In the first three quarters of 2003, about 65 percent of political contributions from the education industry went to Democratic Party candidates for president, House and Senate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The education industry includes teachers, professors and others in the education field. This count does not include political contributions from teachers' unions.
Members of this group contributed almost $5.5 million to all federal political candidates, ranking 15th out of more than 80 groups in political donations. This was up from 33rd in 2002.
In all, 98.5 percent of the money came from individuals, with 1.5 percent coming from PACs.
Contributions to presidential candidates followed roughly the same pattern, with 71 percent of all the money from the group going to Democratic Party candidates.
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean led all presidential candidates with $718,705 in contributions; President George Bush was second with $680,109; Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, was third with $325,415; Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-CT, was fourth with $207,640; and Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, was fifth with $174,324. The next five largest recipients were Gen. Wesley Clark; Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-MO; Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-OH; whacko Lyndon LaRouche; and former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley-Braun.
In the Senate, of the top 20 incumbents who garnered the most contributions from this group, 16 were Democrats and 4 were Republicans.
Of the top 20 senatorial candidates receiving the most money from the educators, 15 were Democrats and 5 were Republicans.
In the House, of the top 20 incumbents getting financial support from this group, 15 were Democrats and 5 were Republicans.
The top five institutions--by contributions--that these educators came from were Harvard University ($169,101 given--94 percent to Democrats, 6 percent to Republicans); the University of California ($164,604 given--88 percent to Democrats, 12 percent to Republicans); The Apollo Group, which includes Phoenix University ($136,000 given--73 percent to Democrats, 27 percent to Republicans); Stanford University ($125,780 given--89 percent to Democrats, 11 percent to Republicans); and William & Mary College ($81,750 given--100 percent to Democrats, 0 for Republicans).
Of the top 20 institutions ranked by contributions, 16 gave mostly to Democrats, three mostly to Republicans, and one gave about equally to both parties.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, during the 2002 election cycle the ninth largest campaign donor in the country, the American Federation of Teachers, contributed $5,072,015 to candidates for federal office (99 percent to Democrats, 1 percent to Republicans); while the 24th largest campaign contributor, the National Education Association, donated $3,110,633 (92 percent to the Democrats, 8 percent to the Republicans).
Combining the two unions means that total campaign contributions made on behalf of teachers would have placed them as the third largest campaign contributor in the country during that period ($8,182,648--96 percent to the Democrats, 4 percent to the Republicans).
At the 2000 Democratic National convention, there were more delegates from teachers' unions represented than there were from the entire California delegation.
The Center for Responsive Politics compiled the information from data supplied from filings with the Federal Election Commission, which lists the name and occupation of any contributor giving more than $200.