January 22, 2012

To which GOP candidates does the Smart Money lean?

Audacious Epigone looks through the federal campaign contribution database to find out whom individuals identifying their occupations as "lobbyist" have donated to:

Presidential candidateLobbyist $
1. Rick Perry$25,500
2. Tim Pawlenty$11,770
3. Newt Gingrich$11,500
4. Mitt Romney$8,000
5. Rick Santorum$3,000
6. Herman Cain$2,500
7. Barack Obama$1,150
8. Jon Hunstman$500
9. Michelle Bachmann$250
10. Charles "Buddy" Roemer$100

So, the smart money, the professional insiders whose stock in trade is knowing which way the political winds are blowing, have invested most heavily in Rick Perry and longtime iSteve favorite T-Paw. Heckuva job, lobbyists!

By the way, is it too late for Mitch Daniels to jump in? I've got another anecdote about the famously sensible Indiana governor's lifelong love affair with drugs that I haven't used yet, and it would be a shame to have to wait until the next Presidential Timber rounds in 2015.


Anonymous said...

The other day I was reading a story about a drug safey researcher named Bruce Psaty (try Googling something like "A rising force in the drug safety debate") when all of the sudden Mitch Daniels pops into the article and talks about their wild times together at Princeton.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you've written a few times before about how some politicians seem to go through spectacular manic-depressive cycles during their campaigns. You've offered Perot as an example.

Here's an article that suggests something similar for Newt Gingrich:


"Dr. Frederick Goodwin, director of the Center on Neuroscience, Behavior, and Society at the George Washington University Medical Center and a national authority on bipolar disorder, said that “Gingrich’s quickness, his ability to pick things up quickly, is consistent with studies of first-degree relatives of manic-depressives.”"

robert61 said...

These numbers, and the numbers AE quotes in the linked post about active military donations, seem negligibly small. I'm supposed to draw sweeping conclusions about the electorate based on $25,000 dollars in a nation of 300+ million? What am I missing here?

Steve Sailer said...

A Georgia Tech booster offered high school star point guard Sebastian Telfair $250,000 to go to GT.

more agnostic than you said...

"...some politicians seem to go through spectacular manic-depressive cycles during their campaigns. You've offered Perot as an example."

I have just discovered how to induce a manic phase by ingesting way too much caffeine and I'm thinking there's the amount of alcohol I could imbibe to mimic a depressive phase. Or I could just clean the house.

Anonymous said...

That list = Ron Paul fail.

Adam said...

Lobbiests may well have very good relationships with DC/nationally active pols through their firms and not need to give to those candidates as heavily as single state dark horses.

Kylie said...

"By the way, is it too late for Mitch Daniels to jump in?"

Ugh, the man with a head like a thumb.

Still, his would certainly be the most piquant First Family to occupy the White House in some time, given his wife's peripatetic propensities. So much more entertaining than Michelle's sullen grievance-mongering.

Noah172 said...

There is a candidate missing from the list. This candidate has gotten more votes than most of the names that are on the list. Does anyone notice who? Bueller?

Anonymous said...

i'm guessing the most evi..smart lobbyists describe themselves as something else like political liquidity fund managers.

Fayette White Guy said...

Steve, love your work. As a GT fan, I remember when this story came out and it appears to be a non-story. If someone did offer Telfair $, it was certainly one individual outside of the program, as that's something GT would not in the least bit tolerate. Telfair mentions the possibility it could've been a joke. Who knows, I'm just certain no one inside the program would do such a thing.


Audacious Epigone said...


Re: the seemingly trivial dollar amounts considered given the weightiness of the position being sought after, I'd rhetorically ask how many readers here have made presidential campaign contributions? Not many I suspect--I certainly haven't--and we're intellectually vested in and follow this stuff a lot more closely than the general public does. And those making contributions are not required to state their professions or companies they work for. Undoubtedly there are lobbyists who've made donations that are not captured in this way, but I'm not sure it makes too much of a systematic difference in the way the relative amounts shake out (though it does introduce extra randomness). The best we're able to be with a tool like the FEC's database is be suggestive.

The Outsider said...

Steve may be sneaking an assumption into his interpretation of the data. If a lobbyist donates to a particular candidate that doesn't mean he thinks that guy will win. It means he thinks his "return on investment" is highest giving to that candidate.

So, for example, I might like to show support for Newt Gingrich, even if I thought his candidacy was a lost cause, because I think he'll be able to return the favor later even if he's not President.

David Barker said...

Perry gets the most money because he is a sitting governor. Even if he loses, he can be useful.

Anonymous said...

I've always said that Newt Gingrich is a textbook case of narcissistic personality disorder.