reported by Facebook and collected by the Wesleyan Media Project. For more information about how these totals are calculated, read this methodological note written by Weslyan’s Pavel Oleinikov. A unique Facebook entity, in this context, is the unique combination of the page name and the “disclaimer” for the page. For example, the same group might fund several Facebook pages and each page will be included here as a separate entity.”