Wall Street Donations Shift to GOP Amid Financial Reforms

Political contributions from Wall Street are shifting from Democrats to RepublicansPolitical contributions from Wall Street are shifting from Democrats to Republicans.

The swing from Democrat to Republican candidates during the second quarter coincides with financial reform legislation pushed through by President Obama in an attempt to protect Main Street from corporate greed. Republicans, joined by some on Wall Street, say the reforms are costly and over-reaching.

The trend is outlined in a preliminary analysis of federal-level campaign contributions by the Center for Responsive Politics.

180-Degree Shift This Year

The analysis found that during March 2009, Wall Street firms and people working for them directed 70% of their federal contributions to Democratic candidates, party committees and leadership PACs. In June of this year, there was a 180-degree shift, with 68% of contributions going toward Republican candidates.

Wall Street individuals, including company executives and middle managers, are the primary drivers of a Republican campaign donation shift, the Center's research indicates.

"Individuals working within this industry favored Republicans by a nearly 7-to-10 margin in June," said David Levinthal, communications director with the Center for Responsive Politics. "That's a significant departure from the beginning of 2009, when individuals working in this industry favored Democratic interests with $6 for every $10 spent on federal-level political interests."

The center, a Washington, D.C.-based non-partisan organization, noted that the percentage appears to show that the financial sector in June has given a greater amount of cash to federal-level Republicans since May 2008. The numbers are expected to continue the trend through the summer, the center reported.

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