The Politics of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft: Searching for a Winner in the 2008 Presidential Election

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A Monthlong Magnification of Google: the Company, the Technologies, and the Extracurricular Activities

With the highly anticipated Pennsylvania primaries taking place tomorrow, it seemed like an appropriate time to take a look at Google’s position in the political contest, and how their biggest competitors compare. Are the faces behind the Google, Yahoo and Microsoft corporations in agreement over who should be the next President of the United States? Which candidate are they supporting?

We looked at individual Presidential campaign contributions from 2007 (1) to see how the top three in search were allocating their support for the top three in Presidential politics. First we looked at overall reported individual contributions from employees of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Then, we took a look at how much of the overall contributed cash went to each candidate.

2007 Presidential Campaign Contributions:


  • Clinton: $61,800.00
  • Obama: $135,230.73
  • McCain: $4,350.00
    • Total Google Campaign Contributions: $201,780.73*


  • Clinton: $17,850.00
  • Obama: $29,459.19
  • McCain: $2,300.00
    • Total Yahoo Campaign Contributions: $49,609.19*


  • Clinton: $136,164.65
  • Obama: $67,328.54
  • McCain: $7,900.00
    • Total Microsoft Campaign Contributions: $212,043.19*

It looks like a lot of people at Google and Yahoo will be rooting for Obama in tomorrow’s Pennsylvania primary – Obama received the most in campaign contributions from employees of both Yahoo and Google. The people at Microsoft disagreed with Google and Yahoo, and enthusiastically threw their campaign support to Hillary Clinton – Clinton’s contributions from Microsoft employees are nearly double that of Barack Obama’s. And although Microsoft, Google and Yahoo are fierce competitors online, their employees seem to have come to a consensus on John McCain – he comes in third in contributions for all three.

Will the crowds at Yahoo and Google be cheering after tomorrow’s primary or will people at Microsoft be the ones celebrating? Should John McCain plan a few stops in California and Washington to stir up some support from these three online heavyweights or is it too late?

Food For Thought

Individual campaign contributions can give us a look at how the people of a corporation are thinking, but what about the corporation itself? When it comes to politics, Google definitely has an opinion – and they are equipped to throw some weight around in Washington. Tomorrow, our Google series will continue with a look at the serious side of Google’s politics and how they are investing in improving their influence on the Capitol Hill and beyond.

* Total donations include donation made to candidates other than those listed here.

Update: This was our most popular blog post for the week of April 21st. Listen to the author discuss this topic on the StraightUpSearch Podcast.

(1), 2007 Presidential Campaign Contributions – itemized individual contributions, Source: Federal Election Commission.

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