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The 2016 U.S. Presidential primary season is entering its home stretch and travel industry stakeholders are contributing the most money to the campaigns of both the Democratic favorite and a Republican longshot.
Airlines and hotel companies have contributed the most by far to the campaign of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to data compiled by OpenSecrets as of Feb. 22.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has received barely any contributions from the travel industry, while Texas Senator Ted Cruz has garnered the most money from the travel industry among Republicans.
As Skift previously reported, most Republican candidates openly espouse policies that experts say could decrease travel to and from the U.S., while Democratic candidates have called for measured tweaks to the existing visa waiver program as well as large investments in the domestic transportation infrastructure.
These tallies do not include contributions to soft money groups which, although they tend to back particulate causes or candidates, have different disclosure rules than direct contributions to candidates.
Here’s a breakdown of the money that Presidential candidates have received from airline-affiliated Political Action Committees in the 2016 election cycle. Strong support for Democratic Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is also something of a standout because of his strong stance in support of additional government regulation.
|Candidate||Contributions from airline-affiliated groups|
|Clinton, Hillary (D)||$145,246|
|Cruz, Ted (R)||$75,868|
|Sanders, Bernie (D)||$47,671|
|Carson, Ben (R)||$36,947|
|Bush, Jeb (R)||$22,478|
|Rubio, Marco (R)||$16,753|
|O’Malley, Martin (D)||$10,350|
|Fiorina, Carly (R)||$9,326|
|Huckabee, Mike (R)||$6,133|
|Christie, Chris (R)||$4,500|
|Trump, Donald (R)||$3,466|
|Kasich, John (R)||$1,470|
|Webb, Jim (D)||$500|
|Walker, Scott (R)||$100|
|Obama, Barack (D)||$25|
The hotel industry, likewise, is supporting Clinton and Cruz. Here’s a breakdown of the money candidates have received from groups affiliated with the U.S. hotel industry.
|Candidate||Contributions from hotel-affiliated groups|
|Clinton, Hillary (D)||$263,802|
|Cruz, Ted (R)||$91,974|
|Bush, Jeb (R)||$83,552|
|Rubio, Marco (R)||$72,124|
|Sanders, Bernie (D)||$37,574|
|Christie, Chris (R)||$31,950|
|Carson, Ben (R)||$26,373|
|Fiorina, Carly (R)||$24,004|
|Walker, Scott (R)||$18,050|
|Kasich, John (R)||$10,600|
|Perry, Rick (R)||$10,350|
|O’Malley, Martin (D)||$8,900|
|Jindal, Bobby (R)||$6,400|
|Huckabee, Mike (R)||$5,500|
|Obama, Barack (D)||$3,179|
|Trump, Donald (R)||$2,547|
|Santorum, Rick (R)||$2,000|
|Lessig, Lawrence (D)||$500|
Aside from airlines and hotel companies, cruise lines are also contributing money to the Presidential race; $17,050 has been sent to Clinton so far, and $9,100 to Bush.
Carnival Corp. is in the top ten transportation industry spenders in this election cycle when Congressional contributions are included. The cruise giant has contributed $510,000 to conservative-leaning groups this election cycle, while Norwegian Cruise Line has contributed $250,000 to conservative groups.