March 7, 2006

Internet political donations "soaring"

Saw this item at Capitol Fax:
SMALL DONORS, ONLINE DONORS AND FIRST-TIMERS
IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 2004

WASHINGTON – The 2004 election was a watershed in presidential campaign fundraising. Three or four times as many people contributed to the candidates in 2004 as in 2000, including an unprecedented number of small donors and Internet donors.

A report released today by the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet (IPDI) and the Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) looks at this surge of contributors. More than 1,500 donors were surveyed and three dozen interviewed at length for Small Donors and Online Giving: A Study of Donors to the 2004 Presidential Campaigns.

Joe Graf, principal author of the report and research director at IPDI, said, "This report dispels the notion that small donors are angrier and more partisan than big donors. They’re not. Small donors in the 2004 presidential election were good for American democracy."

Carol Darr, director of IPDI, noted that the surge in small donors, especially on the Democratic side, was driven by the Internet. "The Internet made contributing so easy that 40 percent of online donors gave money without first being approached by the campaign. This opens up the process to a brand new group of contributors."

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