See How Much Money Warren Buffett, Dana White and 35 Other CEOs Are Pouring Into the Election

Elva Mankin

The November election could prove to be one of the most controversial ever when it comes to the American presidency. President Donald Trump is already sounding off that the election is ripe for fraud, with him questioning the reliability of mail-in ballots. Worth noting is that on a national basis, President Trump trails in the polls less than three months before Election Day. In the event trends continue and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins the election, President Trump is setting the stage to contest his defeat, unless the results are resounding.

In this environment, many noted CEOs and other wealthy corporate executives are supporting candidates and causes with significant amounts of money. To unearth the identities of the biggest donors, GOBankingRates analyzed data from the Federal Election Commission to tally up the amounts donated by prominent corporate figures to various political causes. Results have been presented in reverse order, with the largest donor revealed last.

Both Republicans and Democrats are represented on the list, which includes prominent names such as Warren Buffett, Dana White, George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. The top donor? A CEO who has given more than $34 million to his chosen candidates and causes.

If you like to vote with your wallet, a run through the list might give you some ideas about which companies to patronize and which to avoid. For example, if you’re left-leaning, you might consider stepping back from Budweiser beers; the patriarch of the family that started the Anheuser-Busch brand donates heavily to Trump. Similarly, right-wingers might shy away from games produced by Zynga as its chairman and founder is a big donor to Democratic causes.

Whichever side you support, there will be a lot of information to absorb before the Nov. 3 election. In particular, keep your eyes and ears open for news about the debate over mail-in voting, which likely will reach a fever pitch and could affect the way you cast your ballot.

Warren Buffett

  • Position: Chairman and CEO

  • Company Name: Berkshire Hathaway

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $254,100

  • Donated to: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

  • Insights: Though Warren Buffett is one of the most well-known CEOs on this list, he donated the smallest amount to the election, with just over $250,000 going to the DCCC. Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns numerous brands such as Fruit of the Loom, GEICO, Dairy Queen and Duracell.

Meg Whitman

  • Position: CEO

  • Company Name: Quibi

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $518,200

  • Donated to: Biden Victory Fund

  • Insights: Meg Whitman is the billionaire CEO of Quibi, but she perhaps is best known for her work as the CEO of eBay (1998 to 2008) and Hewlett-Packard (2011 to 2015). Whitman has thrown some of her plentiful capital in the Democrats’ direction, contributing just over half a million dollars to the Biden Victory Fund.

Joe Kiani

  • Position: CEO

  • Company Name: Masimo Corp.

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $572,600

  • Donated to: Biden Victory Fund, American Bridge 21st Century PAC

  • Insights: Joe Kiani is the founder, chairman and CEO of Masimo Corp., a global medical technology company. Kiani favors left-leaning candidates, contributing nearly $600,000 to the Biden Victory Fund and the liberal AB PAC.

Jeff Lawson

  • Position: CEO

  • Company Name: Twilio, Inc.

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $632,360

  • Donated to: Biden Victory Fund

  • Insights: In addition to being the CEO, Jeff Lawson is the co-founder of cloud communications platform Twilio, which adds video, messaging and voice to mobile and web apps. He’s also an active supporter of Democratic causes, contributing more than $600,000 to the Biden Victory Fund.

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Barry Diller

  • Position: CEO

  • Company Name: IAC

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $660,720

  • Donated to: Biden Victory Fund

  • Insights: Barry Diller is one of the more well-known CEOs on the list. In addition to manning internet and media giant IAC, he’s the chairman of travel provider Expedia. Previously, Diller was an entertainment-industry executive, helping to launch such beloved shows as “Cheers” and “The Simpsons.”

James Dolan

  • Position: Chairman and owner

  • Company Name: MSG, New York Knicks

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $721,200

  • Donated to: Trump Victory, Republican National Committee

  • Insights: James Dolan is the first major Republican donor on the list, kicking in nearly $750,000 to the Trump Victory fund and the RNC. He’s also the owner of trophy properties that include Madison Square Garden and the New York Knicks.

Stephen Rosenberg

  • Position: Founder and CEO

  • Company Name: Greystone & Co.

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $721,200

  • Donated to: Trump Victory, RNC

  • Insights: Stephen Rosenberg is another prominent Trump supporter as the two have rubbed elbows in the domestic real estate space. Rosenberg’s company, Greystone & Co., provides various real estate services throughout the United States.

Joseph W. Craft

  • Position: President and CEO

  • Company Name: Alliance Resource Partners

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $892,267

  • Donated to: Trump Victory, RNC

  • Insights: Joseph W. Craft leads a company that produces coal, so it’s perhaps understandable that he’s a Republican contributor. He’s pumped almost $900,000 into the coffers of the Trump Victory fund and the RNC.

Mark Pincus

  • Position: Chairman of the Board and founder

  • Company Name: Zynga

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $912,600

  • Donated to: Biden Victory Fund, Senate Majority PAC

  • Insights: The co-founder of online gaming company Zynga is a blue supporter, contributing nearly $1 million to left-leaning causes such as the Senate Majority PAC, or SMP. Zynga is the parent company to such popular games as Farmville, Mafia Wars and Words With Friends.

Chris Sacca

  • Position: Founder

  • Company Name: Lowercase Capital

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $913,195

  • Donated to: Biden Victory Fund, Fair Fight

  • Insights: Chris Sacca used his investment firm Lowercase Capital to make prescient early bets into such companies as Twilio, Uber and Twitter, helping to turn himself into a billionaire. He’s an outspoken opponent of President Trump and has contributed more than $900,000 to Joe Biden and to Fair Fight, a voter advocacy group.

Dana White

  • Position: Founder and CEO

  • Company Name: UFC

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $1.01 million

  • Donated to: America First Action, Inc.

  • Insights: The founder and CEO of the Ultimate Fighting Championship reportedly fled Boston for Las Vegas after incurring a $2,500 debt to notorious gangster Whitey Bulger. In his new home city, he launched a career managing fighters.

James G. Slaughter

  • Position: Chairman of the Board, CEO emeritus

  • Company Name: S&B Engineers and Constructors

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $1.06 million

  • Donated to: Trump Victory, RNC

  • Insights: S&B Engineers and Constructors operates mining, oil and gas, and construction businesses based in Houston. The chairman of the board, James G. Slaughter, is a Republican booster — to the tune of more than $1 million in 2019-20.

Barrett Toan

  • Position: Chairman

  • Company Name: Sigma-Aldrich Corp.

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $1.1 million

  • Donated to: Biden Victory Fund, SMP, DCCC

  • Insights: Sigma-Aldrich Corp. is a life sciences and biotechnology company. Its chairman, Barrett Toan, is a prominent Democratic donor, sending more than $1 million over the past year to Joe Biden and various Democratic organizations.

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J. Joe Ricketts

  • Position: Founder

  • Company Name: TD Ameritrade

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $1.29 million

  • Donated to: Trump Victory, RNC

  • Insights: J. Joe Ricketts founded online brokerage Ameritrade in the 1970s and, after the acquisition of TD Waterhouse, ultimately ended up as the chairman of the combined entity TD Ameritrade. He remains the largest single shareholder with a 7% stake. He’s also an investor in High Plains Bison and Jackson Fork Lodge in Wyoming. He’s used some of his great wealth to support President Trump and other Republican causes.

Isaac Perlmutter

  • Position: Chairman

  • Company Name: Marvel Entertainment

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $1.33 million

  • Donated to: Trump Victory, RNC

  • Insights: It’s hard to imagine red-hot Marvel Entertainment being a bankrupt company, but it was exactly that in 1998 when Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter took control of the business. He sold much of his stock in 2009 for a whopping $4 billion. In addition to contributing more than $50 million to cancer research, he has sent in excess of $1.3 million to Donald Trump and the RNC over the past year.

Dustin Moskovitz

  • Position: Co-founder

  • Company Name: Facebook

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $1.55 million

  • Donated to: Biden Victory Fund, Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, Democratic National Committee

  • Insights: Dustin Moskovitz is one of the founders of Facebook and enjoys a net worth in the neighborhood of $16 billion. He’s used some of his vast wealth to support Democratic candidates and causes in addition to a wide variety of philanthropic endeavors.

Laurene Powell Jobs

  • Position: Founder and president

  • Company Name: Emerson Collective

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $1.58 million

  • Donated to: Biden Victory Fund, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

  • Insights: Laurene Powell Jobs inherited much of her wealth from her late husband, Steve Jobs, the legendary co-founder of Apple. She’s put her money to good use, launching the Emerson Collective Foundation with a $1.2 billion donation. She also owns a portion of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NBA’s Washington Wizards.

H. Ross Perot Jr.

  • Position: Chairman

  • Company Name: The Perot Group, Hillwood

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $1.71 million

  • Donated to: National Republican Senatorial Committee, Trump Victory

  • Insights: Ross Perot Jr. is the son of former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot. Perot Jr. borrowed money from his father to help fund his real estate empire. His company, Hillwood, develops industrial, commercial and residential real estate. Perot Jr. is a supporter of the Trump Victory campaign and other Republican causes, contributing more than $1.7 million over the past year.

Stephen Wynn

  • Position: Founder and former CEO

  • Company Name: Wynn Resorts

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $2.12 million

  • Donated to: American Crossroads, Trump Victory, RNC

  • Insights: Steve Wynn is a legend in Las Vegas, where he operated several notable hotels before building Wynn Las Vegas. The mogul sold his stake in casinos from Vegas to Macau, China, in 2018 and has used some of the proceeds to support the Trump Victory campaign.

Andrew Hauptman

  • Position: Chairman

  • Company Name: Andell Inc.

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $2.3 million

  • Donated to: Biden Victory Fund, SMP, DCCC

  • Insights: Andrew Hauptman’s Andell Inc. is an investment management firm based in the Los Angeles area. Hauptman, the company chairman, is a prominent Democratic supporter, with $2 million-plus contributed over the 2019-20 period.

Jeffrey Katzenberg

  • Position: Founder; Co-founder, former CEO

  • Company Name: Quibi; DreamWorks Animation

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $2.69 million

  • Donated to: Biden Victory Fund, SMP, DCCC

  • Insights: Jeffrey Katzenberg is a well-known movie mogul who helped created Dreamworks Animation with his powerful friends Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. Katzenberg was a high-profile supporter of former President Barack Obama and maintains his devotion to Democratic causes, contributing millions of dollars over just the past year.

August A. Busch III

  • Position: Former chairman

  • Company Name: Anheuser-Busch

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $2.81 billion

  • Donated to: Trump Victory, Take Back the House 2020

  • Insights: August A. Busch III is part of a long line of Busch family beer makers. Patriarch Adolphus Busch brewed the first batch of Budweiser back in 1876. The Busch family as a whole has a net worth in excess of $13 billion.

Stewart Bainum Jr.

  • Position: Chairman

  • Company Name: Choice Hotels

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $3.1 million

  • Donated to: Unite the Country, Biden Victory Fund, DCCC, Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland

  • Insights: Stewart Bainum Jr. has been associated with Choice Hotels since 1976 and has ridden the chain’s growth to tremendous personal wealth. From 1979 to 1987, he also served as a “fiscal-minded Democrat” in the Maryland General Assembly, so it might come as no surprise that he’s spent more than $3 million of his personal funds over the past year to support Joe Biden and the Democrats.

Kelcy Warren

  • Position: Chairman and CEO

  • Company Name: Energy Transfer Partners

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $3.98 million

  • Donated to: Take Back the House 2020, Trump Victory

  • Insights: Kelcy Warren co-founded pipeline operator Energy Transfer Partners in 1995. His company benefited from an executive order from President Trump to build the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline in 2017, so it stands to reason that Warren is among Trump’s biggest supporters.

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S. Daniel Abraham

  • Position: Founder

  • Company Name: SlimFast

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $4.83 million

  • Donated to: AB PAC, Biden Victory Fund, SMP, House Majority PAC

  • Insights: The founder of SlimFast, S. Daniel Abraham has helped to make waistlines around the country smaller, but he’s also fattened the bank accounts of various Democratic causes to the tune of nearly $5 million in the past year. Abraham also used part of his $2 billion net worth to donate $3 million to presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Jeff Skoll

  • Position: Founder and chairman

  • Company Name: Capricorn Investment Group

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $5.14 million

  • Donated to: SMP, Priorities USA Action, Biden Victory Fund

  • Insights: Jeff Skoll was eBay’s first full-time hire, becoming its president in 1995. In addition to contributing significant sums to the Biden Victory Fund and other Democratic pursuits, Skoll has used some of his more than $5 billion in personal wealth for humanitarian causes, such as the $100 million he donated to his foundation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charles R. Schwab

  • Position: Founder and Chairman

  • Company Name: Charles Schwab Corp.

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $6.65 million

  • Donated to: Senate Leadership Fund, Congressional Leadership Fund, Defend the Senate, RNC

  • Insights: Charles Schwab, both the man and his namesake brokerage firm, are well-known for pushing investment commissions lower. The former CEO donates not just to right-leaning causes but also toward research into learning differences.

Kenneth Griffin

  • Position: Founder and CEO

  • Company Name: Citadel

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $7.3 million

  • Donated to: Congressional Leadership Fund, NRSC

  • Insights: Kenneth Griffin is another hedge fund manager with a lot of money to put toward political causes — in this case, more than $7 million to right-leaning organizations. Griffin, who began trading in his dorm room at Harvard in 1987, has donated more than $1 billion in his lifetime, including over $300 million to various nonprofit organizations in Chicago, where Citadel has its headquarters.

Connie Ballmer

  • Position: Co-founder

  • Company Name: Ballmer Group

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $7.55 million

  • Donated to: Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund, Unite the Country, DCCC, Biden for President

  • Insights: The wife of tech wizard Steve Ballmer, Connie Ballmer is the top-ranked female donor on the list, sending more than $7.5 million toward blue causes such as Unite the Country and Biden for President. Her Ballmer Group uses philanthropy and civic activism to assist the economic mobility of disadvantaged families.

Fred Eychaner

  • Position: President

  • Company Name: Newsweb Corp.

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $9.46 million

  • Donated to: SMP, House Majority PAC, Biden Victory Fund, DSCC

  • Insights: Fred Eychaner has been a frequent Democratic donor through the years, putting up $2 million for the Hillary Clinton campaign and posting nearly $10 million to the Biden Victory Fund and others in 2019-20. Eychaner founded his media enterprise, Newsweb Corp., in 1971.

George Soros

  • Position: Chairman

  • Company Name: Soros Fund Management

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $9.96 million

  • Donated to: Democracy PAC, Justice & Public Safety PAC, Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, Biden Victory Fund

  • Insights: George Soros is a controversial and outspoken figure who solidly opposes Donald Trump. After famously earning $1 billion by shorting the British pound and “breaking the Bank of England” in 1992, the Hungarian American investor continued to manage client money until 2011. He now has a net worth in excess of $8 billion.

James Simons

  • Position: Founder

  • Company Name: Renaissance Technologies

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $10.24 million

  • Donated to: Unite the Country, House Majority PAC, Priorities USA Action, Biden Victory Fund, DSCC

  • Insights: James Simons is the first contributor on the list to donate more than $10 million to a side in the upcoming election. In the case of Simons, his donations land squarely on the blue side, favoring Democrats. A noted mathematician, Simons amassed his wealth as the founder of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies.

Michael Bloomberg

  • Position: CEO

  • Company Name: Bloomberg L.P.

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $13.93 million

  • Donated to: House Majority PAC, Swing Left, DNC

  • Insights: Michael Bloomberg is the CEO of Bloomberg L.P. but probably is more recognizable for his political career. After serving as the mayor of New York City, Bloomberg made a short-lived presidential bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Now on the sidelines, he remains a strong Democratic supporter.

Sheldon Adelson

  • Position: CEO

  • Company Name: Las Vegas Sands Corp.

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $14.29 million

  • Donated to: Senate Leadership Fund, Trump Victory, Security is Strength PAC, NRSC, RNC

  • Insights: Sheldon Adelson has a personal net worth north of $30 billion thanks to his huge ownership stake in Las Vegas Sands Corp., which has properties in Las Vegas, Singapore and Macau. China. In addition to being a major contributor to Jewish causes, Adelson is a strong Trump supporter.

Stephen Schwarzman

  • Position: Chairman and CEO

  • Company Name: The Blackstone Group

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $18.42 million

  • Donated to: Senate Leadership Fund, America First Action Inc., Congressional Leadership Fund, 1820 PAC, Trump Victory

  • Insights: Stephen Schwarzman is one of the most generous Republican donors, pumping in million dollars to foundations such as the Trump Victory fund. Personally worth more than $18 billion, Schwarzman co-founded investment firm Blackstone, which is now the largest buyout firm in the world.

Donald Sussman

  • Position: Founder

  • Company Name: Paloma Partners Advisors

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $23.17 million

  • Donated to: Priorities USA Action, House Majority PAC, SMP, Women Vote!, Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, DCCC

  • Insights: Donald Sussman is the largest contributor on the list to liberal causes, kicking in over $23 million in just the past year. The philanthropist and avid sailor has made a fortune in investments via his Paloma Partners Advisors.

Richard Uihlein

  • Position: CEO and co-owner

  • Company Name: Uline

  • Amount donated in 2019-2020: $34.38 million

  • Donated to: Club for Growth, Restoration PAC, Americas PAC, America First Action Inc., House Freedom Action

  • Insights: Richard Uihlein is the largest contributor on GOBankingRate’s list, outspending the No. 2 donor by more than $11 million. Run by the Uihlein family, Uline is a successful moving and supply company, offering everything from bubble wrap to the dog waste disposal stations seen in parks. The company also owns The Lodge at Manitowish Waters, a luxurious but rustic hotel in Wisconsin.

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Photo disclaimer: When CEO photos were unavailable, photos representing their business/industry were used instead.

Methodology: GOBankingRates used Federal Election Commission (FEC) data to discover which CEOs are pouring their money into the 2020 election season. With the parameter in mind that an individual had to be a CEO, Executive, President or Chairman of a company to be considered, GOBankingRates used the FEC’s data to collect the following information on the CEOs donating to political causes: (1) name of contributor; (2) job/position; (3) name of company/employer; (4) total donated from 2019 through 2020 to FEC reporting political groups/candidates; and (5) a list of major groups/candidates donated to. Only groups/candidates that must report data to the FEC were included in this study. Vox’s “Silicon Valley pours money into Biden’s campaign — and snubs Trump’s” was used to jump-start the sourcing of CEOs. All data was collected on and up to date as of Aug. 3, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: See How Much Money Warren Buffett, Dana White and 35 Other CEOs Are Pouring Into the Election

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