Saturday, March 18, 2006

What Happened In 1996?

I'm going to slip into technical writer mode (since that is what I do for a living, mostly) for a moment here, to show up some insteresting statistics I found.

  1. Go to Open Secrets.
  2. Click on "Who Gives" in the tabbed menu at the top of the screen.
  3. On the "Industry Profiles" page, click on the drop-down menu labelled "Locate industries by economic sector."
  4. Pick a sector. In fact, it works better if you look at several in succession. You may want to look at all 13 listed on that menu.
  5. On the sector-specific page, look at the breakdown of contribution moneys, either in the bar chart format or in the table below.
  6. Pay specific attention to the last two columns of the table, primarily between 1994 and 1996.


Here is the breakdown in digest, in case you missed it:

Sector: Agribusiness

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 59%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 41%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 74%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 26%

Republicans: +15%


Sector: Communications/Electronics

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 41%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 59%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 48%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 50%

Republicans: +7%

Note: This is one of four sectors (out of a total of 13) which consistently leans Democratic in contribution pattern.


Sector: Construction

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 60%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 40%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 68%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 32%

Republicans: +8%


Sector: Defense

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 46%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 54%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 68%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 32%

Republicans: +22%


Sector: Energy/Natural Resources

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 57%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 43%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 72%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 27%

Republicans: +15%


Sector: Finance/Insurance/Real Estate

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 51%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 49%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 60%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 39%

Republicans: +9%


Sector: Health

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 51%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 49%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 61%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 33%

Republicans: +10%


Sector: Lawyers and Lobbyists

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 25%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 74%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 32%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 67%

Republicans: +7%

Note: This is one of four sectors (out of a total of 13) which consistently leans Democratic in contribution pattern.


Sector: Transportation

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 55%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 44%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 70%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 30%

Republicans: +15%


Sector: Misc. Business

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 58%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 42%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 62%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 37%

Republicans: +4%


Sector: Labor

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 4%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 96%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 6%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 94%

Republicans: +2%

Note: This is one of four sectors (out of a total of 13) which consistently leans Democratic in contribution pattern.


Sector: Ideology/Single-Issue

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 41%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 59%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 54%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 46%

Note here that the trend toward increasing Republican contributions began between 1992 and 1994, with the Republicans gaining 10%, to go from a 31% share of contributions to a 41% share.

Republicans: +13%

Note: This is one of four sectors (out of a total of 13) which consistently leans Democratic in contribution pattern.


Sector: Other

Contributions to Republicans, 1994: 60%
Contributions to Democrats, 1994: 39%

Contributions to Republicans, 1996: 61%
Contributions to Democrats, 1996: 38%

Republicans: +1%


The trends get even more interesting when you look at the entire data sets. So please, please follow the given links and look at the trends in the last 16 years. There are some startling anomalies to be seen. The recent changes in the data could be a result of the increasing importance of "the netroots" to politics, but it would be irresponsible to speculate in the absence of better and more complete data.

In any case, the space between the 1994 and 1996 election cycles in the US seems to be the tipping point whereupon Republicans made major gains in the percentage of overall contributions. In some sectors, this trend reverses itself during or after the 2000 election cycle, but mostly it seems consistent. I really lack the energy to do a complete breakdown and analysis of these data right now, so please look at it yourself.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Lynne said...

I'd guess Barbara O'Brien would be interested in this. I wonder if she's seen it.

5:53 AM  

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