Silicon Valley is, in theory, all about innovation and social change, but despises regulation, meaning the its most powerful leaders’ political leanings vary quite a bit. In past elections, tech millionaires and billionaires gave tons of money to both Democrats and Republicans, but 2016 is, unsurprisingly, not your average election.
A new report from the Wall Street Journal reveals that Trump has received virtually no financial support from America’s wealthiest innovators. While Clinton has raked in over $30 million of support from the tech sector, Trump has received a mere $336,000. Compare that to Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Rand Paul, who received $7.9 million, $2.5 million, and $2.5 million respectively before they dropped out of the race. Even the spokesperson for Republican convention speaker Peter Thiel, the tech billionaire who bankrupted Gawker Media, told the Wall Street Journal that Thiel “has no plans to donate to or raise money for Mr. Trump.”
Last month, 150 “technology sector leaders” including IAC CEO Barry Diller, venture capitalist Chris Sacca, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak signed an open letter on Medium denouncing Trump for campaigning “on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people, and a fundamental belief that America is weak and in decline,” which they believe directly conflicts with their vision of innovation. Trump’s immigration platform is also unappealing to the tech sector. In the words of the Silicon Valley elites themselves, “We believe that America’s diversity is our strength... In fact, 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children.” (Side note: If America’s diversity is our strength, why does Silicon Valley have a huge diversity problem?)