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Old 09-19-2019, 10:18 PM
Wesley Clark is offline
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Will small donors ever be able to be a major force in poliics


Bernie Sanders hit 1 million individual donors in seven months.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/19/polit...ors/index.html

It seems to be a trend. I believe Obama in 2008 was the first time small donors really made a difference. I believe Dean tried to raise small amounts online in 2004, but didn't do as well as Obama in 2008. The internet probably wasn't as big in 2004.

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-m...all-donations/

Quote:
Trump received about $239 million from donors who gave less than $200 in total. That amounts to 69 percent of the Trump campaign’s individual contributions;

Hillary Clinton received about $137 million from $200-or-under donors. That made up 22 percent of the campaign’s individual contributions;

Bernie Sanders received about $100 million, or 44 percent of his campaign’s individual contributions.
Going back further, President Barack Obama received about $219 million from small-dollar donors in 2012, or 28 percent of his campaign’s individual contributions. In 2008, Obama received about $181 million, or 24 percent of his total individual contributions.
So in between Trump, Clinton and Bernie, small donors raised almost 500 million in 2016 (I'm sure other candidates got small donations, either third party candidates or other major party candidates in the primaries).

There are some efforts to match small donations with public funds. So if you had a 4:1 match, that means 500 million in small donations would be matched with 2 billion in public funds.

All well and good, it would empower small donors and take power away from large corporations.

But won't this just create a whole new set of problems.

For one, only the most passionate voters actually donate, which mean politicians will be forced to become more and more boisterous, combative and ideologically pure to win over the small donor base?

Also what about all the politicians who aren't exciting? Bernie Sanders is exciting, the guy running for county commissioner is not. Aren't we just going to enter an age where a small handful of exciting politicians drown in cash from small donors and everyone else is left to starve financially?
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:18 AM
jonesj2205 is offline
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Not entirely sure what the question is here, but the unexciting county commissioner campaign has been funded by small donors predominantly for a long time, mostly friends and family. And it's spent on lawn signs and signs at Little League field.
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:36 AM
Wesley Clark is offline
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Originally Posted by jonesj2205 View Post
Not entirely sure what the question is here, but the unexciting county commissioner campaign has been funded by small donors predominantly for a long time, mostly friends and family. And it's spent on lawn signs and signs at Little League field.
The question is will small donors ever be powerful enough to be a major force in politics and take power away from rich people and corporate funding?

Isn't there a risk that small donors will only donate to excitingly, national level politicians, who are only 1% of politicians.

Also won't small donors make politicians become more radical since small donors don't donate to boring candidates? It'll turn politics into reality television even more.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 09-20-2019 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:57 AM
Max S. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
All well and good, it would empower small donors and take power away from large corporations.

But won't this just create a whole new set of problems.

For one, only the most passionate voters actually donate, which mean politicians will be forced to become more and more boisterous, combative and ideologically pure to win over the small donor base?

Also what about all the politicians who aren't exciting? Bernie Sanders is exciting, the guy running for county commissioner is not. Aren't we just going to enter an age where a small handful of exciting politicians drown in cash from small donors and everyone else is left to starve financially?
I have a theory that the more democratic an election becomes, the more it resembles a popularity contest. I'm not yet making a judgement about whether that is good or bad.

I believe the most effective way to fight uninformed votes is through education. Teach the kids how to research their candidates, how to fact check claims, how to evaluate policy proposals...

~Max

Last edited by Max S.; 09-20-2019 at 09:58 AM. Reason: elaborated on education
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