Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

In an Internet Age, All Politics is Local -- But All Fundraising is National

BY Colin Delany | Monday, September 27 2010

Originally published on Epolitics.com

In Saturday's AMP Summit panel discussion on effective online campaigning, fellow online politics old-timer Chris Casey made a great observation: politics may still be local, but fundraising in a networked age is national. I.e., candidates still have to reflect and react to attitudes and events in the districts they represent, but the money that funds campaigns now can come from anywhere. And as we've seen in lower-turnout elections through the entire 2010 cycle, both special elections and primaries, national money can make a decisive difference: Lisa Murkowski and Mike Castle may be the latest victims, but Scott Brown's win back in January had already shown the way.

Of course, outside money is nothing new in politics -- industries, unions and interest groups have flooded critical races with cash for decades -- but what IS novel is the ability of the online tools to gather contributions from small donors and bundle them up into a meaningful sum again and again. Obama's 2008 campaign remains the prime example, but many other groups on all parts of the political spectrum are building up grassroots donor bases with an eye toward repeating his success on behalf of their own issues. We'll see whether the trend can survive the inevitable defeats that groups will endure, since not EVERYONE can win an election -- donors may drift away if they don't see their work as effective. But fear works, too -- just ask the Tea Parties now and MoveOn back during the Bush days. Motivation may be just a scary email away...or a hope-filled one, depending.

cpd

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: System-Gaming

Why techies interested in political reform are facing challenges; the latest data on Democratic voter contacts in 2014; Hungary's anti-Internet tax demonstrations are getting huge; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Gimme Shelter

The link between intimate partner violence and surveillance tech; the operational security set-up that connected Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden; how Senate Dems are counting on tech to hold their majority; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Tribes

Edward Snowden on the Internet's impact on political polarization; trying to discern Hillary Clinton's position on NSA reform; why Microsoft is bullish on civic tech; and much, much more GO

monday >

First POST: Inventions

How voter data-sharing among GOP heavyweights is still lagging; why Facebook's News Feed scares news publishers; Google's ties to the State Department; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Spoilers

How the GOP hasn't fixed its tech talent gap; the most tech-savvy elected official in America, and the most tech-savvy state-wide candidate; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Hot Spots

How Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is making inroads in China; labor protests among Uber drivers spread to more cities; new data about the prevalence of online harassment; and much, much more. GO

More