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.