Political Donations by Occupational Category


Via Erik Voeten, a plot of the ideological rankings of the recipients of campaign contributions from different occupational categories. Adam Bonica looked at FEC filings and:

Combined with the procedure described the previous post, this allows for interesting comparisons of ideological giving patterns across industries/professions. As a first cut, I recovered ideal point estimates for the 3125 PACs and 131,000 individual contributors that gave to two or more unique candidates during the 2007-2008 election cycle and scaled them using the IMWA procedure. The figure below ranks a subset of occupations from left to right based on the mean ideal point of the members of each occupation. As a point of reference, the occupation ideal points are imposed over the density plots for all Democratic and Republican candidates.


This basically tells us what we already knew—Hollywood, academic, and publishing types are liberal while oil and gas executives are right-wing. The bimodal distribution of Democrats is interesting, however. In this representation of the ideological space there’s a cluster of liberal Democrats, and then a second cluster of more conservative Democrats right around the median point. These Democrats seem to be the center of very intensive health care and financial services lobbying. The GOP is much more tightly bunched than the Democrats.