Are the 1% of the 1% pulling politics in a conservative direction?

Source: Lee Drutman, Sunlight Foundation blog, June 26, 2013

The more conservative the Republican, the more dependent that Republican is likely to be on the nation’s biggest individual donors, a new Sunlight Foundation analysis of campaign finance data finds. By “biggest individual donors,” we are referring to a group we named “the 1% of the 1%” after the share of the U.S. population that they represent.

These wealthy donors may be pulling Republicans to the political right, acting as a force for a more polarized Congress. The polarizing effect for Democrats, meanwhile, is unclear. If anything, more liberal Democrats depend a little less on 1% of the 1% donors than conservative Democrats.

As we explored in our big-picture look at the 1% of the 1%, the biggest donors in American politics tend to give big sums of money because they want one party to win. Approximately 85 percent of the top individual donors in U.S. politics contributed at least 90 percent of their money to one party or the other. By contrast, less than four percent of these donors spread their money roughly equally between the two parties (a 60-40 split or less).
See also:
The Political 1% of the 1% in 2012
Source: Lee Drutman, Sunlight Foundation blog, June 24, 2013

The 1% of the 1% by state

Source: Amy Cesal and Ben Chartoff and Lee Drutman, Sunlight Foundation blog, June 24, 2013