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Who Is Wall Street Supporting in 2012?


"Wall Street...is opening its checkbook again for the president."

Were earlier reports that Wall Street donors were abandoning President Obama false alarms?

Yes and no.

It doesn't look like the president will match the amount of cash he raised from the financial industry in 2008 -- but it's starting to pick up.

President Barack Obama has raised twice as much in campaign funds as Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, and despite what some critics call “crippling regulations” established under his administration, Wall Street continues to be a top donor.

Obama has already brought in $161 million for his re-election bid, Federal Election Commission records show, and employees of Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs are big contributors.

“Their support indicates that Wall Street, which gave Obama $16 million for his successful 2008 White House run, is opening its checkbook again for the president,” Bloomberg reports.

So far, Romney has raised $75.6 million. However, seeing as how the former Massachusetts governor has not yet won the Republican nomination (if he does), the amount he has managed to raise is still a pretty good.

Indeed, all things considered, Wall Street’s generosity towards Romney is impressive. Sixty percent of Romney’s donations have been made by securities and investment industry employees and their families — Romney had received a total of $6.6 million from them through January 31, compared to $2.3 million for Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Wells Fargo employees gave $16,290 in donations to Obama’s campaign in February, JPMorgan executives gave $14,903, and Goldman employees gave $14,610. Microsoft employees have donated $91,881 to Obama, making the company the president’s largest known source of contributions. Obama also did well among small donors, with 54 percent of the money donated to his campaign coming in amounts of $200 or less.

“This cartoon caricature that political pundits have of Wall Street sitting around a table and deciding who’s in and who’s out has no relevance in political reality,” Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic National Committee member and Obama fundraiser, told Washington Post.

“Individuals on Wall Street give like other donors do, with their own agenda and their own goals and aspirations.”

[Editor’s note: portions of the above are from a cross post that originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]

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