September 15th, 2008
10:31 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama, McCain big beneficiaries of Wall Street

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Firms in the battered financial sector have been big backers of the candidates."](CNN) - Both Barack Obama and John McCain have strongly benefited from Wall Street this election cycle, an analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics reports.

According to the non-partisan research organization, employees of security and investment firms have donated nearly $10 million to Barack Obama this year and close to $7 million to McCain's presidential bid.

McCain has particularly benefited from Merrill Lynch, the global financial services firm whose sale to Bank of America shook Wall Street Monday morning. He has raised nearly $300,000 from Merrill employees this year - more than any other firm.

Barack Obama, meanwhile, has strongly benefited from employees of Lehman Brothers, the financial firm that filed for bankruptcy Monday morning. The Illinois senator has raised approximately $370,000 from Lehman employees this year, more than three times what McCain has raised from employees of the failing firm.

Both McCain and Obama sharply criticized Wall Street practices Monday morning, and are calling for more regulation in the investment industry.

soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Jasmyne

    Here you go again CNN, the employess contributed to the campaigns that in no way implies that the corporations temselves are in the tank for either one of the candidates. get it together and stop trying to confuse some people who aren't as smart as the rest of us.

    September 15, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. David

    SO much for Obama's change message.......he's beholden to Wall Street.

    September 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Anonymous

    we need you Obama, Gods speed.

    September 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. Harry


    September 15, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. Kim

    Hmm so McBush gets donations from Merill Lynch who surprise surprise just recieved a bail out to save them from bankruptsy. And Obama recieved money from Lehman Brothers who just did the right thing and turned down a Government bail out. The trend of Obama being allied with those who are right just continues on unabated.

    September 15, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. John

    That makes sense. The company who greedily invested heavily in real estate was throwing money at Obama so he would keep them afloat if elected. Desperate times call for desperate measures I guess. Obama should return those funds!

    September 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. milo

    Interesting numbers, but as long as those donations are from employees and not from the company itself, is it really that relevant?

    As a citizen, it's not like when you make a donation they're going to going to refuse your money because of where you work (as long as you don't work somewhere like a lobbying firm).

    September 15, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. Independent

    AND? so have I what is the point of this?

    September 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. gl

    The employess are allow to donated to who every and not be look at as a benefit. CEO support is what is important to the voters which are the big lobby people. Tell the voter about who the CEO back not the employees.

    September 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. Proud to be American

    Hum... so employees of the firms donated money to canidates of their choice.... i have denoated to obama too.... is this really news?

    September 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Party Crasher

    The big difference is that Obama spoke up for oversight and regulation of wall street while McPOW only defered to Phill Gram.

    It seems that McPOW only knows one thing and one thing only, how to lie.

    September 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. Wake up America!

    John McCain, doesn't get it. Here's a laughable quote from his rally this morning!!!!!!!!!!!

    "Our economy, I think still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong."


    -Obama '08

    September 15, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Don

    obama instead od saying what ur opponent didn't do, say what u will.

    September 15, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Joe, OK

    The media is have a Sarah Palin blackout, if she won't talk to the mainstream press. Just cover the Dems, because they are available. End of story.

    September 15, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. J J

    Why no rush to comment on this story?

    A little off topic but when Obama says he will cut taxes for 90% of Americans, how is that possible when almost 40% dont pay taxes. Are we going to just give those people a hand out?

    September 15, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Connie, NY

    The media should stop following McCain around like a lapdog, if they won't do interviews. It's just that simple.

    September 15, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Dave in Indy

    I fail to see the point in listing the contributions of the employees to any campaign. Employees are free to donate to whomever they feel, so to say one candidate has 'raised' money from a group of employees is a bit's more like the candidate 'received' donations.

    September 15, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Republi-CON

    McCain is adapting a bit of what Obama as been saying all along. IT's take a long time for this old man to get a grip of what's happening with the American economy. I watched him blunder and stumble through his speech this morning about reforming Washington DC, it's even more evident that he has NO UNDERSTANDING of the economic terminology they put in his speech, I wouldn't trust him with this nations economy.

    September 15, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Dave

    Remember, donations from employees of a corporation are not the same as donations from the corporations themselves. These are personal contributions from people who support the principles of one candidate or the other, not corporate contributions made as an investment by the firm. To say that they have benefited from "Wall Street" is, prima facie, disingeneous to both candidates.

    September 15, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. beevee

    Why is this such a big news. If an employee of a financial company gives money to a candidate it is because he/she might be doing so based on party loyalty but not expecting anything in return. If a CEO or chairman of a financial institution donates on behalf of the company then there may be something to be concerned about.

    September 15, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. Clarice Harris

    McCain the rich keep getting Richer (McCain)

    September 15, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Lynn, FL

    So, if we are to base our decision on who to vote for on this information, it looks like Obama is bankrupt and McCain is being bought out? I guess it is better to be bought out than to fail and go under completely, leaving unpaid debt behind. You could also look at it as the Obama supporters mismanaged their business a lot worse than the McCain supporters did. What does this say about their supporters? Interesting information to think about?

    September 15, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. Ron L

    It is not important how much they are receiving. The question is how many different employees were involved in the figure. So if the average donation is $1000.00 it is nothing to get concerned about.

    September 15, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. Louise

    WHO CARES IF THEY BENEFITTED FROM WALL STREET. I worked in the investment banking industry in London and i know from trading in hedge funds that all major companies need to keep trading their money and stock to keep pensions up etc.. I cant stand it when people go on about banking and how we shouldnt bail them out. What about the 10,000 employees from CEO down to cleaner who will lose their jobs.

    September 15, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Travis

    Barak Obama is benefiting from big evil wall street?! Say it isn't so. I thought greedy Republicans had that market cornered.

    Wake up people. Camelot will not arrive once Obama or McCain is elected. Government spending will bring this country to it's knees and BOTH parties are guilty of emptying the treasury! The government will continue to spend much more than it makes in revenue despite pulling out of Iraq. Raising taxes AND cutting spending are necessary.

    Start voting for fiscally responsible politicians now and maybe your grandchildren won't inherit our debt and live in a second rate country.

    September 15, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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