Stats guru extraordinaire Nate Silver delves into the campaign contributions from employees of leading infotech companies headquartered in and around Silicon Valley in the New York Times. It turns out that employees of Fortune's top ten "most admired" IT companies threw 83 percent (Obama: $2,734,063—Romney: $554,470) of their campaign contributions at the Obama campaign. Now why might that be?
There is always the "herd of independent minds" phenomenon in which colleagues anxiously signal their political rectitude to one another. In effect saying, "I am NOT one of those people." But given the entrepreneurial derring-do that animates the culture of Silicon Valley one might hope that knee-jerk support of a Big Government liberal is not a foregone conclusion.
I think that Silver is onto something when he concludes his article with this observation:
Perhaps a different type of Republican candidate, one whose views on social policy were more in line with the tolerant and multicultural values of the Bay Area, and the youthful cultures of the leading companies here, could gather more support among information technology professionals.
Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican, raised about $42,000 from Google employees, considerably more than Mr. Romney did.
Well, yes. In fact, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has correctly warned that the GOP "risks extinction" unless it becomes more libertarian.