Meet the 158 Families Funding the 2016 Election
They've given $176 million to candidates from both parties so far
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2015 2:37 PM CDT
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(Newser) – "Not since before Watergate have so few people and businesses provided so much early money in a campaign, most of it through channels legalized by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision five years ago," the New York Times states. In an impressive investigative report, the Times looks at the 158 wealthy families that are providing nearly half of all the money raised in the 2016 presidential race. So far, these donors—largely older, rich, white men—have given $176 million to candidates from both parties. Here's what the Times learned about the families shaping America's political future.

  • 138 of the families are backing Republican candidates, while only 20 are supporting Democrats. Experts say this disparity is helping counteract the natural demographic shift toward Democratic policies in the US.
  • Each of these families has given more than $250,000 toward the election.
  • One donor makes $68.5 million per month after taxes, which means his donation of $300,000 to Republican candidates is the equivalent of a $21 donation from an average American family.
  • The few neighborhoods where most of these families live would fit within the city limits of New Orleans, have almost no black residents, and have a salary 4.5 times the national average.
  • 64 of these families made their fortunes in finance, and another 17 made their money in the energy sector. Only 39 of the families inherited their wealth.
  • The three families with the largest total donations are all supporting Ted Cruz.
Read the full report here.
 

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