Wall Street Starts to Lean Democratic

After years of supporting Republicans, Wall Street is donating to Democrats.

ByABC News
July 20, 2007, 6:48 PM

July 23, 2007 — -- Wall Street often thought of as a bastion of Republican ideals is leaning toward Democrats these days.

As campaign contributions pour in to the 2008 presidential race, employees at some of the nation's largest banks and investment firms are deciding more often than not to write out big checks to Democratic candidates.

Workers at Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers and elsewhere are putting their cash behind Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards over the Republican front-runners, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission filings by ABC News.

At Goldman Sachs, the largest of the firms, employees donated $542,000 to the top three Democrats and the top three Republicans from Jan. 1 through June 30.

More than 63 percent of those dollars went to Democrats, with Obama getting the bulk of that cash $184,750, according to the ABC analysis.

Click here to see the data

Don't be mistaken there are still plenty of Republican supporters on Wall Street. But, for the first time in more than a decade, Democratic donors outnumber those supporting Republicans.

And while Wall Street workers are small in number compared to some other industries, they tend to earn substantially more and are more likely to donate to politicians.

The Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that tracks money in politics, found that, among corporate contributors in all industries, no company has put more money into the 2008 presidential race than Goldman Sachs.

"We are seeing a lot of industries that have been giving to the Republicans in the [last] 12 years changing their stripes because that's how you get business done. You have to support the party in power," said Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics. "It's what happened in 1994 when the Republicans took control, and it's going to happen again."

For evidence of this shift, look no further than Morgan Stanley chief executive John Mack, a major backer of President Bush, who helped raise more than $200,000 for the president's last campaign.

Mack now backs Clinton.

Citigroup: 66.6 percent to Democrats

Goldman Sachs: 63.4 percent to Democrats

Lehman Brothers: 63 percent to Democrats

Morgan Stanley: 54 percent to Democrats

Bear Sterns: 87.6 percent to Republicans

Merrill Lynch: 66.7 percent to Republicans

Deutsche Bank: 62.2 percent to Republicans

Credit Suisse: 57.5 percent to Republicans

The 10th company Bank of America was statistically bipartisan, with 50.2 percent of employees donating to the leading Democrats.