The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

How Democratic or Republican is your job? This tool tells you.

If you've ever donated to a federal political campaign, you're probably aware that you're required to provide some information besides your name and credit card number. Campaigns ask for your address and your ZIP code and so on -- but also for your employer and occupation. That's mandated by federal law, so that the Federal Elections Commission can make sure that campaigns and donors are meeting contribution standards.

But as a visualization that took off on Tuesday makes clear, it also allows us to get a sense for what types of employees give to which types of campaigns. You can pull reams of data on campaign contributions from the FEC's website and use it to evaluate how Democratic or Republican certain stated occupations tend to be by looking at the candidates to which they gave.

So we did.

Bear in mind, this is all self-reported data from the 2012 and 2014 cycles. There are some unusual occupations listed: "sovereign nation" (which gave heavily to Republicans), "bridge professional" and "openly gay congressman," as Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) listed himself in a 2012 contribution. There are endless variations on particular titles -- CEO, C.E.O., C. E. O., etc. -- and endless combinations of jobs. (For example, there are 45 different "actor-slash" combinations in the system: actor/teacher, actor/mother, actor/homemaker.)

We made a tool that allows you to search for any occupational description that was used in at least 50 contributions over the last two cycles and to see which party benefited from that job's generosity. This isn't percentages in terms of actual dollar amounts; instead, it's the number of donations. And an important note! This uses the description given to the FEC and that alone. So people whose occupation was "not-employed" gave more to Democrats, but those calling themselves "unemployed" gave slightly more to Republicans.

Search for an occupation below and click the description you want to view. Then, of course, click the link to share your findings on Twitter. (After all, my occupation is "guy who writes stories that he hopes people will share.")

A good place to start: How Democratic or Republican is your job?