With money and power in spades, the technology industry, however you define it, has never been a bit player in politics—though its members have not always backed candidates in lockstep.
As the United States marches toward another presidential election, candidates both Republican and Democrat have begun wooing those in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. Hillary Clinton popped up at a Salesforce (CRM) customer conference in San Francisco and weighed in on Uber’s labor relations. Jeb Bush made his own fundraising trip out West and spoke about similar tech-industry issues. And none other than Oracle (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison hosted a fundraiser for Marcio Rubio in June.
More than a year away from Election Day 2016, is any of it working? Yes—sort of.
Early anecdotal evidence suggested that Hillary Clinton was in favor among Bay Area elite. But new research from Palo Alto-based political data startup Crowdpac, compiled by tech site Re/code, reveals that Marco Rubio is well ahead of the pack in terms of actual money raised, with more than $3 million in tech-industry donations. That’s nearly six times as much as the second-best candidate, Jeb Bush, and more than 12 times as much as the third-best, Hillary Clinton.
Who’s donating to these candidates? According to filings with the U.S. Federal Elections Commission, Rubio has—in addition to Ellison and his multimillion-dollar Super PAC donation—Oracle CEO Safra Catz, Cisco (CSCO) chairman John Chambers, and Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his corner. Meanwhile Bush counts Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker, Accel partner Jim Breyer, Workday (WDAY) president Mike Stankey, and Activision Blizzard (ATVI) CEO Bobby Kotick (who, it should be noted, made an equal donation to the Clinton campaign) in his corner.
Clinton, by the way, is backed by enough Valley luminaries to hold her own tech conference: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Tesla (TSLA) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, Box (BOX) CEO Aaron Levie, eBay (EBAY) CEO John Donahoe, YouTube (GOOG) CEO Susan Wojcicki, Kotick, and others.
Correction, September 1, 2015: An earlier version of this article misstated the first name of Activision Blizzard’s CEO.