Candidates running for federal office are two-thirds more dependent on donors from the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector for campaign contributions than any other sector. Through the second quarter of 2012, federal candidates have relied on the sector for 15.2% of their itemized (over $200) contributions, solidly ahead of their dependence on the next closest competitors — health interests (at 8.9%) and lawyers and lobbyists (at 8.8%).
This is not a new phenomenon. In each of the last seven election cycles, federal candidates have depended on the finance sector for between 15% and 17% of their contributions at the same point in the cycle. But with tax reform being high on the agenda no matter who is elected and the finance sector eager to continue to shape the implementation of Wall Street reform, the contributions are as important as ever.
What is different this cycle is that FIRE contributions are solidly supporting Republicans for the first time since 2000. Through the second quarter of 2012, 54.8% of finance industry contributions to federal candidates went to Republicans, up dramatically from 44.3% in 2010 (even after the passage of Dodd-Frank) and 42.2% in 2008.
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i'm the leftist liberal you've been warned about - the one who genuinely supports the expansion of the welfare state. i love politics and data and graffiti and street art and am far too lazy to use my shift key. if you need to reach me, you can email to abbyjean at the google email service.