For years, when it came to Presidential candidates, Wall Street made huge compromises in order to support the Republican Party.
The money men in New York City set aside their socially liberal views in order to support fiscally conservative candidates because that was the only way to get on the same page as the GOP base.
The result has been a series of candidates Wall Street’s big donors didn’t really want.
It seems those donors are getting tired of that outcome.
Hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman recently vented his frustration with this arrangement on an episode of Wall Street Week.
“I tend to be more Republican in my views, but socially very liberal. I’m going to have trouble with any Republican that does not disavow a fixation with social issues,” he said.
“Republicans have to understand that because young people in our country are not grabbed by those issues.”
Republican candidates are not getting the message.
In fact, some social conservatives are actually hardening their stances before a new wave of younger voters has the mass to make a difference at the polls.
A recent Pew Research poll found that Republican Conservatives are the only group in America who have become less accepting of homosexuality over the last two years.
This is not what Wall Street wants to see.
Wall Street’s ideal candidate is Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman who’s into environmental sustainability, urban development, infrastructure investment, and gay rights.
These are all socially conservative no-nos.
During the last presidential election, it looked like Wall Street might finally get the kind of Republican they were looking for — Mitt Romney.
For most of his career, Romney was known as a moderate technocrat.
But when he ran for president, Romney was forced to turn to entice the party base. He played up his conservative family values instead.
Many on Wall Street loved his private equity/business background to be sure. They liked his ideas on foreign policy, even, but they weren’t crazy about his sudden lurch to the right on issues like abortion.
From the way Cooperman talks about it, some on Wall Street are tired of compromise.
It would be one thing if the compromise was was leading to wins.
But it’s not.
And in losing elections, Wall Street is also losing an investment. Each cycle bundlers collect millions of dollars from Wall Street in increments of $US2,700, of $US5,000, and $US34,800. They give to SuperPacs and party coffers, they give because they like a candidate or (more likely) because their boss or colleague loves a candidate.
This isn’t a lot of money to Wall Street, but it is money wasted on candidates they sometimes only half want.
Instead they’re forced to wait for a candidate they will never get.
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