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Do football lovers favor Republicans over Democrats?


There are some things that just compliment one another so perfectly -- like peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper. But politics and sports?

It's interesting to remember that conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was passed over for a prime position as a team owner, apparently for his "controversial" views. But now comes news that of everyone associated with the National Football League (NFL) giving to candidates this election season, political donations favor Republicans by a three-to-one margin.

According to a report by the Sunlight Foundation, team employees -- including players, owners and support staff -- have donated over $1.5 million this election cycle, with Republicans receiving nearly three times as much as Democrats. Here are a few of the noted big spenders:

The Bidwell family, owners of the Arizona Cardinals. The Bidwells made about 40 donations totaling more than $230,000 to many high-profile Republicans, including Mitt Romney, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. However, Michael Bidwell, son of franchise owner Bill, also gave to long-time Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz.

The Dallas Cowboy’s ownership Charismatic general manager Jerry Jones handed out tens of thousands his daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson, and other members of the family donated generously to the state's Republican lieutenant governor -- and recently failed Senate candidate -- David Dewhurst, in addition to other Republican congressmen.

Tim Rooney, an executive for the Pittsburgh Steelers, gave $5,000 to Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., the grandson of Steelers founder Art Rooney - and Tim’s nephew. Steeler owner Dan Rooney, meanwhile, an early supporter of President Obama, who was rewarded with an an appointment to the ambassadorship of Ireland, gave $35,000 to the boss' reelection campaign.

Bruce Allen, general manager of the Washington Redskins, is backing brother George Allen, the Republican Senate candidate in Virginia. The ex- (and, he hopes, future) senator has gotten even more generous support from Tanya Snyder, wife of team owner Daniel Snyder. Tanya Snyder also gave money to former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain.

The Business Insider has also compiled a collection of data to help you see how much your favorite NFL team has donated to politicians this campaign season.

Mitt Romney's top NFL supporter thus far has been Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross who has donated $100,000 to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, $20,800 to the Republican National Committee, $5,000 to Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC and $2,500 to Romney's campaign.

Barack Obama's top supporter is Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise.  Rooney has donated $35,000 to the president's reelection campaign and is a longtime Obama supporter.  In 2008, Rooney donated and campaigned for Obama and the president later appointed him as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.

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