October 15th, 2018 | by

As the 2018 midterm election cycle heats up, demographic research and new insights about American voters has never been more in demand.

We’ve taken DiscoverOrg’s available data on political donations and matched it to the prospect’s job and seniority level for a unique way of looking at political affiliation among B2B decision-makers:

Based on donations, do political affiliations vary by role and/or seniority level?


To find the answer, we dug into the political donation data that we’ve gathered for contacts within our B2B intelligence platform.


The data in this report is based on donations to the individual presidential campaigns of Donald Trump (Red), Hillary Clinton (Blue), and third-party candidates including Jill Stein and Gary Johnson (Green), during the 2016 presidential election cycle.

In the table below, the General Population is a tally of ALL political donations in the Federal Election Commission (FEC) data for the 2016 election cycle. Donations in the right-hand column are taken from available data on business decision-makers in the DiscoverOrg database. (DiscoverOrg users can find this data, when available, in the “Notes” section of contact profiles.)

political donations of b2b decision-makers

In general, the contacts in DiscoverOrg’s database tend to donate more frequently to Democratic candidates than the population at large.

Political donations by department

In the table below, departments more likely to donate to a Republican candidate, relative to the overall percentage in DiscoverOrg’s database, are highlighted in red. The same is done for Democrats (blue), and Other parties (Green), which consists of donations to Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.

political donations of b2b decision-makers

For example: 22% of contacts in our database donate to Republican candidates overall; but in the C-Suite, 37% of contacts donate to Republicans. Therefore, C-level contacts donate to Republicans at a rate 1.67 greater than contacts in our overall database.

Departments Most Likely to Donate to Democrats:

  • Human Resources
  • IT
  • Legal
  • Marketing

Departments Most Likely to Donate to Republicans

  • C-Suite
  • Finance
  • Operations
  • Sales

Departments Most Likely to Donate to Third parties

  • Sales
  • TEDD (Technology, Engineering, Development, and Design)

It’s interesting to note that Sales and TEDD (Technology, Engineering, Development, and Design) departments donate to Other/Third parties at rate of 1.5 and 1.8 times higher than contacts in our database overall, respectively.

Read it: REVEALED: Presidential Preferences of Enterprise Decision-makers

Political donations by seniority level

The chart below shows where political donations went, as sliced by seniority level. “Individual contributor” includes roles like analyst, counsel, engineer, and other non-managerial roles. “Senior-Level Executives” include those in the C-suite, presidents, vice presidents, and directors.

political donations of b2b decision-makers

Individual contributors and mid-level management roles donate largely to Democrats – at the same level as our database overall.

Senior level roles tend to donate to Republican candidates at a higher rate than overall contacts in our database, contributing to a significant spread between Senior-level and lower management levels.

All levels of seniority donated to Third parties at similar rates.

Political donations by industry

We found significant differences in political donations when we analyzed the data by industry:

political donations of b2b decision-makers

Industries Most Likely to Donate to Republicans:

  1. Waste Management
  2. Oil & Gas
  3. Minerals & Mining
  4. Casinos & Gambling
  5. Construction
  6. Manufacturing
  7. Agriculture & Forestry
  8. Logistics & Transportation
  9. Wholesale
  10. Holding Companies

Industries Most Likely to Donate to Democrats

  1. Gaming Software/Systems
  2. School Districts
  3. Social Media
  4. Non-profit
  5. Higher Education
  6. Broadcast Media
  7. Print & Digital Media
  8. Federal Government
  9. Local
  10. eCommerce

Industries Most Likely to Donate to Third Parties*

  1. Religious Organizations
  2. Logistics & Transportation
  3. Automotive
  4. Oil & Gas
  5. Supermarkets
  6. eCommerce
  7. Construction
  8. Beverage
  9. Department Stores
  10. Computer Software

*Some industries are more likely to donate to third parties as well as Democrats or Republicans.

As the 2018 midterm election gets closer, your buyers may be thinking about politics.

Have you seen differences in political philosophy as you sell and market to different roles and departments? Do you find that these trends hold true for you, in your industry, among your peers?

Don’t forget to vote November 8! Check your voter registration status and find your closest polling station here.


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