The biggest political donors aren’t just wealthier than the median voter. A study from the think tank Demos suggests they also tend to be disproportionately white, male and right-wing.
In an analysis of donor data from the most recent local elections in Washington, D.C., Demos found the city’s donor pool was significantly less diverse than its overall population. The District of Columbia historically has been dubbed the “chocolate city” for its large African-American community (which hovered just above 50 percent in the 2010 Census) and comparatively small white population, yet Demos found two-thirds of the donors in 2014 City Council races were white. White voters also comprised 62 percent of the donors in that year’s mayoral race.
The higher one goes up the contribution ladder, the whiter it gets. So while 53 percent of the donors who gave $25 or less in the mayoral race were white, white contributors accounted for 69 percent of those who gave $500 to $1,000.