Politics

Here's where S&P 500 CEOs are placing their bets on 2020 campaigns

Key Points
  • CEOs from the top businesses in the country combined to give just more than $2 million in the fourth quarter.
  • The two biggest contributors, Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett and Netflix's Reed Hastings, gave to Democrats.
  • Republican groups saw the most individual contributions from corporate leaders.

Chief executives of companies in the S&P 500 combined to spend at least $2 million on political causes in the fourth quarter of 2019, helping both Democrats and Republicans, according to a CNBC analysis of data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The two biggest contributors, Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett and Netflix's Reed Hastings, gave to groups looking to elect Democrats in Congress this year.

Buffett contributed just more than $245,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCCC is focusing on protecting the Democrats' majority in the House of Representatives. Hastings wrote a $500,000 check to the Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC dedicated to assisting Democrats in their Senate races.

However, Republican groups saw the most individual contributions from corporate leaders. Of the 15 top spenders from the S&P 500, 12 of them sent checks to Republicans and GOP groups. This comes as many businesses have seen a bump in their earnings in the wake of President Donald Trump's tax reform law and his efforts to cut back on corporate regulations.

Jay Adair, CEO of car salvage company Copart, gave just under $200,000 to Republican causes, including just under $95,000 to the Republican National Committee. He spent $100,000 on Trump's joint fundraising committee. The RNC and the Trump campaign combined to raise more than $154 million in the fourth quarter.

Over that same period of time, the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, gave $10,000 to the Republican Party of Kentucky. Darren Woods, CEO of Exxon Mobil, spent almost $45,000 combined on the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

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