Tracking Obama and Romney's Top Corporate Contributors
Its the universities and high-tech companies piling up dollars for President Barack Obama, while the banks are spending even more for Governor Mitt Romney, according to the latest campaign contribution numbers compiled by MapLight.org.
And in the home stretch of the 2012 election, MapLight and the technology magazine Wired have jointly created an embeddable influence tracker widget to help readers follow the money behind the candidates. The widget features candidates' total contributions, a list of their top 10 donors, their ranking as a fundraiser within the office they seek, and their ranking overall among candidates running at the federal level.
In a clever touch, corporate logos of candidates top contributors are displayed virtually on Obama and Romneys business suits, like a NASCAR sponsor.
Corporate influence in politics has gone off the charts, and it's more important than ever for voters to understand who is financing candidates," said Evan Hansen, Wired.com's editor in chief, in a statement.
The latest numbers suggest that the leaders of U.S. financial institutions believe their brightest future lies with electing Romney. Eight of Romneys top 10 contributors are banks:
- Goldman Sachs ($726,490)
- JPMorgan Chase ($571,919)
- Bank of America ($557,755)
- Morgan Stanley ($526,697)
- Credit Suisse ($488,550)
- Barclays ($366,800)
- Citigroup ($364,465)
- Wells Fargo ($316,545)
In President Obamas top 10, three universities are big supporters:
- University of California ($799,533)
- Harvard ($433,380)
- Stanford ($305,199)
Two high-tech companies, Google ($508,864) and Microsoft ($501,101), are also in Obamas top 10.
Law firms may be crying the financial blues these days but its not stopping some of them from showing their support. Obama lists two among his top 10 donors: DLA Piper ($348,247) and Sidley Austin ($293,743).
And Romney isnt without a friend at the bar, toohis list includes Kirkland & Ellis ($341,442).
Romney leads in total corporate contributions with $208.8 million, while Obama has slightly over $201 million.
The data was compiled from Federal Election Commission figures from January 1, 2011, to October 14, 2012. MapLight updates its numbers weekly.
Readers are able to customize the widgets by choosing which candidates they want to follow, including House and Senate races, by going here.
In just a few weeks, voters will confront a ballot filled with candidates whose campaigns have been paid for by wealthy donors. People deserve to know the truth about whose interests their candidates are really representing, said Daniel G. Newman, MapLight's president and co-founder, in the statement.
See also: "Election Season Heats UpIn the Office, Too," CorpCounsel, October 2012; and "Lawyers at top firms give big to Obama," The American Lawyer, October 2012.