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Old 01-24-2020, 09:13 PM
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Political donations: who should I give to?


Hi all --

Note that I'm not necessarily going to take any advice given here. But I'm interested to find out what other Dopers think about this matter.

Point one: I have very little money. I can't afford to give any large amount to anybody. I certainly can't afford to give to all the political organizations asking me for money.

Point two: Nevertheless, this seems like a year in which my vote is not enough to give.

I'm living in a mostly-red, but potentially turnable, congressional district in an overall quite blue state. My own politics are on most issues pretty far left.

NY State is pretty safely D for the presidential race; and the senators aren't even up this year. The US House district, the NY State Senate, and the NY State Assembly seat for this district are all currently held by Republicans, and are fairly likely to stay that way; but all three races may well be competitive, and I think any of them might be turnable. The NY Assembly overall is heavily D, but the state Senate only just switched to D and might switch back.

Does it make more sense to concentrate what little I can give by giving it locally to D candidates for the US House, or for the NY State Senate? Or should I be giving it to a national organization for the Presidential race, and if so to which one?

(Yes, I know. I can also write letters, and make phone calls, and wave signs. This question is meant to be about monetary donations only; though it's fine with me if people in other areas but with the same sort of problem want to get into it; that might make the thread more interesting.)
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:37 PM
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https://publicintegrity.org/support-us/

I'd back a particular candidate once we're further down the road.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:51 AM
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That's an interesting site, Sage Rat; and I agree that, given my limited funds, it makes sense to put money into the main election rather than into the primaries, at least unless I've got a very strong opinion about one of the primaries.

But that wasn't really my question -- I was asking whether people here had opinions or advice as to whether my money would be best directed to the federal congressional, state senate, or presidential race; and through which organization.
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:14 PM
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Amy McGrath, trying to take Moscow Mitch's seat. She needs all the help she can get.
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:19 PM
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Amy McGrath, trying to take Moscow Mitch's seat. She needs all the help she can get.
But it’s lighting money on fire. Mitch McConnell is an asshole and everyone in KY will tell you that. They’ll also vote for him because he’s their asshole.
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:45 PM
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Go for the state legislative seats, because they decide a lot of important stuff, and that's where a small amount of money can make the most difference -- there was one in Virginia in 2017 where the vote was TIED and decided by lot, and I'm still kicking myself for not sending the candidate who lost the drawing an extra $25 (she did win by a decisive margin in 2019, though).

Keep in mind, by the way, that it doesn't have to be YOUR legislative seat, or even your state -- there are a number of Republican-controlled state legislatures that are potentially flippable, and some of these are in swing states like Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, where improving voter turnout in general -- something that can often be done most effectively by local candidates who are there on the ground -- also has benefits for the presidential race.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:17 PM
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From a purely pragmatic point of view, your individual donation is spitting in the ocean. Even if you give $100, it will not change the outcome of any particular race. If you want to achieve something, maybe look for a way to donate to a "Get out the vote" program, or maybe a non-partisan "voter information" type cause. Or not. I could be very wrong.
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:50 PM
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The NY State Senate is definitely in play; I know Republicans will target Pete Harckham to win Senate District 40 back for sure so I aim to contribute there. NY-19 is another swing-y district, at the federal level. But yes, I think donating (and canvassing, especially) for your state Senate candidate is the best investment of your time.
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Old 01-28-2020, 03:45 PM
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Thanks, everybody so far!

-- not surprising that the suggestions are rather contradictory; but they're giving me additional things to think about.

Oakminster, from a purely pragmatic point of view, my individual vote is spitting in the ocean, also. Nevertheless, it's an ocean made up only of all those individual votes (the effect of each of which is nearly doubled by the high percentage of those who think their vote doesn't matter and therefore don't use it); and a lot of small individual donations often add up to something significant, also.
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Old 01-28-2020, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Thanks, everybody so far!

-- not surprising that the suggestions are rather contradictory; but they're giving me additional things to think about.

Oakminster, from a purely pragmatic point of view, my individual vote is spitting in the ocean, also. Nevertheless, it's an ocean made up only of all those individual votes (the effect of each of which is nearly doubled by the high percentage of those who think their vote doesn't matter and therefore don't use it); and a lot of small individual donations often add up to something significant, also.
With so many Presidential candidates, they may be crowding out donations to down ballot candidates, especially at the local level.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:02 PM
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I recommend donating to possible blue pickups in the Senate -- CO, AZ, ME, GA, and NC. If things sway even more blue, and a political tsunami looks possible, then donate to KY, SC, and AL as well.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:16 PM
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Following; I'm interested in this subject too.

This might be helpful for tracking which Senate candidate most needs contributions: https://www.270towin.com/2020-senate-election/

I'm probably going to donate $100 to at least one Democratic candidate for Senate in a close race, perhaps a member or two of Congress as well, and then throw as much as I can afford to behind whoever wins the primary. I gave to a lot of spunky young radical upstart women/POC candidates in smaller races over the last four years, and I stand by that, but for this election I think I want to focus on the big guns. But I'm open to having my mind changed.
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