Barack Obama might not seem to be the most popular guy with Wall Streeters these days, but they can't seem to stop donating to him. The Washington Post has done the math, and says that donations to the Obama campaign from the finance sector still top their donations to all of the Republican presidential candidates combined.
Now, if you look more closely at the data, Romney has an advantage with Wall Street specifically, at banks like Goldman Sachs and private-equity shops like Blackstone. The Times took a relatively narrow look recently at that rather elite subset of the finance industry and found that Romney grabbed $1.5 million from the cool kids, while Obama got just $270,000 from them, a marked departure from their Obamania of 2008.
But less-Über-elite financial institutions are writing plenty of checks, too, and a lot of them are still going to Obama — or at least to the Democratic National Committee, which gets counted in his total. He's raised $15.6 million from finance folks, almost $12 million of which went to the Party. Romney raised about half that, and Perry $2 million. None of the other candidates are getting much love from banks. So what gives?
One top banking executive who raises money for Obama, discussing fundraising efforts on the condition of anonymity, said reports of disaffection with the president “are exaggerated and overblown.” He said a strong contingent of financiers in New York, Chicago and California remains supportive of Obama and his economic policies, even as some have turned on him.
But, this donor added, “it probably helps from a political perspective if he’s not seen as a Wall Street guy.”
Obama even tops Romney in total donations from Bain Capital: $76,600 compared with the $34,000 that went to Romney. There were eighteen Bain-ers who gave to Romney, and just three who went with Obama — which means that particular triumvirate really wanted to make a strong statement with their checkbooks.