Michael G. Franc has a great piece on National Review Online using analysis of primary-season campaign contributions data to shatter the still widely-held notion that the GOP is the party of big business while the Democrats represent working-class America:
Through May 1, the Democratic presidential field has suctioned up a cool $5.7 million from the more than 4,000 donors who list their occupation as “CEO.” The Republicans’ take was only $2.3 million. Chief financial officers, general counsels, directors, and chief information officers also break the Democrats’ way by more than two-to-one margins. The Democrats’ advantage among “presidents” is a less dramatic but still significant $7.2 million to $6.1 million. And this isn’t new: In 2004 all but one of these categories of top corporate officers broke just as dramatically for the Democrats.So the Democrats have become the party of liberal guilt and the unemployed? It's worth noting this is not polling data or election results, both of which quite frankly reflect large numbers of the uninformed and easily-influenced. Rather, this analysis is based on the self-selected sample of the those politically-engaged enough to be donating to campaigns early in the primaries, and the trends are surprising. Also, Republicans win among rocket scientists. If you can think of a more trustworthy political advocate than rocket scientists... well, it doesn't matter, because you can't.
Not surprisingly, universities offer Democrats a hotbed of support. Professors favor Democrats over Republicans by a nine-to-one margin ($3.7 million to $430,000). The “objective” media — reporters, journalists, publishers and editors — also breaks heavily for the Democrats. But no listed occupation gives the Democrats a greater edge than the unemployed. These presumably idle folks have dropped over $14.6 million into the laps of the Democrats. Their idle Republican neighbors, in contrast, have unburdened themselves of a mere $9,775. Go figure.
Republican presidential aspirants hold a nearly three-to-one edge among janitors, custodians, cleaners, sanitation workers, factory workers, truckers, bus drivers, barbers, security guards, and secretaries. While Democrats command the financial loyalty of architects, Republicans successfully woo contributions from the skilled craftsmen who turn their blueprints into reality — specifically, contractors, hardhats, plumbers, stonemasons, electricians, carpenters mechanics, and roofers. This trend extends to the saloons, where the Democrats carry the bartenders and the Republicans the waitresses.