Political donations from Silicon Valley down 68% from 2012

Donations to the Clinton campaign from tech employees are half of what Obama raised four years ago

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
August 10, 2016
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Silicon Valley has very little love for Donald Trump. That much has been made crystal clear. Their opinion of his opponent, though, doesn't seem to be much better, at least compared to the last Democratic candidate.

The Hillary Clinton campaign has so far raised $3.4 million from 2,976 individuals in the tech industry, according to data supplied to Reuters by Crowdpac on Tuesday.

Not only is that less than half of what President Obama had raised from the same people at this point in the 2012 race, but it's also less than Bernie Sanders raised while trying to defeat her this cycle.

If there's any consolation, it's still more than Trump has raised. A lot more.

The Republican candidate has only managed to raise $128,000 from 238 tech employees, giving Clinton 25 times more funding than her opponnt. So it's not even close, even if tech isn't embracing her like they did Obama, who had raised $8.8 million at the same time in 2012. 

At this point in 2012, Romney had raised $2.3 million, giving Trump only 6 percent of that total. The combined $3.5 million raised by the two campaigns this year is down 68 percent from the combined $11 million raised by Romney and Obama.

Tech doesn't like Trump, but it also doesn't have much love for Clinton either. 

Politics in Silicon Valley

It's not a surprise that so few Silicon Valley donors have given to Trump, given that he has picked numerous fights with the tech industry over the last year, including calling for a ban of iPhones during the fight between Apple and the FBI.

Plenty of well-known tech personalities have taken shots at Trump, including investor Marc Andreessen, who has gotten into multiple Twitter feuds with him.

Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, essentially declared himself to be the anti-Trump after the candidate proposed a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States. He also implicitly called Trump out at the F8 developer conference in April, after which Facebook employees at the company actually asked him if they should try and stop Trump from becoming President. 

More recently, some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley wrote an open letter denouncing Trump as "a disaster for innovation." Those who signed included Stewart Butterfield, Troy Carter, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Barry Diller, David Hornik, David Karp, Jed Katz, Vinod Khosla, Aileen Lee, Aaron Levie, Dave Morin, Alexis Ohanian, Mark Pincus, Dave Samuel, Robert Scoble, Jeremy Stoppelman, Jimmy Wales, Hunter Walk, Ev Williams and Steve Wozniak.

So, yeah, I doubt anyone expected tech employees to be lining up to give their money. It's a little more surprising that Clinton is having such a hard time appealing to the industry, though, given the fact that Silicon Valley is such a notoriously liberal place. 

It's especially worrying for her since she has been openly appealing to tech, coming out with a lengthy tech agenda in June, which included calls for diversity, deferring student loans for founders and defending net neutrality. Apparently that wasn't enough to get donors excited.

Clinton is obviously winning among those in the tech sector, as even one-time Republican nominee Meg Whitman came out and endorsed her recently. But she also isn't the darling that Obama once was.

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