Even the Silicon Valley donors are starting to steer away from Obama

Although California is consistently ranked among the absolute worst states in which to do business — their nanny-state regulations, budget deficits, and tax structure have earned the state the honorary title of the “ninth circle of business hell” — it’s well-established attraction for venture capital is sometimes cited as a a big factor in keeping the state afloat. Silicon Valley is definitely a well-monied hot spot, but it seems that the typically more liberal execs, entrepreneurs, and engineers are feeling slightly less enthusiastic about an Obama-second term than they were about Hopenchange in 2008, as some of them are starting to reverse course:

Although he is still raising far more money there than current Republican rival Mitt Romney, Obama in 2012 is finding Silicon Valley to be tougher terrain.

He lags behind his 2008 campaign in donations from workers at Internet, computer and telecom equipment powerhouses such as Google, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Cisco, according to a Reuters analysis of federal disclosures from the Obama presidential campaign committee.

The Obama campaign has raised $1.44 million through May from employees of 15 top tech companies, as compared to $1.6 million donated by the same companies’ staff four years ago. …

Romney has raised almost $340,000 during this election campaign from the 15 tech companies’ employees, far behind his opponent but already ahead of the roughly $240,000 that Republican presidential candidate John McCain picked up through May 2008.

Even the crunchiest of businesspeople are having difficulty getting excited about the coming reign of regulatory uncertainty being ushered in by President Obama’s two signature legislative monstrosities, ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank. Mitt Romney is the much more attractive candidate for the free-enterprising: his private sector experience and commitment to lower taxes and fewer regulations is a much more promising path for economic growth than President Obama’s punishing new Dodd-Frank oversight regime (which was created, by the way, as part of a sweeping effort to make big business look fully responsible for the entire financial crisis).

Although the Silicon Valley tech-savvy have been somewhat slower to make the about-face, big business in general has indeed been jumping on the Romney bandwagon lately:

Deep-pocketed financiers have abandoned President Obama and are flocking to Mitt Romney in droves, providing more donations to his campaign than any other industry except retired workers. (And that’s not really an industry.)

Individuals who work in the securities and investment industry have given the Romney campaign $8.5 million through the end of April, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Over the same time period, Obama has brought in only $3 million from securities and investment workers, and the industry is only the campaign’s fifth largest source of funds.

“They have basically ditched Obama,” said John Dunbar, the managing editor for politics at the Center for Public Integrity. “Romney is just a much friendlier candidate if you are a banker.”

The absence of Wall Street love is a departure from the norm for the Obama campaign. In 2008, then-Senator Obama raised almost $16 million from Wall Street. John McCain, the Republican nominee, received donations totaling only $9 million.

Heh. We learned this morning that the DNC is scaling back on their upcoming convention’s activities, but it’s because of, uh, logistics, and not the fact that they haven’t been able to reach their fundraising goals because they banned direct corporate donations — though it doesn’t seem like corporations would be all that excited about giving the Democrats money, anyways. Kind of funny that President Obama spends so much time denouncing big bankers and Wall Street “fat cats,” but he was perfectly willing to take their money when they were willing to give it.