When Hillary Clinton makes another trek to Los Angeles next week for a final pre-election fundraiser headlined by Elton John, it’s expected to be the last of her many Hollywood visits to raise campaign cash.
It’s certainly paid off.
With a month left before election day, Clinton has a lopsided lead over Donald Trump when it comes to fundraising from show business — a reflection not only of her entertainment business ties and the industry’s leftward bent, but also a reluctance among some conservatives to publicly give to their party’s standard bearer.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Clinton is the beneficiary of $19.4 million in showbiz contributions, compared to just $255,000 for Trump. The figure includes direct campaign contributions as well as those to SuperPACs. (Even without that outside money, Clinton has raised $5 million).
Trump may fall short even of the showbiz totals that Mitt Romney and John McCain enjoyed in 2012 and 2008, respectively.
Part of it is a function of the way that Trump has been raising money — he started late, only after he secured the nomination in May; and his campaign has come to depend on what has been a bonanza of small-dollar contributions largely raised online.
But some of the high profile donors have so far been sitting the presidential race out, according to Federal Election Figures as of Aug. 31.
Clint Eastwood, Jerry Bruckheimer and Kelsey Grammer are among those who have not written checks to Trump, even though they contributed to other candidates in the primary or to Senate candidates. Eastwood, for instance, has given $10,800 to the campaign of Joe Heck, a Republican seeking Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s Senate seat.
One of the biggest media industry donors to Republicans — Jerry Perenchio — has yet to give to Trump, according to the most recent available figures. During the primary, he gave more than $3.7 million to a SuperPAC backing Carly Fiorina’s campaign.
Harry Sloan, a high-profile industry supporter of John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, is backing Clinton this time around.
Trump saw an uptick in fundraising after the first debate, as his campaign reported $18 million raised in 24 hours, and other donors could off the fence as the general election approaches. Republican super donors like Sheldon Adelson and the Ricketts family, heirs to the TD Ameritrade fortune, have reportedly started to pony up major sums of cash, some of which may go to outside spending groups that do not have to publicly report their donors.
But in Hollywood, the split between giving to Democrats versus Republicans is not expected to change much. According to CRP, showbiz donors have given $22.8 million to Democrats this cycle, and $6.1 million to Republicans. That 79%-21% split is on par with recent presidential election cycles.
Haim Saban has given more to back Clinton’s campaign than any other Hollywood donor — including $5 million to Priorities USA Action, a SuperPAC supporting her candidacy, along with giving the legal limit of $5,400 in direct contributions to her campaign. His wife, Cheryl, also has contributed the same sums.
The Saban Capital Group also is among the top five backers of Clinton’s candidacy, according to CRP, having contributed a total of $10,049,382. Dreamworks, including Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, was the next biggest source of showbiz contributions, with $2,021,566.
Even though other industries see their CEOs hedge their bets and give to both candidates, that is not true of entertainment, where a handful of studio chiefs have given to Clinton and none to Trump. That includes James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, who in June gave $66,800 to the Hillary Victory Fund, according to the Federal Election Commission. The Hillary Victory Fund splits its contributions between the Clinton campaign and national and state party committees.
One of the few notables who has given to both Clinton and Trump in this polarized election is Sam Nazarian, the hotelier and nightclub mogul. He gave to Clinton in March and Trump in May.
The next set of fundraising numbers are due to the Federal Election Commission on Oct. 15. Clinton’s campaign has set a series of events in the next few weeks, including a fundraiser headlined by Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine on Saturday and an event with Chelsea Clinton at the home of David and Andrea Nevins on Oct. 20.
Hillary Clinton’s event with Elton John will be next Thursday, on Oct. 13 at the home of Casey and Laura Wasserman, with cohosts including Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn, Sean and Alexandra Parker, the Sabans, Chris and Crystal Sacca and Thomas and Alba Tull.
Here’s a snapshot of key fundraisers, aka bundlers, who have connections to entertainment:
Bundlers for Donald Trump
Steven Mnuchin, producer and investment executive (also Trump’s national finance chair)
Tom Barrack, Colony Capital founder
Bundlers for Hillary Clinton
James Cameron and Susan Amis
Bill Benenson & Laurie Benenson
Frank Biondi & Carol Biondi
Steven and Dayna Bochco
Bryan Lourd and Bruce Bozzi
Scooter Braun and Yael Braun
Joe Calabrese and Margot Calabrese
Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw
Peter Chernin and Megan Chernin
David L. Cohen and Rhonda Cohen
Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg
R. Stanton Dodge
Sim Farar and Debra Farar
Chris Silbermann and Julia Franz
Rob Friedman and Shari Friedman
John Gile and Jeff Valenson
Howard Gordon and Cami Gordon
Carol Hamilton and David Kohn
Alan Horn and Cindy Horn
Leo Hindery Jr.
Charles Hirschhorn and Cynthia Hirschhorn
Bob Iger and Willow Bay
Magic Johnson and Cookie Johnson
Robert L. Johnson
Barry Karas and Dana Perlman
Jeffrey Katzenberg and Marilyn Katzenberg
Damon Lindelof and Heidi Lindelof
Michael Lombardo and Sonny Ward
Tobey Maguire and Jennifer Maguire
Phil Mercado and Todd Quinn
JJ Abrams and Katie McGrath
Marc Nathanson and Jane Nathanson
Gary Newman and Jeanne Newman
Sean Parker and Alexandra Parker
Bill Pohlad and Michelle Pohlad
Sybil Robson Orr
Haim Saban and Cheryl Saban
Todd Sargent and Alex De Ocampo
Greg Silverman and Amanda Silverman
Cynthia Telles and Joseph Waz
Heather Thomas and Skip Brittenham
Thomas Tull and Alba Tull
Jon Vein and Ellen Goldsmith Vein
Casey Wasserman and Laura Wasserman
David Allen Wolf
Rick Yorn and Christina Yorn
Source: Clinton and Trump campaigns