February 09, 2008

Political contributions from tech employees

The year-end campaign reports filed on January 31 provide information on how candidates raised money. I looked at contributions to four Democrats and five Republicans from five technology companies: Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Ebay and Microsoft. The following graphs show these contributions first by company and and then by candidate. (Disclosure: I've contributed to the Obama campaign.)

Some observations:

  • Ranked by total dollars raised, the top three candidates are: Clinton (38% of all money raised), Obama (29%), Paul (22%). Together, these three candidates took in 89% of the money contributed.

  • Clinton raised the most money with 68% coming from Microsoft employee contributions of $86,360. In terms of raw dollars, both Microsoft and Ebay employees prefer Clinton, Google employees prefer Obama, Yahoo and Amazon employees prefer Paul.

  • Microsoft employees contributed the most money in total at $169,421, but Google contributed the most per employee. Google employees contributed $111,160 which works out to $6.61 per capita (based on end of year head count data). This far exceeds the other four companies' per capita contributions which range from $0.64 (Amazon) to $2.14 (Microsoft).

  • Given the strength of Ron Paul's fund raising, I'd conclude that technology workers skew fairly libertarian. And not as liberal as you might expect given that neither Kucinich or Edwards did not fare particulaly well.

  • The presumptive GOP nominee, John McCain, was in 4th place among Republicans. Huckabee was the worst-performing Republican ($1,550) and Kucinich the worst-performing Democrat ($4,250).


junkpizza said...

it is sort of unfair to compare the companies with the per capita stat at least for amazon. Since amazon is mostly a retail company. A great deal of it employees are lowered paid people who work in the warehouses and pack ship orders. As where the other companies you have stated are higher paid software engineers and other office jobs.

Jason Goldman said...

Well, I think there are all kinds of reasons why the per capita stat could be swayed. Employee wealth is certainly a fair point. Another reason is that Google has invited most of the candidates to come speak at the campus and many have.

Still, even on a non-per capita basis Amazon donated the least. And you could remove 10,000 people from Amazon and they'd still give the least per capita.

Carl said...

Great post!

Philipp Lenssen said...

May I reprint your first image at Google Blogoscoped? Credited and linked of course. Thanks!

Jason Goldman said...

Sure, Phillip.

Pope Adhesive I said...

Goldman - I had no idea I had been canonized, let alone deified.

Shoot me an email, joleske2000 at yahoo dot com, we should catch up.

skomalley said...

As I learned in my education class the other day: the rich can afford/have the luxury to be idealists. The poor, not so much. And most people who work for technology companies are wealthy or at the very least upper-middle class (and from predominantly wealthy backgrounds). Thus, most people at tech companies support the overly idealistic likes of Ron Paul and Obama.
(Disclosure: I voted for Hillary, but don't really like her. I don't really like Obama either, but I will vote from him over a Republican any day.)

Anyways, I thought the statistics you pulled were interesting, but as Mark Twain said: "There are real liars, plain liars, politicians, and then there's statisticians."

matt said...


Cool graphs, thanks for sharing.

Speaking of which, I came across recently the various graphs on the Twitter blog of SXSW, Super Tues tweets, etc. and love 'em:

I know you're busy, but would like to chat briefly if you have a chance. I'm a PhD student in Mass Communications at the Univ of Florida. mragas at ufl dot edu

One of my interests is political communications. Promise to be brief-


Sandy said...

I pulled up your page when I was researching some relationship between Yahoo policital giving and the McCain ticket. Not necessarily by employees of the company, but by the company itself. ( won't open for me, but I expect the answer lies there...) Has anyone else noticed how biased Yahoo's news is toward McCain/Palin? To be fair, I'm an Obama supporter, but I expect news from Yahoo, etc. to be neutral, and that's not what I've seen. Post last night's VP debate, they gave every headline and tilt toward's McCain/Palin. Even when they're reporting bad news (McCain pulls out of Michigan), they lead it with a positive. Just curious... Thanks for your charts - they were enlightening...

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