George Soros disappeared from the political donation scene after playing a big role in political donations during the election cycle of 2004. Soros was a prominent and powerful political force that year, with a combined donation of $27 million dollars. After those attempts failed, he scaled back his political donations and activity, focussing on his personal and business interests. He described the 2004 year of giving as “an exception”.
He returned in full force in 2014 for the 2016 election cycle. Soros supported Hillary Clinton and other Democratic causes with donations totaling close to $25 million dollars. His re-emergence into politics began with his desire to see Clinton elected as President, but even more important, his desire to see the defeat of Donald Trump. In the past, Soros said Donald Trump is “doing the work of ISIS”.
His donations were sprinkled around the country for different causes. He donated $7 million to a PAC called Priorities USA Action. The PAC, which was a staunch supporter of Clinton, may receive another $3 million from George Soros. He donated $2 million dollars to 21st Century Bridges, a PAC dedicated to defeating Republicans and conservative initiatives. Additionally, Soros gave $700,000 to a variety of smaller causes and Democratic PACs and committees.
He donated $5 million to Immigrant Voters Win, a PAC focusing on increasing Hispanic voters in swing states. During 2016 George Soros also committed himself to other donations to Voting Rights Trust, America Votes, Senate Majority PAC, and Planned Parenthood Votes.
Soros is a leader in the circles of high donors, and his willingness to give large sums of money is seen as a signal for other liberal benefactors. Democrats and leaders of liberal causes are hoping his contributions will snowball into gifts from other high dollar donors.
He donated similarly throughout 2004, giving $27 million to John Kerry and a group of organizations that supported him. His donation strategy is clear, he doesn’t place all of his support in one group. He spreads his support among many groups in order to increase the Democratic influence across socio-economic borders.
Besides his contributions to politics, Soros has also given generously to non-political and social causes. His contributions to these causes dwarf his political donations. In the past three decades, he had donated $13 billion dollars around the world to non-political groups. These groups are dedicated to various causes, including increasing democracy in Eastern Europe, expanding healthcare and education, and defending human rights.
Soros funds his political campaigns with his earnings from a $25 billion dollar investment empire he built from the ground up. The 86-year-old Hungarian-born investor was raised in Hungary by wealthy parents. His wealth, however, wasn’t a shield from the atrocities of World War II, and he saw plenty of hardship as a child.