Wall Street Funds Down From Obama's Inaugural Run
In the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Democratic nominee Barack Obama was raising campaign funds at unprecedented rates. The securities and investment industry proved to be a major source of those funds. At this point in the election cycle, the industry had contributed $14.5 million to the future president.
Wall Street has been less generous to Obama this time around. According to Center for Responsive Politics data, the industry has contributed only $5.5 million (the figure doesn't include the first three months of the cycle's first year, unlike the 2008 number).
Republican challenger Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has received more than three times that amount, at $18.3 million. The securities and investment industry is second to only retired persons -- which is No. 1 for both the nominees -- in donating to Romney.
While in 2008, Goldman Sachs was Obama's second highest contributor and securities and investment his fourth highest industry, Goldman has plunged to 53rd currently and the industry ranks ninth for him this cycle.
This time four years ago, Republican nominee John McCain had received $9.5 million from Wall Street despite accepting public financing that curtailed private donations. McCain had a better June than Obama, outraising him by $621,000 with this industry. But by September, the Obama team was running away with Wall Street contributions, outraising McCain by $1.7 million that month.
The financial community's about-face in donations follows straight from the fact that the president accorded it a share of blame for the economic downturn that began in the closing stages of the last administration -- and that in July, 2010, he signed the Dodd-Frank Act, bringing more regulation to Wall Street.
Romney, who no doubt knows a thing or two about operating on Wall Street, said he plans on repealing the law if elected (which he can't do unilaterally), but has also said that some Wall Street regulation is essential. Obama has accused Romney of wanting a deregulated investment sector that operates the same way it did leading up the the financial crisis.
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