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Bernie Sanders continues to outraise Hillary Clinton among tech-sector donors

Sanders's campaign taps into Silicon Valley's rank and file employees -- the software engineers and developers.

Jeff Swensen / Getty

Even as Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton grabs headlines with celebrity-studded fundraisers, her everyman challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, continues to win over the hearts and wallets of Silicon Valley.

Sanders reported $4.6 million in campaign contributions from the tech sector through March 31, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan political crowdfunding site Crowdpac. That’s nearly double the $2.6 million industry donors pledged to Clinton or the pro-Clinton Priorities USA Action super PAC over the same period.

Meanwhile, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is leading the Republican presidential candidates in industry contributions, though billionaire GOP front-runner Donald Trump has made self-funding his campaign a central part of his pitch to primary voters (he says that means he’s not beholden to Washington lobbyists and special interest groups).


Clinton’s and Sanders’s donor lists reveal how the Democratic candidates are resonating with different parts of Silicon Valley.

Sanders’s contributors reflect the candidate’s broad populist appeal. Although there are a handful of well-known Bay Area executives who feel the Bern, such as Tanium Chief Software Architect Peter Lincroft and Twitter Chief Technology Officer Adam Messinger, most of the Vermont senator’s donors have job titles like programmer or software developer.


Clinton — whom some describe as the establishment Democratic candidate — won backing from many of Silicon Valley’s power players.

The former Secretary of State’s donor list is a Who’s Who of tech and includes such prominent figures as Twitter Executive Chairman Omid Kordestani, Google’s chief Internet evangelist Vint Cerf, former eBay CEO John Donahoe, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Zynga executive chairman Mark Pincus, Sherpa Ventures’ Shervin Pishevar, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers chairman John Doerr, to name a few.

An analysis of Uber campaign contributions distilled this difference among Democratic contributors in 2016. Crowdpac found Clinton supporters tend to come from the management ranks while Sanders donors are predominantly drivers, coders or analysts.

Crowdpac used the most recent Federal Election Commission filings to quantify the tech sector’s contributions.

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