CEOs Have Already Spent $24 Million on the 2018 Midterm Elections. Here’s Where the Money Went
America’s CEOs have spent more than $24 million in the 2018 midterms, according to a MarketWatch report, with the majority of that money going to Republicans.
MarketWatch analyzed the contributions from 388 CEOs of S&P 500 companies between Jan. 1, 2017, and Aug. 31, 2018, as recorded by the Federal Election Commission. Anyone who held a role as CEO during this time period was included in the data. MarketWatch‘s report, released Thursday, includes a searchable database of CEO contributions.
Some donated to nonpartisan groups: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the list’s top contributor, gave $10 million to the With Honor Fund, a nonprofit that works to elect veterans. According to MarketWatch, just 0.11% of Bezos’s nearly $10,160,000 donated went to partisan groups.
James Murdoch of Twenty-First Century Fox was the fifth-largest contributor overall, but just over 1% of his more than $506,500 donated went to partisan groups. Even when donating to partisan committees, some CEOs split their money between the parties: DISH Network Corporation’s former CEO Charles Ergen donated near equal amounts to Republicans and Democrats.
The majority of CEOs, however, leaned heavily in one direction or the other. MarketWatch reports that 84% of the 261 CEOs who donated to partisan groups gave 70% or more of their money to either the Democrats or the Republicans.
Most gave to the Republicans: conservative groups gained $7.4 million from America’s CEOs, while Democrats received $2.6 million, roughly a third of that amount.
The largest contributors, behind Bezos, are John Hess of Hess Corporation and Stephen Wynn, formerly of Wynn Resorts. Both gave close to 100% of their donated funds to Republican bodies. Hess gave $862,600 (98% of his total contributions) to the oil-friendly Republicans. Wynn gave more than $797,000 entirely to Republican groups. He was the RNC’s Finance Chair until sexual assault accusations forced him to step down from both the committee and his corporation.
For the Democrats, the largest donations came from Reed Hastings of Netflix and Marc Benioff of Salesforce. Hastings, the fourth-largest contributor overall, donated $571,600 entirely to Democrats; Benioff, an outspoken supporter of giving back to the community where you made your wealth, was the 12th largest contributor. He donated 93% of his more than $202,000 to Democrats.