Google shows you the campaign finance money

Which presidential candidates have raked in how much, and where their cash came from are now a quick search away — Google just unveiled a new campaign finance tracker. The data breaks out the percentage of donations to the controversial arms-length super PACs that independently support particular candidates. Also broken out are donation amounts from donor industries, and the percentage of donations that were $200 or less.

Here’s how it looked Wednesday, the day after rollout: Hillary Clinton, $188 million, 31 percent from super PACs and other groups; Bernie Sanders, $96.3 million, .03 percent from super PACs and other groups; Donald Trump, $27.4 million, 7 percent from super PACs and other groups; Ted Cruz, $96.5 million, 43 percent from super PACs and other groups; John Kasich, $15.4 million, 44 percent from super PACs and other groups.

“Finding unbiased, objective election information isn’t an easy task,” Google said in a blog post.

The new Google information cards on campaign finance pop up when a candidate’s name is paired with the words “campaign finance” or just “finance.”

Google’s offering arose from a partnership with the Center for Responsive Politics, whose OpenSecrets website is a clearinghouse of data on money in U.S. politics, including lobbyist spending as well as campaign finance.

“Never before has money in politics played such a focal role in political debates,” the Center said in promotional material for the new search function. “For anyone wanting to check out the contenders’ statements about their own, or their opponents’, campaign money — from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ repeated implication that Clinton is too close with Wall St. to Donald Trump’s alleged self-financing of his campaign — all of that information and more is now just a click away on Google.”

So, what about those implications by Sanders that Clinton’s too cozy with big money? The data show Clinton getting the most support from lawyers and law firms, hauling in $11 million. Retired folks added nearly the same amount. Donors associated with universities and schools gave $3.5 million, just edging out donors from the investment and securities industries at $3.4 million. Clinton received another $3.3 million from people in business services.

And how about Donald Trump, and his claim to self-financing? The data reveal that Trump contributed $17.5 million of the $27.4 million raised, indicating that he’s only 64 percent self-financed.


Image from Thinkstock


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