Here are the 5 industries that spend the most on political donations
The five industry groups that made the most campaign contributions this year tended to give more to Republicans than Democrats, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
In the presidential race, however, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton leads Republican rival Donald Trump in contributions from four of those five groups.
Below is an overview of the top five sectors or demographics that contribute the most to the campaign and the top three donors in each of these sectors. All data comes from the Center for Responsive Policy.
1. Securities and investment
Total contribution: $321.66 million
industry sector: Financial/Insurance/Real Estate
Industry donations to Clinton: $5.75 million
Industry donations to Trump: $93,304
The securities and investment industry contributed the most of the more than 130 industries or groups tracked by the Center for Responsive Politics. Among industries, it is also among the top 10 lobbying spenders, with lobbying efforts worth $49.5 million in 2016.
The securities and investment industry contributed approximately $321.66 million to federal candidates, parties and outside groups. Clinton has so far been the first recipient with $5.75 million of the industry, vs. $93,304 for Trump.
In the wake of the 2010 Citizens United case, the industry has seen a significant increase in so-called “soft money” or outside contributions. In 2016, soft money or outside industry contributions totaled more than $206 million.
The main contributors to this industry are:
- Renaissance Technologies – $33.2 million
- Elliott Management – $17.9 million
- Paloma Partners – $14.1 million
Total contribution: $252.8 million
clinton: $30.5 million
Asset: $3.8 million
In federal records, if individuals check off their occupation as “retirement“then they fall into the retired industry category. This group made a total of $252.8 million in the 2016 election cycle. But the contributions were very small amounts from many different donors. The contribution maximum of the major donor in this industry is a retiree or retirees of a company called Generac.
Overall, this category contributed more to Republicans than to Democrats, but it contributed eight times more to Clinton’s campaign than to Donald Trump’s.
The main contributors to this industrial group are:
- Retired from Generac – $33,400
- Retired/US Department of Defense – $7,635
- Retired – $6,210
3. Real estate
Total contribution: $136.8 million
Sector: Finance/Insurance/Real Estate
clinton: $6.6 million
In 3rd place in 2016 is the real estate sector, with $136.8 million in political contributions. Industry has been an active participant in lobbying with lobbying efforts worth $40.5 million in 2016.
According to Center for Responsive Policy, from 1998 to 2016, the real estate industry spent nearly $1.3 billion on lobbying and influencing decision-makers.
The main contributors to this industry are:
- Wilks Brothers – $15.39 million
- National Association of Realtors – $5.91 million
- Landmark LLC Deposit – $2.95 million
4. Lawyers and law firms
Total contribution: $116.8 million
Sector: Lawyer & Lobbyists
clinton: $21.35 million
Lawyers and law firms contributed $116.8 millions to federal candidates, parties and outside groups. It was the only category in the top five that contributed more to Democrats than Republicans in 2016.
the Center for Responsive Policy reports that during the 2012 presidential campaign, President Obama received up to $27.7 million from lawyers and law firms. This trend of huge donations to Democrats continued in 2016, with Clinton receiving nearly $21.3 million of this industry.
The leading law firms/lawyers contributing the most to the industry are:
- Akin, Gum et al – $1.86 million
- American Association for Justice – $1.74 million
- Kirkland and Ellis – $1.37 million
5. Oil and gas
Total contribution: $66 million
Sector: Energy/Natural Resources
The oil and gas industry remains a vital part of the US economy and its role remains equally important during election campaigns with contributions of nearly $66 million.
He clearly remains loyal to Republicans with approximately 90% of his contributions to the Republican party in the 2016 election. Clinton’s campaign receives little from this industry compared to other industries.
Interestingly, this industry ranks among the top five lobbying industries with lobbying efforts worth $61 million in 2016. The contributions of the three main contributors to the oil and gas industry are:
- Koch Industries – $8.42 million
- Chevron – $4.09 million
- Stewart and Stevenson – $3.82 million
This article is the commentary of an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no position in the stocks mentioned.