The Business Constituency That Hates Republicans

Nate Silver has a remarkable post up today showing that the pro-Democratic proclivities of the tech community and the geographical areas dominated by it have reached really astounding levels that probably explain why the Romney campaign was outgunned badly in GOTV technology.

It’s most notable, of course, in Silicon Valley and in the entire Bay Area of California, where Obama won by a 49 point margin (the same as his margin in 2008), reflecting a steady trend that begin after 1980, when Ronald Reagan actually carried the Bay Area.

It’s also reflected in the overwhelming percentage of political donations going to Democrats from employees of major tech companies, and not just in California:

Over all, among the 10 American-based information technology companies on the Forbes list of “most admired companies,” Mr. Obama raised 83 percent of the funds between the two major party candidates.

Mr. Obama’s popularity among the staff at these companies holds even for those which are not headquartered in California. About 81 percent of contributions at Microsoft, which is headquartered in Redmond, Wash., went to Mr. Obama. So did 77 percent of those at I.B.M., which is based in Armonk, N.Y.

And that brings the matter full circle to the use of technology in the two campaigns:

If Democrats have the support of 80 percent or 90 percent of the best and brightest minds in the information technology field, then it shouldn’t be surprising that Mr. Obama’s information technology infrastructure was viewed as state-of-the-art exemplary, whereas everyone from Republican volunteers to Silicon Valley journalists have critiqued Mr. Romney’s systems. Mr. Romney’s get-out-the-vote application, Project Orca, is widely viewed as having failed on Election Day, perhaps contributing to a disappointing Republican turnout.

And beyond that, the attitudes of the tech industry should also make a mockery of the idea that Republicans have the overwhelming support of “makers” and “innovators” in the U.S. private sector. Mitt Romney’s good buddies in the coal industry ain’t exactly the wave of the economic future.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.