Billionaire Backers: Explore The Big Money Behind Biden & Trump

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Who is giving to Biden? Who is backing Trump? Who is sitting the election out? Forbes’ new interactive tool answers those questions and much more.


Billionaires’ fortunes afford them sweeping influence in our economy (through the companies they run), our society (through the products they develop) and our politics (through the candidates they fund). On the political stage, they’ve never played a bigger role. One billionaire is sitting in the White House, while more than 230 others are spending money to help keep him in the Oval Office or kick him out. With the moment in mind, Forbes put together a one-of-a-kind, interactive tracker that shows where America’s richest people have placed bets so far in the 2020 election.

Because Trump bucked tradition by filing his reelection papers on the day he took office in 2017, the tracker includes more than three years of donations to the sitting president’s campaign. Some 101 billionaires and their spouses have donated $25.8 million to his campaign and its joint fundraising committees since then. 

Joe Biden got started much later, launching his campaign in late April 2019. He has made up ground quickly, raising money from 134 billionaires and their spouses, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. His campaign and its joint fundraising committees have received $13.4 million directly from billionaires, less than Trump’s. But Biden’s richest backers are putting more money into super-PACs supporting the former vice president, adding at least another $19 million to the effort.

Dig into the data, and you’ll see plenty of other trends. For example, more donors for both candidates made their money in finance and investments than any other industry. Beyond Wall Street, however, Biden and Trump’s constituencies diverge. Biden dominates California, where he captured 84% of billionaire donors. Trump rules Texas, where he got 88% of the support. The tool includes some donors who have already made a splash in Washington (Adelson, Soros, Bloomberg) as well as hundreds who haven’t (including Ballmer, Skoll and Broad). We’ll continue updating the numbers as the money continues to pour in. You can follow along here.

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Header from left: Andrew Toth/Stringer; Neilson Barnard/Staff; Mark Wilson/Getty Images; Mandel Ngan/AFP; Win McNamee/Staff; Gary Gershoff/Contributor.