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Which Industries Placed the Best and Worst Election Bets?

Lawyers and lobbyists placed the smartest bets in the recent elections, according to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis of campaign donations from leading industries and how their top 10 candidates fared. Entertainment sector donors also won big. By contrast, donors on Wall Street, in the health professions and in the real estate industries did not back as many winning candidates. Here are the winners and losers among industry donors.

• Lawyers and Law Firms

Nine of the top 10 candidates backed by legal industry donors won their races. These included President Barack Obama, who received $25 million of the $165 million the industry gave as a whole. Legal industry donors also gave $12.5 million to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the lone loser on the industry’s top-10 list.

• Lobbyists

Lobbyists tied with lawyers in the CRP’s tally, winning nine of their top 10 races. Influence industry donors gave out $34.9 million — 52 percent of it to Democrats. Again, Romney was the sole loser among the lobbying industry’s top 10 candidates.

• Celebrities

Entertainment industry donors contributed $57.4 million and elected eight of the top 10 candidates they backed. The only losers were Romney and Democratic Rep. Howard L. Berman of California. Romney got $1.1 million from the entertainment sector, which includes the TV, movie and music industries, and Berman received $425,000.

• Wall Street

Six of the top 10 candidates backed by securities and investment industry donors won, but the CRP still casts Wall Street as an Election Day loser. Close to $20 million of the industry’s $222 million in donations went to Romney. The industry also bet close to $4 million on unsuccessful GOP presidential hopefuls Tim Pawlenty and Rick Perry, GOP Sen. Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts and Senate candidate Josh Mandel of Ohio.

• Health Professionals

Health professionals donated close to $109 million, but only four of the sector’s top 10 candidates won. That’s largely because four of the 10 were losing GOP presidential candidates. These included Romney, who received $10 million from health professionals, and three of his primary rivals.

• Real Estate Agents

The real estate industry elected just five of the top 10 candidates backed by its donors, who gave out $123 million. The industry gave 66 percent of its money to Republicans, including Romney, Brown and Mandel.

Source: Center for Responsive Politics, based on spending as of mid-October.

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