His messages of support to Andrew Yang’s (and Kanye West’s) presidential bids aside, Elon Musk has remained rather silent about his stance on the upcoming 2020 US Presidential Elections as of late. Musk did note during his appearance at Kara Swisher’s Sway podcast in September that he would be watching the presidential debates, but apart from that, the CEO has been relatively quiet, instead focusing on Tesla and SpaceX’s projects, as well as his trademark humor, on Twitter.
Musk’s apparent intentions to remain politically neutral this year are highlighted by the fact that he has donated nothing to either presidential candidate to date. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO is currently ranked as the 5th-richest person in the world with a net worth of $90.3 billion, but federal filings indicate that he has not sent any political donations at all this year. Musk’s last donation to a presidential candidate was posted five years ago, when he gave $5,000 to Hillary for America.
As noted by Forbes, Musk’s neutral stance on US politics this election cycle is quite interesting, especially considering that at least 100 billionaires and their spouses have made six-figure donations to committees supporting either Donald Trump or Joe Biden, the presidential candidates of the Republican and Democratic parties. A representative for Musk has declined to comment on the CEO’s political leanings.
Interestingly enough, Musk did catch some flak for his previous political donations in the past, particularly a $38,900 donation to GOP PAC Protect the House in 2018. What Musk’s critics seemed to have neglected to mention then was that the CEO also donated $70,300 combined to the Democratic Victory Fund, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee the same year.
This was highlighted by Musk on Twitter, when he debunked claims that he was a top donor to the GOP. “Reports that I am a top donor to GOP are categorically false. I am not a top donor to any political party,” he wrote.
Overall, 2020 marks the first year where Musk did not post any political contributions. Since becoming an American citizen in 2002, Musk has contributed to politics, though his donations have never broken the six-figure barrier until 2018. Since then, Musk had only donated $5,000 in January 2019 to SpaceX’s political action committee, the Space Exploration Technologies Corp. PAC, which has raised $667,010 since that date. It remains to be seen if Musk’s no-donation stance would continue in the coming years.
Musk is a registered independent, though he has attracted the ire of several politicians in recent months. At the same time, he has also garnered support from both sides of the aisle. This became particularly notable back in May when Musk’s efforts to reopen Tesla’s Fremont Factory received support from high-profile politicians from both the Republican and the Democratic parties. In the days leading up to the Fremont Factory’s reopening, for example, both US President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed their support for the CEO’s initiative.