The Romney vs Obama API

The U.S. presidential race may be heating up thanks to the New York Times Campaign Finance API. The API lets you retrieve contribution and expenditure data from United States Federal Election Commission filings. The NY Times team have taken public campaign finance data and created a useful data set that answers the most frequently asked campaign finance questions. The New York Times Campaign Finance databases are updated twice daily (electronic filings are updated every 15 minutes). You can use the New York Times API for Campaign Finance to determine  a lot of things (we have a reference to an easy to use Tutorial using Google Spreadsheets. In February the Times updated with real-time tracking especially designed for the new electoral campaign funding on steroids fueled by Super PACs. That’s done by Fech, the open source Ruby Parser of NY Times. You can literally follow the money in real-time, with some even more new enhancements. Last week the NY Times Open Blog mentions that the API has four new responses covering late contribution data (which can provide a spoiler to estimates and forecasts):

This is also facilitated by Campaign Cash, a Ruby Client for the API. There is also a new thin Python Client for Python fans to use with the Campaign Finance API. Lastly, in what is a rather well designed attempt to make these APIs more useable, you can also create a dummy REST query using the prototype API console There are a total of 13 APIs including the Campaign Finance API that can be used at this console. Who is funding Romney? What about Obama?  It is just another API call away.

Be sure to read the next Government article: Socrata Data API: Keeping Government Open