All the talk about cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid might just be taking a toll on the GOP, with the majority of contributions from retirees — a bigger contributor than any industry — flowing toward Democrats.
The Center for Responsive Politics reports that this year retirees are giving more in political donations to Democrats than to Republicans. A number of industries have shifted their late-cycle donations leftward, including health professionals, hospitals and nursing homes and finance.
Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 17, 77% of contributions from the health care industry went to Democrats, versus 56% earlier in the election cycle, according to the center. Seventy percent of contributions from the finance industry went to Democrats during this period versus 49% earlier in the cycle, according to the center.
But the biggest group, which isn’t an industry at all, consists of retirees. This year, for the first midterm election year since 1990, they’re throwing the majority of their donations behind Democrats. In fact, through Oct. 17, 52% of their $276 million contributed to candidates went to Democrats, with 48% going to Republicans, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The Center says that in 2014, retirees as a group donated more than $190 million, but the bulk of that — 53% — went to Republicans.
Earlier, in 2012, while Barack Obama brought in nearly $53.4 million from retirees, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts outpaced him with donations of more than $63.2 million. Retirees also constituted the biggest “industry” contributing to both candidates. Since 1990, retirees have sunk nearly $1.7 billion into political contributions.
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