In the Center’s larger grouping of firms involved in electronics manufacturing and equipment—companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, and Oracle—Clinton outraised Trump by about 22 to 1: $10.7 million to $483,313. In 2012, the Center’s figures show, Romney and his affiliated PACs actually outraised Obama and his allies among these firms, $8.6 million to $8.3 million. That means even Romney outraised Trump from these companies by nearly 18 to 1. Individuals from firms identified in the venture-capital industry gave the Clinton campaign about $1.1 million—and Trump less than $46,000. Romney, a former investor himself at Bain Capital, also outraised Obama among venture capitalists.
The striking things about these numbers is not the level of support for Clinton; very few technology executives made the massive personal donations to political action committees supporting her that she received from wealthy executives and entrepreneurs in some other sectors. Instead, the notable point is the minuscule support for Trump, who not only faced policy conflicts with tech leaders, but was also hampered by his almost complete lack of personal relationships with them. Among both the internet and electronics manufacturing and equipment firms, Trump was significantly outraised not only by Clinton, but also by Republican primary rivals Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Jeb Bush—all of whom obviously stopped collecting money long before Trump did.
In the increasingly dispersed geographic clusters of technology manufacturing and digital design, the voting results were nearly as lopsided. Looking at the results by county, Clinton won about four-fifths of the vote in San Francisco and Kings County (Brooklyn); about three-fourths in San Mateo (Silicon Valley) and Denver; and just under three-fourths in Suffolk (Boston), Multnomah (Portland), Santa Clara (Silicon Valley), and King (Seattle). She won almost exactly two-thirds of the vote in Travis County (Austin). One of few emerging technology nodes that Trump carried was Maricopa County (Phoenix), where the staunchly conservative and older eastern suburbs tipped the balance.
An analysis of the election results by metropolitan area—rather than by county—that was conducted by my colleague Richard Florida and his associates at the Martin Prosperity Institute adds to the picture. Florida and his colleagues found that in a regression analysis designed to isolate the impact of different social and economic factors on the results, “Clinton support was … much greater in metros with larger concentrations of start-ups, venture-capital investment, and high-tech industry, while Trump votes were negatively correlated with each. These correlations are all stronger for 2016 than they were in 2012.”
In fact, subsequent analysis by Florida and his associates, conducted for The Atlantic, found that Clinton carried 18 of the 20 metropolitan areas with the highest amount of venture-capital investment. The only exceptions were the Dallas and Houston metro areas—though in each case Clinton comfortably won the county directly centered on the city itself. The 18 high-investment metropolitan areas that Clinton carried—a list topped by San Francisco; San Jose; Boston; New York; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; San Diego; and Seattle—collectively account for over 85 percent of the nation’s total venture-capital investment.