Politics & Government

Surprise: Employees of some oil companies prefer Obama

WASHINGTON — Maybe Barack Obama is wrong in insisting that John McCain is the darling of Big Oil. Maybe it's really Obama.

A new study from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, released Thursday, notes that "while McCain has raised considerably more money from this unpopular industry, CRP was surprised to notice that it's actually Obama who has received more from the pockets of employees at several of Big Oil's biggest and most recognizable companies."

Overall, McCain has gotten about three times as much from the oil industry as Obama. But employes from Exxon, Chevron and BP have all given more to Obama than to McCain.

According to CRP:

"Through June, Exxon employees have given Obama $42,100 to McCain's $35,166. Chevron favors Obama $35,157 to $28,500, and Obama edges out McCain with BP $16,046 vs. $11,500. McCain leads the money race with nearly every other top giver in the oil and gas industry, though -- Koch Industries, Valero, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, the list goes on. McCain also has a big edge with Hess Corp. -- $91,000 to Obama's $8,000 -- which has gotten some attention."

Overall, McCain's campaign has gotten three times more money from the industry than Obama's has -- $1.3 million compared to about $394,000.

So, CRP concludes, "Comparing Obama's and McCain's financial ties to the oil industry, there's no question that McCain has benefited more from the industry's contributions, just as his Republican Party has for years and years."

But, it adds, "Obama's edge with the oil producers Americans know best — and might be cursing most these days — makes it harder for him to continue to tar McCain as the industry's darling."

Read the study