Cross-posted on techPresident
Mike Allen’s Politico Playbook contained this little gem today:
The Edwards campaign has raised $1 million since Iowa, the fastest it has raised $1 million online during the campaign.
He didn’t give a link to a source, and Mr. Google didn’t turn one up either, so I’ve emailed Mike to see where it came from (perhaps straight from the campaign). In any case, it shows us yet another example of how the ‘net can help keep candidates alive even in an accelerated primary season. Online donations can flood in overnight and (most critically) are available immediately. I read recently, I believe in Garrett Graff’s book, that Gary Hart got a wave of checks after his 1984 New Hampshire primary victory, but they took so long to arrive and be processed that he couldn’t take advantage of the money influx in time for it to make a difference in the next round of primary states. Online donations change that dynamic not only do they help niche candidates jump to prominence, they can also allow campaign to take sudden advantage of an overnight swing in their favor.
And, by extension, online donations give small donors a much larger voice than they’ve had in the past, since a distributed army of excited activists can yield as much money as quite a few $1000-per-plate dinner donors. And since they don’t give as much at any one time, a campaign can keep going back to them over and over without running into the per-donor money cap.