While we won't know for some time who is financially backing Hillary Clinton's run for the White House in 2016, we can look back at her past fundraising history to get a sense of who donated to her 2008 campaign for the presidency.
On January 20, 2007, Ms. Clinton announced that she was forming an committee to explore a run for the presidency. At that time, she filed with the Federal Election Committee and her fundraising activities became public. You may recall that in early June 2008, on the final days of the primaries, Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary contests and she suspended her campaign on June 7, 2008. In the initial phase of her campaign, Ms. Clinton's fundraising efforts far exceeded those of her main rival, however, by early 2008, Barack Obama's fundraising had surpassed Ms. Clinton's.
Let's look at some details. In total, to the end of May 2008, Ms. Clinton raised $229.4 million. Individual contributions totalled $195,340,539 (88 percent of the total), PAC contributions totalled $1,409,779 (1 percent of the total) and Ms. Clinton self-financed $13,175,000 (6 percent of the total). The remainder of the funds raised are classified as "other".
Here is a look at her donor demographics:
A total of 54,318 females donated to the Clinton campaign compared to 42,988 males, however, on average, the men donated $1291.34 compared to $1058.24 donated by her female supporters.
Here is a graphic showing more details on gender contributions by size:
Here is a list of the top contributors to Ms. Clinton's 2008 campaign noting that the organizations listed did not actually donate the funds, rather, the money donated came from the organizations' political action committees, its members, employees or owners and their immediate families:
It's quite interesting to see that some of Ms. Clinton's biggest backers in the immediate pre-Great Recession era were Wall Street icons including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch. I wonder what they wanted from the candidate that they were supporting? In case you were wondering (and I was), EMILY's List is an acronym for Early Money Is Like Yeast, a national political action committee that works to elect pro-choice female Democrats. They are still quite active, having contributed $4.451 million during the 2014 election cycle and $4.623 million in the 2012 election cycle.
Here is a table showing which industries were Ms. Clinton's biggest supporters and the totals donated by each industry:
Right at the top, we find both lawyers/law firms and the securities and investment industries. The largest sector was the finance, insurance and real estate sectors which contributed $21,046,385 followed by lawyers and lobbyists which contributed $18,007,421.
Here is a list of some of Ms. Clinton's celebrity contributors and the amounts that they contributed:
Danny DeVito - $2300
Tom Hanks - $2300
Hugh Heffner - $2300
Rosie O'Donnell - $2300
Rhea Perlman - $2300
Martha Stewart - $4600
Rita Wilson - $2300
Let's close this posting with a look at where the Clinton 2008 presidential campaign spent its millions:
As you can see, a whopping $52.2 million was spent on media, including advertising both in traditional media (print and television) and on the internet. A total of $34.86 million was spent on administrative travel and lodging and an additional $8.33 million was spent on fundraising activities.
Fundraising has already begun in earnest for Hillary 2016. According to the Federal Election Commission, between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014, the Ready For Hillary PAC has raised a total of $12.913 million and Ms. Clinton hasn't even declared her candidacy yet!
It will be interesting to watch which individuals, groups and industries support the latest version of Ms. Clinton's "Run for the White House". From her fundraising experience in 2007 - 2008 and 2015 - 2016, we will get some sense of her policy priorities if she actually enters the White House as president in January 2017.