The Top 20 Political “Heavy Hitters” Lean Democrat

Top 20 Political Donors, 1989-2010
RankOrganizationTotal Donations, 1989-2010Dem %Rep %
2American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees$45,238,10394%1%
3AT&T Inc$41,314,44445%54%
4National Assn of Realtors$39,717,41047%49%
5National Education Association$36,312,89581%5%
6Service Employees International Union$36,043,78977%2%
7American Assn for Justice$33,983,67189%8%
8Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers$33,476,65597%2%
9Laborers Union$31,335,26789%7%
10American Federation of Teachers$31,023,60390%0%
11Teamsters Union$30,632,30989%6%
12Carpenters & Joiners Union$30,523,43786%9%
13Communications Workers of America$29,468,93495%0%
14American Medical Association$27,431,40539%59%
15United Auto Workers$27,108,18298%0%
16United Food & Commercial Workers Union$26,788,20993%0%
17National Auto Dealers Association$26,664,99232%67%
18Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union$26,407,37498%1%
19United Parcel Service$24,505,22237%62%
20American Bankers Assn$24,190,46439%60%

The Center for Responsive Politics ( is a national research group that tracks money spent on U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. The table above shows the the Top 20 All-Time Political Donors from the organization’s “Heavy Hitter List” of the 100 biggest political donors in federal-level politics from 1989-2010.

OpenSecrets tracks the political contributions, and also identifies the political leanings of the organizations spending money on political donations. For example, the National Education leans strongly Democrat, the National Auto Dealers leans mildly Republican, and the National Association of Realtors is balanced.

Overall, the top 20 political donors lean strongly Democrat, see the average above in the last row of the chart: 76% Democrat vs. 20% Republican.

Note: Koch Industries ranks #87 at $9.5 million and AFSCME ranks #2 at $45.2 million. Read here what AFSCME has to say about the evil Koch brothers.

About Mark J. Perry 262 Articles

Affiliation: University of Michigan

Dr. Mark J. Perry is a professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan.

He holds two graduate degrees in economics (M.A. and Ph.D.) from George Mason University in Washington, D.C. and an MBA degree in finance from the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Since 1997, Professor Perry has been a member of the Board of Scholars for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan research and public policy institute in Michigan.

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