Lawyers and law firms contributed the most bundlers of any industry in the 2008 election for most of the presidential campaigns, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington organization that tracks federal elections.
Bundlers are fundraisers who bring in a specific amount of money for a particular candidate. They have been particularly important during the 2008 presidential election, which has attracted significant sums of money despite limits on campaign contributions.
Among Democrats, lawyers and law firms provided more than 20 percent of the total number of bundlers for each campaign, more than any other industry group.
About 62 percent of the bundlers raising money for the campaign of former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., a lawyer, came from lawyers and law firms, the highest of any Republican or Democrat. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who once practiced law, attracted 26 percent of the bundlers for his campaign from lawyers and law firms. The finance sector provided another 21 percent of his bundlers.
About 23 percent of the bundlers for former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's campaign came from the legal industry, the same percentage provided from both the real estate and finance sectors.
Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has relied least on bundlers who are lawyers and law firms, despite having raised the largest amount of contributions of any candidate in the 2008 race from the legal community. About 20 percent of bundlers for her campaign came from lawyers and law firms, while the finance sector provided 14 percent and real estate 10 percent.
Among Republicans, lawyers and law firms made up the largest group of bundlers for most of the candidates. Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., who is a lawyer, attracted the largest percentage, with 18 percent of bundlers for his campaign coming from lawyers and law firms. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., both attracted 15 percent of their bundlers from the legal sector, the highest of any industry group. Other bundlers have come from real estate, finance and business services.
Lawyers have played less of a role in fundraising for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, whose campaign attracted 9 percent of its bundlers from that group but relied primarily on the finance and real estate industries, which each provided 14 percent of his bundlers. And former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's bundlers haven't come from lawyers at all; rather, 40 percent of his bundlers have come from commercial banking, while another 60 percent have come from the business services, retail and livestock sectors.