Who's Funding Your Favorite Presidential Candidate?

Visual Capitalist |

One appreciation I have for several North American sports is amount of reverence given to the team uniform.

Whether we are talking about the Boston Red Sox, the Montreal Canadiens, or the Dallas Cowboys, all aspects of team apparel are designed to represent the essence and history of the team. Jerseys are for the team and fans, and not for the advertisers that want to cover every square inch of material with sponsors.

However, not all North American sports can make this claim.

In fact, some sports like NASCAR take the exact opposite approach: they let each racing team cover their car and apparel with as many ads as possible, and allow this to be part of their income. While it is horrendous from a visual perspective, at least there is a sort of brutal honesty with it all.

It’s obvious that each racer is bought and sold by sponsors, and it’s clear exactly who those advertisers are.


Dan Carlin from the Common Sense podcast frequently mentions that it would be great to live in a world where all politicians had to wear NASCAR-like uniforms displaying the logos of their financial supporters.

Can you imagine if each time Hillary Clinton or Marco Rubio gave a speech, a Goldman Sachs crest was embedded on the shoulder of each outfit?

NASCAR Candidates

Today’s infographic comes to us from Represent.us, and it shows the top donor industries for the major presidential candidates still in the race. In the graphic, the top five industry fundraising sources are indicated for each candidate. They are ranked from #1 to #5 based on the amount of money raised, and the width of each connection is based on this information.

If Presidential Candidates Were Like NASCAR Drivers...

Note: in this case, we are looking at the industries of individual campaign donors, and corporate or individual donations to Political Action Committees or the parties themselves are not included in this summary.

So, who were the biggest campaign contributors?

It’s no surprise to see that Wall Street has been extremely influential in donations. More specifically, Wall Street donated most to those representing the establishment, such as Clinton, Bush, and Rubio.

The other major donors came from industries such as law and real estate. Lawyers gave heavily to Clinton, Rubio, Sanders, Cruz, and Bush, and the real estate industry gave mainly to Rubio and Bush.


How much have candidates raised to date? Here’s a recent roundup of that data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

The darker bar coincides with “outside money” including conventional party committees as well as the more controversial super PACs and 501(c) “dark money” organizations. The lighter bar represents money that has gone directly to campaigns.

2016 Funding so far

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