Apple and Google Employees Love Bernie Sanders But Not Trump
If anything is clear in Silicon Valley, it’s that Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is not very well liked.
So far, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has raised $4.6 million from employees working at Silicon Valley companies, easily topping the $2.6 million raised by his counterpart, Hillary Clinton. On the Republican side, Ted Cruz has done the best, raising $471,000. Meanwhile, Ohio Governor John Kasich has nabbed $110,000 from Silicon Valley employees.
And as for Trump? He’s received a mere $19,000.
The data, which was compiled from Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings by CrowdPAC, a non-partisan organization aimed at analyzing money in politics, revealed what the candidate’s own filings have been showing for the last several months: Silicon Valley loves Bernie and can’t stand Trump. But CrowdPAC’s data goes a step further by looking at where the money is coming from and which employees in Silicon Valley are most actively donating to candidates.
After analyzing data, CrowdPAC discovered that employees at Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), and Amazon (AMZN) were among the most likely to donate to presidential campaigns this year. While Facebook (FB) and Intel (INTC) employees also participated in campaign donations, their contributions were substantially less.
Outside of Silicon Valley, technology company employees were even less likely to contribute, with employees at Finland-based Nokia giving much less to candidates.
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While CrowdPAC did not share exact data on how much has been given by employees, the findings are critical to understanding how people in the heart of Silicon Valley perceive politics and the world. Indeed, Silicon Valley has become an epicenter of controversy over the last year amid rows between some top tech companies and the federal government over the extent to which privacy should be extended to users.
Led by Apple, many tech companies nationwide have been vocal in support of strong encryption and personal privacy. Some candidates, however, have taken issue with those calls, retorting they could hurt the country’s ability to safeguard itself from criminals and terrorists. Trump has been one of the more outspoken critics over the last several months, arguing that Apple should have helped the FBI obtain access to the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook—something the iPhone maker didn’t do. Sanders, meanwhile, has refused to take sides.
That said, Sanders has been critical of Apple, saying last month that the company should pay its “fair share” of taxes, a barb that Apple has faced in the past over claims it doesn’t pay enough taxes in the United States. Apple has countered by saying that it does pay its fair share and has criticized the government’s tax laws.
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Regardless, the CrowdPAC data clearly shows that Silicon Valley is sticking with candidates on the left this election cycle. How their top executives feel about the candidates, however, is hard to say: CrowdPAC’s data notes only a relatively small number of chief executives have contributed to campaigns so far.
That said, software engineers have been among the most likely to donate, followed by software developers and even venture capitalists.
“Software engineers are by far the most common occupation of tech donors, and collectively they have also given the largest sum, which went mostly to Democratic candidates,” CrowdPAC writes. “So at least one thing seems clear: whether you agree with their politics or not, coders care. What remains to be seen is whether their wallets will be deep enough to ensure the White House stays blue for a few more years.”
What will happen next, however, remains to be seen. Sanders, who is still far behind Clinton in the delegate count needed to secure a nomination, says he will battle it out with the former Secretary of State through to the convention. If CrowdPAC’s data says anything, it’s that he’ll likely win Silicon Valley. But most political handicappers say Clinton will eventually take the nomination and battle for the White House.
In its evaluation of the data, CrowdPAC seems clear that it believes Silicon Valley wants the White House to remain Democratic—especially if Clinton is facing off with Trump, its least-attractive candidate. Realizing that, it’s possible that Silicon Valley employees will forgo their love of Bernie at some point and get ready to do battle with The Donald.
“What seems more relevant is the very real possibility that the entire technology sector unites behind Hillary Clinton in a potential general election bid against Donald Trump,” CrowdPAC says.
In other words, if Trump wins, many people in Silicon Valley won’t be happy.