Tech workers give 60 times more cash to Clinton than to Trump

The tech election
The tech election

For every $1 that employees at the world's biggest technology companies donated to Donald Trump, they gave $60 to Hillary Clinton.

People who work at Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook and sent a total of $3 million to the Democratic presidential nominee ahead of the 2016 election on Tuesday, compared with just over $50,000 to her Republican challenger, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Said differently, as of Oct. 19, Clinton attracted 97 percent of big tech money, with the remaining 3 percent split between Trump, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

Silicon Valley and Seattle, home to the technology giants, have long leaned blue, but this sort of one-sidedness is unprecedented and speaks to the technology industry's rejection of Trump's attitudes toward minorities and women and concern around pressing issues like climate change (which he called a hoax) and immigration.

"Ninety-seven percent support of Clinton is mindblowing and really suggests that we're pounding the table," said Kate Mitchell, a partner at venture firm Scale Venture Partners in Foster City, California. "We think her business policies are going to be friendlier."

Particularly notable this time around is that the five most valuable tech companies are, depending on the day, the five biggest companies across all industries and worth a combined $2.2 trillion.

Typically, there's a solid roster of fiscal conservatives, who vote Republican because of favorable tax policies and the prospect of less regulation. But aside from the outspoken venture capitalist and Facebook director Peter Thiel, who addressed the Republican National Convention and spent over $1 million supporting Trump, the loudest voices in tech this cycle have all been anti-Trump.

Federal laws limit the amount an individual can give directly to a candidate to $2,700 per election, with primaries and general elections considered separate events. Super PACs that support a candidate but are technically independent can raise unlimited sums from individuals and corporations.

Overall, the communications and electronics industry sent $55.7 million to Clinton and related groups, more than 55 times the $1 million directed to Trump's side. Compare that to 2012, when President Barack Obama raised about triple the amount of Mitt Romney, and 2008, when Obama outraised John McCain by about sixfold.

In some cases, Trump's relationship to the big tech companies has turned openly hostile.

As part of his plan to return jobs to the U.S. and eliminate trade subsidies to countries like China, Trump has on multiple occasions said that he'd demand Apple start manufacturing iPhones domestically.

Breakdown by company


"We're gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries," he said in a speech in January.

He has slammed Amazon for allegedly not paying its fair share of taxes, and attacked CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, for what he called the use of the newspaper as a "tool for political power."

Bezos shot back last month, criticizing Trump's effort to influence the press. At a Vanity Fair conference in San Francisco, he said, "To try and chill the media and threaten retribution, retaliation — which is what he has done in a number of cases to people involved in the media — is not appropriate."

Clinton cozy with top tech execs?
Clinton cozy with top tech execs?

Trump received a chilly response from Silicon Valley in the early days of his primary campaign last year, promising to build a wall on the Mexico border and deport all illegal immigrants. Many tech companies were founded by immigrants, and of course, the industry relies heavily on foreign-born workers with engineering skills.

Clinton, by contrast, has a technology chief who was previously at Google, and her campaign has a five-point agenda to address tech and innovation. Key points include bolstering investments in science and technology education, providing increased access to capital for start-ups focused on women and minorities and creating a proper benefits structure for the digital economy.

"For those policy reasons, I think for the tech community it's almost no-brainer," Mitchell said.