Wall Street-Related Political Contributions Shift Toward Republicans
By Dave Levinthal on August 10, 2010 4:03 PM
Financial firms and the people who work for them are increasingly donating their political cash to Republicans, according to a preliminary Center for Responsive Politics analysis of second-quarter federal campaign finance data.
The Center's preliminary study indicates that political action committees and individuals associated with the broad finance, insurance and real estate sector have given more money to federal-level Republican interests during every month since December. The gap continued to grow during that time, reaching its widest point in June.
Such a shift away from Democratic candidates -- darlings of Wall Street interests for much of 2009 -- coincides with Democrat-driven financial reform legislation that President Barack Obama signed last month.
Contribution trends toward Republicans is particularly pronounced in the securities and investment industry, the Center finds.
During March 2009, people and PACs associated with this industry directed 70 percent of their federal-level contributions to Democratic candidates, party committees and leadership PACs.
By June, such numbers had practically flipped, with preliminary figures indicating Republican interests had received 68 percent of all federal-level contributions from this industry.
Individuals associated with these industries, such as company executives and middle managers, are the primary drivers of a Republican campaign donation shift, the Center's research indicates.
For example, in June, political action committees sponsored by securities and investment firms and trade groups almost evenly split their federal-level political contributions between Democrats and Republicans, preliminary figures show.
But individuals working within this industry in June favored federal-level Republicans with $7 for every $10 spent. That's a significant departure from the beginning of 2009, when individuals working in this industry favored Democratic interests with $6 for every $10 spent on federal-level political interests.
The recent change in political preferences among individual employees in the securities and investment industry is shown as follows