Political donations can tell you a lot as a voter. They can be an indication of who a candidate is associating with and where they’re seeking to build their base.
But most importantly political donations are a powerful metric of who is listening to a candidate’s platform and what elements of that platform are resonating the most powerfully.
There are a lot of numbers to dig through to get that information though so we’ve done it for you.
Here is each major candidates top donor, and here is what we think each of them reflects concerning the candidates platform.
Top Donor: Meridian Capitol
Meridian Capital CEO Ralph Herza and his wife Judy are behind this donation to the Trump Campaign.
Trump is primarily funding his own bid for The White House so donations don’t hold the same sway for him that they do for other candidates.
It is not surprising, that Trump’s largest donation would come from a mortgage broker such as Herza since a majority of Trump’s billions have come form the real estate game and he has made it clear that aggressive public works projects will be a major staple of his presidency if elected (especially where the del sur border of the country is concerned)
Top Donor: LISI Inc.
Amount: $12,400 dollars
LISI Inc. is an insurance firm based out of California. They have been a relatively quiet organization politically – having only supported one other race- in the past five years.
The large donation from an insurance group clearly reflects the industries continued disappointment with Obama Care, and Fiorina’s platform seems to be resonating with those who would seek the program’s dismantling post-2016.
Speaking as someone who is desperately trying to hold onto my parent’s health plan for a few more years this news scares me more than trying to park downtown (I live in San Francisco. I forgot you didn’t know that).
Top Donor: Coca-Cola Co.
This is a strange one to be sure. What does a soda giant possibly get by donating to the political career of a celebrated neurosurgeon? The answer is multifaceted but one of the biggest reasons seems to be publicity.
Last week the Washington Times published a story in which the Atlanta based conglomerate was celebrating that it had “spent $118.6 million on health research and partnerships in the U.S. over the past five years, including funding for a group that was criticized for downplaying the role of sugary drinks in fueling obesity”.
The article also says that, “The world’s biggest beverage maker had vowed last month to be more transparent about the various health programs and messaging it funds”.
In the eyes of Coca-Cola, supporting a doctor like Carson may be tantamount to supporting increased health initiatives throughout the country.
That’s something that I’m sure the company would love to have in their back pocket when the next video of their product melting through a car tire pops up on youtube.
Top Donor: Morgan & Morgan
John Morgan is the founder of Morgan & Morgan – a very large personal injury law firm in the southeast. According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel Clinton held a fundraiser at the attorneys Florida home (cough cough, mansion), where guests had to donate at least $2700 to her campaign.
$2700 is the max that an individual can donate to a political campaign, but it seems that Mr. Morgan’s firm also decided to get in on the fun with a much larger donation to the former Secretary of State.
This donation speaks to the real power of the Clinton Campaign. She has been in this game a long time. She has made a lot of friends. And most of those friends are very, very rich.
Top Donor: Google Inc.
This is a shocker.
Sanders has made it very clear in his remarks that he does not want large corporate money in his campaign. And yet, here he is, taking a check from one of the biggest companies around.
The exception here is probably due to Google’s anti-corporate personality and counter-cultural attitude.
But what does Google get out of the equation?
It could be that Sander’s has become the young people candidate and Google is the young people’s company. It could be that Google is setting up this money to sponsor a future Sander’s event that will carry there branding and unite their two brands in a positive way.
Or it could be that something in Sander’s Democratic-Socialist agenda appeals to the Silicon Valley freethinkers (darn hippies) that founded the company.
Any way you slice it Google has become the first big company to donate to this revolutionary campaign. Time will tell if they will be the last.