Home > Uncategorized > Ideological rankings of occupational categories

Ideological rankings of occupational categories

The FEC requires any individual that makes a contribution of $250 or more to a PAC or candidate to disclose his or her occupation and employer.  This bit of information is probably the easiest to leave blank or just intentionally ambiguous—for instance, writing down ambiguous job titles such as ‘self-employed,’ ‘businessman, or ‘internet warrior.’ Regardless, the disclosure rate for occupations generally hovers around 90 percent.

Combined with the procedure described the previous post, this allows for interesting comparisons of ideological giving patterns across industries/professions.As a first cut, I recovered ideal point estimates for the 3125 PACs and 131,000 individual contributors that gave to two or more unique candidates during the 2007-2008 election cycle and scaled them using the IMWA procedure. The figure below ranks a subset of occupations from left to right based on the mean ideal point of the members of each occupation. As a point of reference, the occupation ideal points are imposed over the density plots for all Democratic and Republican candidates.

Update: Improved versions of the graph that include all repeat contributors during the 1990-2008 election cycles are posted here.



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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. John G
    March 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Very nice graph. Did you do it in ggplot2 by any chance?

    • March 23, 2010 at 1:21 am

      Yea. It was ggplot2. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it’s fantastic software.

  2. shimey
    March 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    What about the “occupation” of just being rich and living off a trust fund? How do the independently wealthly fill in the “occupation” box on the form and can we lump them into a category and see where they give on the spectrum? The people who really run this country don’t have a “job” at a “company” in an “industry.” How can we track them.

  3. Thor
    March 21, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Not accurate in comparison to actual persons I have met. One category falls in the conservative graph? Why are there more conservatives than left wingers in the USA? Getting money taken by huge liberal taxes right out of ones pocket for social engineering instead of leaving it to hard workers (not the slackers that Democrats attract)to make the decision is unrealistic. If I work and want to buy food that comes way ahead of libs taking my money and giving it to slackers.

  1. March 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm
  2. March 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm
  3. March 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm
  4. March 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm
  5. March 19, 2010 at 7:05 pm
  6. March 22, 2010 at 6:32 pm
  7. March 23, 2010 at 5:23 am
  8. September 27, 2010 at 8:01 am

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