Clinton received overwhelming support from workers in the banking, tech, and mobile industries. 98 percent of the total amount raised by workers at financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Citi went to Clinton’s campaign.
Companies play an indirect but important role in political life. They can (directly or indirectly) influence political decisions, and in turn are affected by the outcomes of elections. Using electoral campaign data, we analyzed the contributions to candidates made by employees at the largest three companies (as ranked by Fortune) in select sectors: investment banking, technology, automobiles, gas and oil, and mobile networks. Our results show that Clinton has received overwhelming support from the banking, tech, and mobile industries; and she has received smaller but still predominant support from the auto and gas and oil industries.
There is a clear difference among industries’ employees in the way they allocated their contributions during the 2016 presidential election, as Figure 1 shows. Finance, tech, and mobile workers not only contributed the largest amount to Clinton’s campaign, $787,689, $1,152,358 and $334,700 respectively, but also showed the biggest support in terms of the percentage donated to the Democratic candidate. On average, 98 percent of the total amount raised by workers at corporations like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Citi went to Clinton’s campaign.
In the technology sector, employees of Apple, Google, and Facebook contributed the largest absolute amount ($1,185,068, 97 percent of which went to Clinton), while employees at the three largest car companies donated a total of $56,893 (directing 90 percent towards Clinton). Employees of mobile companies have raised a total amount of $350,504 (ranking third among the total donations by company), again mostly financing Clinton’s campaign. Gas and oil companies collected a total of $117,194, and showed the lowest support for Clinton (69 percent on average).
Donald Trump has received more support from the auto and gas and oil industries. Employees at General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler have raised a total amount of $7,899 (12.2 percent donated to Trump). The gas and oil industry has given $15,016 ($11,276 from ExxonMobil, his biggest supporter among all companies) in support of Trump. Interestingly, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson received a relatively large fraction of donations from the gas and oil industry (orange bars in Figure 1). For example, 40 percent of the total amount raised by Phillips 66’s staff ($7,748) went toward Gary Johnson’s campaign.
Overwhelming support for Hillary Clinton can be seen across the mobile industry. 100 percent of the total amount raised by T-Mobile’s employees went to Clinton. Less than 5 percent of the total amount donated by AT&T and Verizon employees went to Donald Trump’s campaign.
In total, the 15 corporations we studied raised 11,000 donations for the 2016 presidential election. For every 100 donations, 96 went to Hillary Clinton. Figure 2 shows the number of donations by company. Google employees made 2,045 contributions, among which 1,991 were directed to Clinton. AT&T employees, ranked second in number of donations (1,840), contributed on average $80 per donation. Finally, of the total amount raised by Phillips 66 ($7,748), the 40 percent donated to Gary Johnson was financed by only 7 people (on average contributing $442 each).
CEOs and executives overwhelmingly support Hillary Clinton
Using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we classified all self-reported occupations for these 15 companies. We grouped them in four categories: Executive, Executive-CEO, White-Collar workers, and Blue-Collar workers.
Figure 3 depicts the percentage of donations given by each group, pooling workers from all 15 firms together. The largest donations came from white-collar workers ($1,900,056) and executives ($416,417). On average, 96 percent of the total amount raised by both groups was donated to Hillary Clinton.
All individuals that self-reported being Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, or Chief Financial Offer are categorized as Executive-CEO. We found that CEOs and top executives endorsed Hillary Clinton with 100 percent of their funding. This result is aligned with the recent New York Times article that pointed out Trump’s unpopularity among CEOs of the top 100 companies in the United States. Clinton held a significant advantage over Trump, not only in overall fundraising, but also in number of donations coming from CEOs. More than 16,000 CEOs donated to Clinton’s campaign, while 3,000 donated to Trump’s campaign.
Of the occupation categories in our sample, Trump’s biggest supporters are blue-collar workers. Of the total amount raised by this group ($38,683), 6.5 percent were donated to Trump. At the same time, 93.5 percent of the total amount collected by blue-Collar workers went to support Clinton’s campaign. A small fraction of donations from white-collar workers went toward Gary Johnson’s campaign.
All calculations used information from the Federal Election Commission. In particular we used donations from itemized individual contributions, PACs, super PACs and Joint Fundraising Committees. Data includes contributions made by donors who listed any of the 15 firms as their employer. We searched for all possible self-reported employer names. For instance, donors self-report ExxonMobil as: “EXXONMOBIL” “EXXON MOBIL UPSTREAM RESEARCH” “EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION” “EXXON” “EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION”
“EXXON MOBIL CHEMICAL COMPANY” “EXXON MOBILE” “EXXON MOBIL” “EXXONMOBIL OIL CORP” “EXXON MOBIL CORP.” “EXCO RESOURCES INC. (RETIRED EXXONMOB” “XTO ENERGY INC./EXXONMOBIL” “EXXONMOBIL CHEMICAL COMPANY” “EXXON MOBIL CORP” “EXXONMOBIL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY” “EXXONMOBIL PIPELINE” “EXXONMOBIL AND RETIRED US NAVY” “EXXONMOBIL GLOBAL SERVICES CO.” “EXXONMOBIL CHEMICAL” “XTO ENERGY AN EXXON MOBILE SUBSIDIARY” “EXXONMOBIL GSC” “EXXONMOBIL EXPLORATION” “EXXONMOBIL EXPLORATION “EXXON PRODUCTION RESEARCH” “EXXON MOBIL UPSTREAM RESEARCH CO.” “EXXON MOBILE CORP.” “EXXONMOBIL CORP” “EXXONMOBIL EXPLORATON CO.” “EXXONMOBIL CORP.” “EXXONMOBIL GLOBAL SERVICES COMPANY”.
We do not include non-itemized contributions, given that contribution committees and campaigns do not have to disclose their information.
The data was refined based on occupation using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For this purpose, we classified the data in the following way: all those employees who work in any Administrative position were classified as Operations Specialties. All those who work as Engineer were classified as Engineer. All those who work as Finance, Finance Advisor, Financial Professional, Investment Advisor, Investment Professional, among others, were classified as Financial Specialties. All individuals who self-reported working as Manager were classified as Executives. All those individuals that work in Extraction, Assemblers, Electrical or Transportation are part of the Blue-Collar worker group. In addition, all workers classified as Geologist, Financial Specialties, Marketing, Lawyer, Operations Specialties, Other Management Occupations, Research or Media and Communications were considered as White-Collar workers.
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