Cash, cups, clicks: Techies back Obama

Google CEO Eric Schmidt may be Democratic nominee's top tech supporter

Monday was the last day to register to vote in next month's election in Silicon Valley's Santa Clara County, where Barack Obama has a clear edge and, now, a really big backer: Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

CEOs usually avoid such public declarations to avoid getting clubbed in Washington if their candidate looses, but tech workers will likely vote in droves for Democrats. However, Google confirmed Monday that Schmidt was playing an active role for Obama, who visited Google late last year.

Schmidt's calculus must take note that in Santa Clara County, home to Google headquarters in Mountain View, 46 percent of the 759,645 registered voters are Democrats, 24 percent Republican, and 25 percent have not declared a party, a county spokeswoman said.

On the drive to the Google HQ, it's probably safe to say that some of those workers stop at a 7-Eleven, where customers can pick either an Obama or John McCain coffee cup. And in California, the store's coffee drinkers are picking Obama coffee cups 64 percent of the time.

But the preference us not just in California. In every state that has a large tech employment base, Obama is winning in coffee cup selections by large margins, with the exception of New Jersey. Obama has a slim cup-edge over John McCain.

Here's how tech employment, using figures from the AeA's (formerly American Electronics Association) annual Cyberstate report, and 7-Eleven coffee cup count works out.

1. California: total tech employment, 941,000. 7-Eleven coffee cup sales ratios: 64 percent Obama, 36 percent McCain.

2. Texas: 459,500 tech workers; Coffee cups: 61 percent Obama, 39 percent McCain.

3. New York: 301,500 tech workers. Coffee cups: 53 percent Obama, 47 percent McCain.

4. Florida: 282,100 tech workers. Coffee cups: 57 percent Obama, 43 percent McCain.

5. Virginia: 270,800 tech workers; Coffee cups: 61 percent Obama, 39 percent McCain.

6. Massachusetts: 242,500 tech workers. Coffee cups: 62 percent Obama, 38 percent McCain.

7. Pennsylvania: 210,200 tech workers. Coffee cups: 61 percent Obama, 39 percent McCain.

8. Illinois: 209,300 tech workers. Coffee cups: 61 percent Obama; 39 percent McCain.

9. New Jersey: 197,200 tech workers. Coffee cups: 52 percent Obama, 48 percent McCain.

10. Michigan: 176,100 tech workers. Coffee cups, 62 percent Obama, 38 percent McCain.

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Patrick Thibodeau

Computerworld
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