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Techies Are Backing Political Losers, Research Shows

Lousy ROI, folks.

Darren McCollester / Getty Images

Tech execs can make lousy political bets.

Consider entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who made a $2 million contribution to CARLY (Conservative Authentic Responsive Leadership for You and America), the Super PAC supporting Carly Fiorina’s candidacy. The donation, made in late August and disclosed last week, lifted the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive to among the most effective of the presidential candidates in raising money from the tech sector, according to a ranking from Crowdpac, a nonpartisan group that provides data about candidates.

But no amount of money was enough to salvage Fiorina’s campaign. The Republican hopeful suspended her bid for the White House Wednesday, following weak showings in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.

Crowdpac’s ranking of technology sector donations published today shows there’s little correlation between Silicon Valley’s financial backing and the ballot box — at least at this point in the 2016 election cycle.

Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida still leads in campaign contributions from the tech sector, thanks to Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison’s $3 million donation to the Conservative Solutions PAC backing his candidacy. Rubio finished fifth in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, after his robotic reciting of talking points during the most recent Republican presidential candidates debate.

“I did not do well on Saturday night, so listen to this,” Rubio told his supporters in New Hampshire. “That will never happen again.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ranks third in fund-raising from Silicon Valley, with the pro-Bush Right to Rise Super PAC reporting donations from Accel Partners general partner Jim Breyer, Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker and Sequoia Capital’s Douglas Leone, among others. The brother of former President George W. Bush and son of President George H.W. Bush finished fourth in New Hampshire.

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who suffered a resounding loss to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the New Hampshire primary, continues to hold a narrow fund-raising edge over her rival in the tech community, according to Crowdpac’s analysis of contributions to their campaign committees and the pro-Clinton Super PAC Priorities USA Action.

Here’s the full rundown:


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