Despite many “anyone but Sanders” pleas from tech workers in Silicon Valley, it’s likely the industry will support Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders over President Donald Trump.
The San Fransisco tech hub has become a center for the tech elite and the area generally leans from moderately left to hard-left.
Garrett Johnson, Executive Director of the Lincoln Network, explained what Silicon Valley’s ideal presidential candidate would look like with the Daily Caller in a Tuesday interview. (RELATED: Oracle Chairman Plans To Host Trump Fundraiser In Silicon Valley)
The Lincoln Network is a fully remote operation that employs several throughout the U.S. including people Washington D.C. and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Johnson pointed to several issues important to those in Silicon Valley, including the homelessness crisis, a more accountable government, and the idea that “the best argument, the most compelling data wins.”
In general, Johnson said they adhere to a “technocratic” way of thinking.
In 2016, according to previous reporting by the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF), Silicon Valley’s voting overwhelmingly leaned Democrat when it came to the general election. (RELATED: Silicon Valley Groups Host ‘Poverty Simulation’ To Help Wealthy Residents ‘Immerse’ Themselves In Poverty)
“This past election cycle alone, over 80 percent of residents voted for either Mr. Sanders or Mrs. Clinton in the primaries and 9 out of every 10 dollars contributed, whether to presidential or down ballot candidates, went into Democratic coffers,” Ryan Hagemann, former technology and civil liberties policy analyst at the Niskanen Center told the DNCF in 2016.
Johnson also noted the overwhelming support for Clinton in 2016 and said that despite the many “anyone but Sanders” calls, he thinks that if it does come down to Sanders and Trump they would lean towards Sanders.
Though it wouldn’t be an 80 percent margin of victory like in 2016, because of the “social pressure” in this election to vote against Trump, Johnson thinks most of Silicon Valley will support Sanders.
Employees at Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon donated only $50,000 to Trump in 2016. They donated $3 million to Hillary Clinton, according to NBC in 2016.
Clinton attracted 97 percent of “big tech money,” and the other 3 percent was divided among support for Trump, Johnson, and Jill Stein, per NBC.
A portion of Silicon Valley seems to support libertarian ideals, but in 2016 not many voiced support for the libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, the DCNF reported. [Garrett] Johnson said the Valley’s vaunted libertarian reputation is a bit “overblown.” He said, “it’s not the free market, generally skeptical of big government” type of people that lean right, but rather a technocratic elite.
Keith Rabois, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist, said in January that his ideal candidate would be former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, according to the New York Times.
Buttigieg ended his campaign ahead of Super Tuesday and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden shortly after.
Rabois draws the line at democratic socialism and said that he would vote for President Donald Trump over Sanders if it came down to the two. (RELATED: Denmark’s Ambassador To Silicon Valley Lectured On Why EU Rules Are Harmful, Given Some Souvenirs And Dismissed)
Sanders’ “billionaires should not exist” belief system does not appeal to some Silicon Valley voters, the NYT reported, because of the amount of money in the Valley.
Businessmen Andrew Yang, who dropped out of the race in the middle of February appealed to some Silicon Valley voters as someone with “straight-forward and quick-witted responses, which are delivered with few political embellishments or emotions,” according to CNBC.
Yang supporters were often seen in hats that said “MATH,” which stand for “make America think harder.” Tech employees say this is in reference to Yang’s habit of giving quick answers to questions that were backed by data.
Andrew Barakat, a project manager at a big unnamed tech company with a background in data analytics, economics and behavioral studies, told CNBC that he liked Yang because he was “a numbers guy.”
“That system is the backbone of how Silicon Valley has developed its biggest companies — it’s focused on OKRs (objective key results) that are numerical and trackable, and Andrew wants to do the same thing,” Barakat said.
Tech workers also praised Yang for his understanding of how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is affecting the labor structure in the United States. (RELATED: Buttigieg Courts Big Tech Billionaires As Other POTUS Candidates Torpedo Silicon Valley)
When asked what an ideal presidential candidate would look like for Silicon Valley voters, Johnson said, “a little bit of Obama, a little bit of Trump, and a little bit of Andrew Yang.”
Johnson pointed to Yang’s technocratic appeal, the young “swagger” and business background, and the Trump part comes from his low-tax platform and policies.
Despite him not being their ideal candidate, Johnson also says that Silicon Valley would get behind former Vice President Joe Biden.
“It wouldn’t be as inspired as Clinton in 2016, but they would get behind him,” he said, calling Biden, “milquetoast, your granddad’s Democrat.”