12 Famous Athletes Who Have Donated to Politics This Election

They're not as active as actors or musicians, but they also throw their cash around.

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At a campaign stop in Ohio today, golf legend Jack Nicklaus introduced Mitt Romney to the crowd, saying the Republican would return the country to "the America we were."

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Nicklaus, an Ohio native, is not the first famous supporter the Romney campaign has highlighted this election, but he is the first famous athlete. In general, athletes donate less to politics than other celebrities such as musicians and actors, but several have bucked the trend this election.

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Here's a list of 12 famous athletes who've thrown money into the presidential race or other campaigns in the 2012 election cycle:

Jack Nicklaus
--The Golden Bear and his wife Barbara have given nearly $22,000 to Republicans this cycle, including $2,500 to Mitt Romney, $2,500 to House Speaker John Boehner, and about $8,000 to the Republican Party.

Michael Jordan
--His Airness hosted a $20,000-per-person dinner for President Obama that raised $3 million last month. Jordan also gave the $5,000 maximum to Obama.

Vince Carter
--The greatest dunker of all time hosted his own fundraiser for the president this year, and has given $5,000, the legal maximum, to President Obama.

Kristi Yamaguchi
--The graceful figure skater has been bipartisan with her contributions. She has given $2,500 each to Romney and Obama this cycle.

Peyton Manning
--The Denver Broncos's new quarterback hasn't contributed to the presidential race, but did give $2,500 to Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and $1,000 to Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana last year.

Carmelo Anthony
--In addition to playing in the "Obama Classic," a basketball game for Obama supporters featuring several NBA players, the New York Knicks star has contributed the $5,000 maximum to the president.

Magic Johnson
--The businessman and former NBA star has been an active political contributor this election. Magic has contributed $60,000 to the Democratic Party and $5,000 to Obama this cycle.

Vernon Davis
--The San Francisco 49ers tight end, and former Maryland Terrapin, has donated $5,000 to Obama and $2,500 to the Democratic Party this year.

Patrick Ewing
--The Hall of Fame center and former NBA assistant coach has given Obama the $5,000 maximum and the Democratic Party $2,000 this cycle.

Grant Hill
--Los Angeles Clippers veteran has donated the $5,000 maximum to Obama this cycle.

Sammy Sosa
--The former Chicago Cubs slugger gave $5,000 to Obama this year despite the president's allegiance to the cross-town White Sox.

Emmitt Smith
--The former Dallas Cowboys running back gave Obama the $5,000 maximum and the Democratic Party $14,250 last year.

*All data courtesy of the Center for Responsive Politics. Photos courtesy of The Associated Press.

Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News and World Report. Contact him at scline@usnews.com or follow him on Twitter.