Sectoral and Organizational Democratic Primary Contributions

The second round of data on Democratic Primary contributions** is much less interesting than the gender breakdown (HERE), but there’s a few points worth mentioning, I think. The Top 20 industry sector contributions amounted to $79M for Clinton, $91M for Obama. The Top 20 organizational “bundles” (contributions from affiliated individuals) amounted to $5.5M for Clinton, $6M for Obama.

**Before I continue, this is the excel sheet I was using; it has the campaign breakdowns by industry, organization, and gender. It also compares expenditures. All info is originally taken from OpenSecrets.org.

The Bundlers

First, Emily’s List was the largest organizational donor to Clinton’s campaign, contributing $517k. Goldman Sachs was the biggest Obama donor at $571k. Both candidates’ organizational lists were dominated by finance (7 for HRC, 6 for BO) and law firms (5 each), and 11 companies appeared on both lists. Only two of them donated more to Clinton than Obama: Citigroup (Thanks, Bob Rubin!) and Morgan Stanley.

Both had four media/info technology bundlers, with Time Warner and National Amusements (Sumner Redstone’s movie theatre company) contributing to each. Perhaps awkwardly for us Clintonites, Google placed on Obama’s list (#9) while News Corp (Fox!) placed on Clinton’s (#18). OY. I think this mostly indicates that Rupert Murdoch knows that anything Clinton = Sales = $$$$$$$$ for Murdoch. In contrast, General Electric was #20 on Obama’s list, which I didn’t categorize as media, even though they own NBC and MSNBO…I mean MSNBC. Can we price out Olbermann’s Special Comments based on GE’s $207k contribution?

I was struck by three institutions of higher ed appearing in Obama’s Top 20 list of major organizational donors. The University of California gave him $466k, second in contributions to Goldman Sachs. Harvard gave him $316k ($8), and the University of Chicago gave him $220k (#18). I realize he has strong ties to the latter two schools, being an alum of Harvard Law and the spouse of a UChicago employee. But I still can’t believe these bastions of “objective,” “apolitical” thinking placed in the Top 20 of a major Presidential donor. /snark?

In the Brooks article that triggered this, he mentioned that institutions of higher ed gave Obama a combined $7M versus only $700k for McCain. That was one of the most stark intra-industry disparities Brooks cited. No wonder I felt ashamed of being a Clinton supporter! (FWIW, I have no idea how/why the UC system is such a major donor to both candidates – it’s #8 for Clinton.)

Excelon, the energy company, came in at #15 on Obama’s list. The accountants/management consultants, OTOH, love Sen. Clinton (Pricewaterhouse and Ernst & Young…Go Figure!).


Again, not too much variation: both Dems received contributions from 16 sectors, with lawyers and “retired” coming in at #1 and #2, and securities/investments, real estate, education and business services rounding out the Top 6 for both. The only overlapping industries favoring Clinton were real estate and insurance.

What struck me as intriguing was that Clinton raised $3.4M from the “Women’s Issues” sector (#10), whereas Obama raised $2.6M from Democratic/Liberal groups (e.g., ActBlue, MoveOn). Dem/Lib groups didn’t even make Clinton’s Top 20, and I find it telling, unsurprising and problematic that “women” are separated from “democratic” groups. Says a lot, don’t you think??

As for the other non-overlapping industry sectors? Retail, manufacturing, and accountants for Clinton; non-profits, construction, and “other” for Obama. Thoughts??


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