Corporations have begun to send a majority of donations from their political action committees to Republican candidates, a reversal from the trend of the past three years.
The change in corporate PAC giving is the latest sign Republicans are likely to make significant gains in November's midterm elections. Business PACs are notoriously cautious in deciding which party should receive a majority of their donations. They nearly always give most of their contributions to candidates whose political party is in power on Capitol Hill.
According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, business PACs gave 52% of their $72.2 million in total donations to Republican candidates from January through July.
In the same period of 2009, corporate PACs had sent 59% of their $64 million in campaign contributions to Democratic candidates, according to the data. AT&T Corp. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC are among the companies whose PAC donations shifted this year toward GOP candidates.
The PAC donations are given directly to candidates and are separate from contributions to independent political groups that are becoming a larger force in politics. The Journal reported last week that corporate and conservative groups plan to spend about $300 million on TV ads and other efforts to elect Republican candidates this fall, rivaling efforts of labor unions and liberal-leaning groups to back Democrats.