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Wall St.'s Candidate? Times Says Romney, But WP Says Obama Still Rules the Street

NYTimes: "Mitt Romney has raised far more money than Mr. Obama this year from the firms that have been among Wall Street's top sources of donations for the two candidates." But "Those figures do not account for all Wall Street giving." WashPost: Obama has raised "far more money this year from the financial and banking sector than Mitt Romney or any other Republican presidential candidate, according to new fundraising data."

So who is 'Wall Street's candidate' for 2012? In 2008 it was Obama, though the New York Times rarely trumpets the fact. That means that many who read Sunday's front-page story by Nicholas Confessore and Griff Palmer, 'Romney Beating Obama in a Fight For Wall St. Cash,' may not know Obama beat every other candidate in the quest for 'Wall Street cash' in 2008. And even now the Times may be cherry-picking figures that make Romney look like the 'Wall Street candidate' this cycle.

The material in bold below suggest the Times used vague criteria to determine who counts as a Wall Street donor.

It is no secret that the relationship between President Obama and Wall Street has chilled. A striking measure of that is the latest campaign finance reports.

Mitt Romney has raised far more money than Mr. Obama this year from the firms that have been among Wall Street's top sources of donations for the two candidates.

That gap underscores the growing alienation from Mr. Obama among many rank-and-file financial professionals and Mr. Romney's aggressive and successful efforts to woo them.

The imbalance exists at large investment banks and hedge funds, private equity firms and commercial banks, according to a New York Times analysis of the firms that accounted for the most campaign contributions from the industry to Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama in 2008, based on data from the Federal Election Commission and the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

After years of barely touching upon the inconvenient fact that Obama's biggest private donor was Goldman Sachs, the Times mentioned it in a story that shows it has slipped in giving to Obama this year.

Employees of Goldman Sachs, who in the 2008 campaign gave Mr. Obama over $1 million - more than donors from any other private employer in the country - have given him about $45,000 this year. Mr. Romney has raised about $350,000 from the firm's employees.

This hedging line should raise eyebrows among Times readers:

Those figures do not account for all Wall Street giving, nor for the full force of each candidate's robust network of Wall Street 'bundlers,' wealthy individuals who raise money from friends, family members and business associates

Indeed, the Washington Post on Wednesday had a completely different take, using different and seemingly more comprehensive figures that showed Obama had raised 'far more money this year from the financial and banking sector than Mitt Romney or any other Republican presidential candidate, according to new fundraising data.'

The Post dug deeper than the Times, showing Obama out-raising Romney even from Bain Capital, the private-equity firm that Romney co-founded:

Obama's key advantage over the GOP field is the ability to collect bigger checks because he raises money for both his own campaign committee and for the Democratic National Committee, which will aid in his reelection effort.

As a result, Obama has brought in more money from employees of banks, hedge funds and other financial service companies than all of the GOP candidates combined, according to a Washington Post analysis of contribution data. The numbers show that Obama retains a persistent reservoir of support among Democratic financiers who have backed him since he was an underdog presidential candidate four years ago.

Obama's fundraising advantage is clear in the case of Bain Capital, the Boston-based private-equity firm that was co-founded by Romney, and where the Republican made his fortune. Not surprisingly, Romney has strong support at the firm, raking in $34,000 from 18 Bain employees, according to the analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

But Obama has outdone Romney on his own turf, collecting $76,600 from Bain Capital employees through September - and he needed only three donors to do it.