Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s campaign has cashed more checks from America’s CEOs and corporate presidents than every other presidential candidate combined.
The secretary of state and former first lady has received about $5 million from donors who listed “president” or “CEO” as their occupation, according to finance data supplied to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Self-described CEOs and presidents contributed $2.7 million and $2.3 million, respectively, making them the 6th and 7th largest class of donors to Hillary for America.
Top executives overwhelmingly support Clinton over any other candidate, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis of campaign finance records.
Republican candidates Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and John Kasich along with Democrat Bernie Sanders have received $3.9 million from those self-described donors. Clinton collected more than three times as much money from these occupations as her next closest competitor, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who narrowly edged out Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with about $1.3 million in such donations.
Clinton’s chief rival, insurgent socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), is the least popular among the highest echelons of business.
His campaign has received less than $85,000 from presidents and CEOs and the $1,605 collected from workers classified as business executives was just $20 more than the haul from donors who listed “Mom” as their occupation. Sanders’ frequent criticism of “millionaires and billionaires” has catapulted him into a competitive race against Clinton, overcoming a seemingly insurmountable double-digit deficit.
That rhetoric earned the ire of one of America’s most influential executives, longtime Clinton friend and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
“It has the potential to personalize it, it has the potential to be a dangerous moment. Not just for Wall Street not just for the people who are particularly targeted but for anybody who is a little bit out of line,” Blankfein told CNBC on Feb. 3.
Sanders has responded to such attacks by saying that he and his supporters “don’t want their money.” Clinton tacked her positions further left to edge out Sanders in the Nevada and Iowa caucuses, but elite donors have not held it against her. She defended the idea that she could collect millions from high ranking business officials by comparing her candidacy to that of President Barack Obama.
“There should be no bank too big to fail and no individual too powerful to jail. We agree on that. But where we disagree is the comments that Senator Sanders has made that don't just affect me, I can take that, but he's criticized President Obama for taking donations from Wall Street, and President Obama has led our country out of the great recession,” she said at a January debate.
The campaign finance data provided by the FEC paints an incomplete picture of overall donations. Supporters are free to list any occupation that they want. The most popular occupation for Clinton supporters is classified as “Not Reported;” Trump has received more than $400 from contributors employed as “#1 Trump Fan.”
The FEC records also do not take into consideration Super PAC contributions. Clinton’s Super PAC Priorities USA, for example, has pocketed about $10 million from liberal executives George Soros and Jim Simons.