There's been a fair bit of speculation about the political loyalties of one Donald J. Trump, GOP presidential frontrunner. Those questions have stemmed at least in part from the fact that Trump, like many very wealthy Americans, has been known to make donations to both Republicans and Democrats. Oh, and he used to be a Democrat who said nice things about Hillary Clinton and had liberal positions on things like abortion.
But while we know where Trump's mouth is these days, where has his money gone -- politically speaking?
The Center for Responsive Politics collects and analyzes campaign donation data. And they crafted this deeply informative peek into the life of Trump, the political donor. Here's a telling hint: Trump might describe himself as a man with personal worth in excess of $10 billion. He might be enamored of the word "huge," with a silent "h." But he's not a major political donor -- just a largish and frequent one.
You also have to go back a bit, to 2007 or earlier, to spot substantial Trump giving to Democrats. Back then, the list of candidates on the receiving end of Trump dollars did include then-Sen. Clinton (D-N.Y.), now a contender for her party's presidential nomination. It also includes prominent Democrats like Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and plenty of Republicans like former New York mayor Rudy Gulianni. You can even look at data on Trump's donations going back to 1989 yourself if the precise admixture of his donations really intrigues you.
But to try to answer the question of where Trump's loyalties rest or sit at the current moment, The Fix drilled down on his most recent federal campaign donations -- those made in 2014, 2012, 2010 and 2008. What we found was not the ambiguous story you might expect.
No, Trump has clearly been on the GOP's side for the better part of a decade.
- $30,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
- $1,300 to incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). Specter in 2009 switched parties to become a Democrat but went on to lose a primary in 2010.
- $6,900 to longtime Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.), who lost a Senate primary to Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and then won reelection to the House (thanks to some questionable maneuvering).
- $20,850 to the Republican National Committee and $8,200 to GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Trump has, of course, since described McCain and his experience as a prisoner of war in way less than glowing terms.
- $50,000 to American Crossroads. American Crossroads is a superPAC founded by the Republican power duo Ed Gillespie and Karl Rove.
- $2,000 to Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). Weiner later resigned amid a sexting scandal that, at the very least, offered us plenty of tasteless puns.
- $1,000 to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
- $1,000 to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).
- $30,400 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
- $500 to incumbent Congressman Christopher Lee (R-N.Y.), who resigned his office the following year amid a scandal caused by a shirtless photo Lee posted on Craigslist.
- $10,000 to the Democratic Committee of New York State.
- $4,800 to the campaign of Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who would later be appointed to the Senate.
- Another $50,000 to American Crossroads.
- $500 each moderate GOP Rep. Chris Gibson (N.Y.).
- $1,000 to Republican Christopher Cox's failed congressional. Cox is the grandson of President Richard Nixon.
Democrats = $17,800
Republicans = $83,400
- $2,500 to Rep. Dean Heller's (R-Nev.) Senate campaign.
- $1,000 to New York Rep. Peter King's (R) reelection bid.
- $30,800 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
- $2,000 to Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) for his failed reelection bid.
- $1,000 to Indiana Senate candidate and state Treasurer Richard E. Mourdock (who defeated GOP Sen. Richard Lugar in a primary).
- $30,800 gift to the Republican National Committee
- $2,500 to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
- $5,000 to the USA super PAC, a group supporting Mourdock.
- $1,200 to then-Rep. Kathleen Hochul (D-N.Y.)
- $100,000 to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a GOP super PAC working to put Republicans in Congress. This was Trump's biggest-ever political contribution.
- $9,200 to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
- $1,000 to Rep. Peter King (R- N.Y.)
- $2,500 into Huck PAC, the PAC supporting former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Huckabee did not run in 2012 but is running this time around against, among many others, Trump.
- $5,000 to a Republican PAC called the Jobs, Growth and Freedom Fund.
- $1,000 to former Bogota, N.J., Mayor Steve Lonegan's (R) unsuccessful congressional bid.
- $1,000 donations to 18 different Republican congressional candidates from a variety of states, totaling $18,000.
- $32,400 to the GOP's National Republican Senatorial Committee.
- $1,000 each to now-Reps. Alex Mooney (R- W.V.) and Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), as well as Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.).
- $2,600 to Sen. John Cornyn (R- Tex.).
- $32,400 gift to the Republican National Committee in June.
- $5,000 to a super PAC supporting former U.N. ambassador John Bolton's contemplated-but-abandoned GOP presidential run.
- $1,000 to now-Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.)
- $2,000 donations to Reps. Peter (R- N.Y.), Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Bill Shuster (R-Pa.).
Republicans = $108,400
OK. All this is a lot of information that really boils down to this. In 2008 and 2010, Trump gave some to Democrats, but much much more to Republicans. In 2012 and 2014, almost every dime Trump gave went to Republicans.
So for those who might have illusions about Trump being a Trojan horse, he's spent a lot of money (though perhaps not much for him) trying to prove otherwise.