Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in defense contractor donations

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) — While the campaign fundraising disparity tilted toward Hillary Clinton early in the presidential campaign has largely evened out, there is one industry where she is soundly defeating Donald Trump in support and donations: defense contractors.

An analysis of campaign donations by Politico finds Clinton has received roughly twice as much in donations from employees of the top 25 defense contractors, though the overall amount for Clinton, $93,000, is a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of millions her campaign has raised so far.

Clinton’s lead among defense industry employees is a marked shift from four years ago, when Republican Mitt Romney outpaced President Barack Obama in financial support from that group.

Very few of the nation’s top defense contractors become involved in presidential elections in order to preserve the ability to do business with either candidate should they become president. But just because their companies do not make donations, doesn’t mean employees — including top executives — don’t.

Clinton’s long experience in Washington, including her tenure on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has led to a familiarity with the defense industry, something comforting to executives seeking stability in defense contracting.

“In the case of Trump vs. Clinton, defense executives see the same thing in Trump that people in other industries and the media see, which is that he’s a totally unknown quantity, and that’s scary,” industry consultant Loren Thompson told Politico.

Overall, individual contributions come to the candidates from an array of sources. Fortune magazine tracked donations by a contributor’s employer, information required by the federal government when making a campaign donation.

Clinton’s top five employer donors are the University of California, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Morgan Morgan (a large personal injury law firm in Florida), the investment bank Morgan Stanley and Harvard University.

For Trump, while he may lag in defense contractor donations, his top five list of donors’ employers is well represented by the military.

Trumps top five is: the U.S. federal government, the Alaska-based online retailer Snow Leopard, the U.S. Army, American Airlines and Bank of America.

The U.S. Navy also made Trump’s top 10, though his overall total for individual contributions reported this far is much less than Clinton’s total. Trump did not begin soliciting donations in earnest until after he wrapped up the GOP nomination in June.

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