A survey of 751 CEOs shows that 80% support John McCain while 20% support Barack Obama. Remember, wealthier white people still tilt Republican. That being said, I think there is something to the dichotomy between professional class vs. business class. The former are affluent and educated, but may be on career tracks where regulatory constraints on labor mitigate capitalist competition (e.g., lawyers, doctors and other licensed and certified professionals). In other words, their affluence is not tied to market conditions in a 1:1 manner, and a non-trivial proportion of their income might be derived from government sources either directly or indirectly (i.e., employment in government or through reimbursement via government programs). There simply aren’t enormous gains on increased deregulation in many professions (in fact, deregulation by repealing the licensing powers of the ABA and AMA would probably immediately reduce wages because of the influx of labor competition!). In contrast, the business class may see enormous gains through deregulation because the raison d’être of their occupations is to increase profits to the total exclusion of non-market forces. The practice of law or medicine may make an individual relatively wealthy (though the mean income of doctors and lawyers is far higher than their median), but the professions have non-remunerative ideals. See this post on Andrew Gelman’s site for more.
Also, since I to tell readers to back up their opinions with some data and do their due diligence (after all, your unsupported opinions are really worthless to me, I can find plenty at the local Starbucks!), I went to Fund Race 2008 and looked to see how various professions gave politically. Since this is a Democrat year I suspect there’s a little more tilt in that direction than usual, but focus on the difference between CEOs and all the upper middle class professions….
(I assume that wealthy executives have other ways to influence through money that just direct donations)