Obama has raised a total of $15.6 million from employees in the industry, according to the Post analysis. Nearly $12 million of that went to the DNC, the analysis shows.
Romney has raised less than half that much from the industry, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry brought in about $2 million. No other Republican candidate has raised more than $402,000 from the finance sector, which also includes insurance and real estate interests.
Even so, Obama clearly has trouble appealing to Wall Street fundraisers, who have emerged in recent years as among the most important sources of campaign cash for major national politicians.
Put aside the DNC money, for example, and Obama’s numbers look much worse: just $3.9 million from the financial sector, compared with Romney’s $7.5 million.
Obama’s campaign committee has raised notably less money from major banking firms such as Goldman Sachs, whose employees gave him more than $1 million in the 2008 cycle. So far this year, about two dozen Goldman employees together have given Obama’s committee about $45,000, one-sixth of the amount Romney’s campaign has taken in.
But six Goldman employees also gave a total of $92,000 to the DNC side of Obama’s fundraising effort.
Limits on GOP candidates
Obama’s financial advantage is almost certain to narrow in the months ahead. Once chosen, a GOP nominee will be able to raise money jointly with the Republican National Committee.
Romney is particularly reliant on money from the finance sector, which accounts for about a quarter of his total contributions, the data show. By contrast, about 5 percent of the $90 million Obama’s campaign committee has raised this year came from finance and banking interests.
Obama retains a core group of supporters on Wall Street who are central to his fundraising efforts. About a third of his top 40 fundraisers, who have helped bundle together $500,000 or more in contributions, hail from the finance sector, including big names such as former New Jersey governor Jon S. Corzine of MF Global, hedge-fund manager Orin Kramer and UBS executive Robert Wolf.
Obama’s chief of staff, William M. Daley, was also vice chairman at J.P. Morgan Chase before coming to the White House this year.
Obama’s support within the financial industry tends to be more diffuse than the top Wall Street firms. One of his primary sources of cash, for example, is a small Chicago firm called Chopper Trading, which employs a technique of rapid, computer-assisted trading that some experts blame for volatility in the stock market.
Employees of the company gave Obama $222,000 after Vice President Biden held a fundraiser at the home of the company’s chief executive, Rajiv Fernando, a campaign bundler. The firm did not respond to a request for comment.
Obama aides regularly point to his $155 million joint fundraising total with the DNC as evidence of the campaign’s momentum but have tended to ignore DNC money when discussing Wall Street.
In a memo issued Tuesday, for example, DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said Romney’s campaign “seems quite proud of the fact that they are leading the money race for campaign cash from Wall Street.”
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement that contributions from the financial sector show that many corporate leaders agree with Obama on the need for “an economy that’s built to last, not on loopholes and outsourcing.”
“There are business leaders across industries who agree with the president that steps needed to be taken to ensure that the American people are never again held hostage by risky Wall Street deals that threaten our entire economy,” LaBolt said. “Mitt Romney and all the Republican candidates believe the opposite.”