Super Bowl of influence: How the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks stack up

John McCain in warehouse with wife Cindy, flanked by others. John Elway is in foreground, right

John Elway, seen at right with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is one of many Denver Bronco employees who have made donations to GOP candidates. (Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via

On this Super Bowl Sunday is seems appropriate to shed a little sunlight on the two competitors’ influence profiles. Yes, both the NFL teams in today’s contest exercise their muscle outside the football field.

But when it comes to political giving, the Denver Broncos have been by far the more active. Employees of the team made more than $242,000 in donations since the early ’90s, more than two-thirds of which went to GOP candidates.

These include a number of contributions from the best-known Bronco, former star quarterback John Elway. Now a team vice president, Elway gave $50,000 to 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign. More recently, he’s made contributions to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and to Rep. Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican running for reelection in what’s shaping up to be one of this year’s most competitive House races.

Elway’s political predilections have been seconded by the Bronco’s current star quarterback, Peyton Manning who, along with wife Ashley, made donations to Alexander and the Romney Victory Committee.

The competing team for this year’s NFL championship is less politically active and tilts considerably more Democratic. Employees of the Seattle Seahawks have given just under $38,000 in campaign contributions, more than half of which went to Democrats.

Here’s a look at giving by both teams, using data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics, and compiled by the Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Explorer.

Denver Broncos

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Seattle Seahawks

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