illustration by Darren Thompson

In the Money

North Texas bigwigs throw their cash to the presidential candidates.

When it comes to landing cash contributions from North Texas executives, John McCain is king. Through July 2008, about 237 contributions from North Texas business leaders generated $320,000 for McCain’s coffers. That beat Barack Obama’s business-related contributions by roughly a third. Yet Obama outpaced McCain by landing nearly a fifth more individual donations from North Texas executives, even though those execs gave only roughly half as much as McCain’s contributors on average. What about those who give money to both sides? Are they successfully hedging their bets? Not necessarily, says University of Texas at Dallas associate professor of political science Tom Brunell. “People know you’re straddling both sides of the fence,” Brunell says. “It indicates a much lower level of support.”

How we did it: D CEO magazine searched Federal Election Commission data for North Texas presidential campaign contributors with occupations listed as “CEO,” “owner,” “director” or “president.” The database only discloses donations of $200 or more. *Selected PACs: Republican National Committee, McCain Victory Committee, McCain Election Compliance Fund, Democratic National Committee, and the Obama Victory Fund. illustrations: Darren Thompson; Barrett: Dallas Morning News; Ford: Irwin Thompson/DMN; Ginsburg: Milton Hinnant/DMN; Sewell: Richard Michael Pruitt/DMN; Halliday & Kirk: Elizabeth Lavin

Research by Dave Moore, Lesley Rials, Sommer Saadi, and Kristiana Heap

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