Now that it seems certain this year’s Presidential election will pit Mitt Romney against President Obama, it is once again time to see just who is paying for all of this.
For a candidate comparison of campaign donors, the Center for Responsive Politics offers OpenSecrets, a searchable database of campaign finance.
There are many parallels in their contributors’ characteristics. For example, the top five states from which both candidates received the majority of their campaign contributions are for the most part, the same — California, New York, Massachusetts and Florida. They split on the fifth state with Obama winning Illinois contributors and Romney with Texans.
As promised in the 2008 election, Obama is once again refusing to take PAC money, but not Romney, who racked up over $670,000 from PACs. Romney also self-financed a portion of his campaign to the tune of $52,500.
Both received the majority of their contributions from individual donors.
As of May 21, Obama has over $115,000,000 in his war chest compared to Romney’s $9,000,000.
The top contributers, who are individual donors but are required to state their employer due to campaign finance laws, can give an indication of which candidate various sectors believe will help them, if elected.
For Obama, the top five employers are Microsoft, DLA Piper, University of California, Sidley Austin, LLP. and Google.
For Romney those top five are all in the banking industry, which is not surprising since Romney’s website notes his intent to repeal the Dodd-Frank banking regulations, and “review and eliminate” all other “Obama-era regulations.”
Romney’s top five are Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse — many of the banks that brought America the tech bubble, the housing bubble, the derivative disaster and the demise of the American economy.
Mitt Romney doesn’t believe in excessive regulation as he considers the cost of its implementation to be a hidden tax.
Apparently JP Morgan Chase’s recent loss in the billions due to risky investments doesn’t signal a need for some regulation.
The business sectors that contributed the most to each campaign also tell a story.
The sectors from which Obama received most of his contributions are lawyers and lobbyists; finance, insurance and real estate; communications and electronics, in that order, all contributing between $6 million and $10 million.
For Romney, the top three sectors in order are finance, insurance and real estate; lawyers and lobbyists and health. However, Romney received over $19 million from the finance sector with lawyers and lobbyists coming in next at just over $5 million.
Both candidates also received $7 million to $8 million from miscellaneous businesses.
The top five industries that support each candidate is also telling.
For both, retired individuals contributed the most to their campaigns.
The next four for Obama are lawyers and law firms, education, business services and securities and investments.
For Romney, securities and investment, lawyers and law firms, real estate and those in miscellaneous finance occupations, rounded out the top five.