Here are the presidential candidates that Seattle tech workers are backing ahead of WA state’s historic primary

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Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally in Tacoma, Wash. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination may still be neck-and-neck, but when it comes to Seattle tech workers, one remaining candidate has an advantage.

Workers at major tech companies in the Seattle region have given $430,437 to Bernie Sanders, more than four times the amount they’ve given to former Vice President Joe Biden, the other remaining front-runner for the Democratic nomination. The numbers, based on federal election data compiled for GeekWire by the Center for Responsive Politics, suggest that Sanders has an edge among the influential tech contingent in Washington state’s historic primary on Tuesday.

However, when including candidates no longer in the race, Sanders isn’t in the lead by this measure — indicating that some of this loyalty may be up for grabs.

The most popular candidate among these tech workers was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, based on donations. Warren raised $585,702 from tech workers at major companies in Washington state before she dropped out of the race last week. These employees appeared to prefer entrepreneur Andrew Yang over Sanders, too. Yang collected $478,958 from the same group before dropping out.

The numbers include include Washington residents who list Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet/Google, Facebook, Expedia, Tableau, or one of their subsidiaries as employer. This report covers donations by those employees to presidential candidates between 2017-2020.

The companies included have employees throughout Washington, but the majority are concentrated in the Greater Seattle region. Though Alphabet and Facebook are headquartered in California, they have Seattle outposts with thousands of employees. Only their employees in Washington are included in this data.

According to the numbers Microsoft and Amazon employees donated more to presidential candidates than workers at any other company. Microsoft employee donations totaled $1.1 million, while Amazon employee donations totaled $811,706.

The donation data show that Seattle-area tech workers tend to support progressives, even though their employers are often in the crosshairs of those candidates. Warren, Yang, and Sanders repeatedly called out Amazon and other tech giants on the campaign trail, accusing them of exploiting their power and market dominance unfairly.

Continue reading for an overview of which candidates Seattle tech workers are backing, by the numbers.

Top donations to remaining candidates:

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders: $430,437
  • Vice President Joe Biden: $104,467
  • President Donald Trump: $98,634
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: $31,257

Total donations to Trump, by employer:

  • Microsoft: $62,151
  • Amazon: $24,888
  • Alphabet: $6,720
  • Tableau: $3,975
  • Facebook: $900
  • Expedia: $0

Total donations to Sanders, by employer: 

  • Microsoft: $185,362
  • Amazon: $153,680
  • Alphabet: $37,786
  • Facebook: $24,407
  • Tableau: $17,891
  • Expedia: $11,311

Total donations to Biden, by employer:

  • Microsoft: $50,402
  • Amazon: $45,413
  • Alphabet: $3,460 
  • Tableau: $3,387
  • Expedia: $1,119
  • Facebook: $686

Highest total donations to candidates who dropped out: 

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren: $585,702
  • Andrew Yang: $478,958
  • Pete Buttigieg: $244,636
  • Beto O’Rourke: $144,322
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee: $116,482

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