Dems benefit more from big donors of the last 20 years

Posted on March 27, 2011


Open Secrets, studying FEC data, has compiled a list of the top 140 donors since 1989, and the rundown should serve as a quick rejoinder to anyone who claims that money in politics unfairly helps the GOP. Of the top 25 biggest donors, sixteen of them contribute heavily to Democratic candidates, five contribute fairly equally to both parties, and only four contribute heavily to Republicans.

Of interest on the list is the level of intensity of partisan cash flow. All of the top 25 donors that donate more to Democrats do so at levels of at least 90%, and you have to go down to number 78 on the list (The Club for Growth) until you get a comparable level of partisan cash flow in the Republicans’ favor.

Also, in the area of no f-ing surprise, unions make up 12 of the top 25 big donors, and all of them contribute 95-98% to Democrats (except the Carpenters and Joiners Union, who apparently need to get with the program since only 89% of their money goes to Democrats).

In total, there are 44 Dem-leaning groups and 41 GOP-leaning groups, with the rest splitting their donations roughly equally between the two parties. If you looked just at the number of donors, you would say it’s a wash, but, again, the top most donors skew blue, and GOP-leaning donors don’t seem to tilt with the same intensity that their more liberal counterparts do.

In any event, keep this chart in mind the next time someone starts preaching about all the evil right-wing money in politics. The truth is that the big money goes to Democrats and their progressive money more than their opponents – but that’s not evil money since it’s for a righteous cause, I suppose the thinking (or its reasonable facsimile) goes.

Heads-up from Weasel Zippers.

Posted in: Politics