Silicon Valley is home to tech behemoths such as Google, Adobe, Facebook, and HP. Being one of the biggest business hubs in the world, Silicon Valley has also become a fundraising battleground for President Obama and his likely opponent in November, Mitt Romney.
In the 2008 presidential election, companies in the top 15 of the technology industry contributed $1.6 million to Obama’s campaign. In comparison to the campaign this year, local companies and individuals have contributed slightly less—$1.44 million.
While Romney has raised considerably less with his total at about $340,000, he has outpaced 2008 Republican nominee John McCain at this point of the campaign.
Could Obama’s position on taxing of the wealthiest Americans be what is narrowing the fundraising divide in Silicon Valley?
Obama wants to extend the tax cuts for everyone except those making over $250,000 a year—which means 98 percent of the population would get a tax break.
Mitt Romney, meanwhile, has framed Obama’s tax message as one that will hurt small businesses and families, and it seems he is gaining some support for his stance on the economy in Silicon Valley.
Romney’s tax plan calls for an end to taxation on overseas profits, as well as cutting the corporate tax rate. According to the former Massachusetts’ governor’s website, these moves will create more jobs at home and help companies compete in a global market. For some companies that take advantage of overseas manufacturing—which almost all of the top companies in the Bay Area do—this could be appealing.
But while Romney may talk business better than Obama, his connection with Silicon Valley may not be as personal. Obama has been to the Bay Area twice in two months with another planned visit for the end of July as part of his “Betting on California” tour, which began July 10.
Romney has visited the Bay Area just once for a fundraiser in Hillsborough, but it was recently announced that July 22, the day before Obama makes his third trip, Romney has two fundraisers planned in Woodside and San Francisco.