End the duopoly

Tech takes over political fundraising

Small-dollar political donations have exploded this campaign cycle, thanks in large part to technology that makes it possible for candidates to target potential donors with cheap ads and easy-to-use online donation platforms.

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Why it matters: A surge in fundraising for contributions under $200 has expanded the 2020 election field, propelling lesser-known candidates to the debate stage and political stardom.

  • It has also brought more Americans into the political donation process than ever before.Driving the news: Alexa is going to let users donate to presidential campaigns, Bloomberg reports. Amazon has invited all 2020 U.S. presidential candidates to sign up to receive donations through its voice software, although it’s unclear at this point which campaigns will participate.
    • According to Bloomberg, Amazon will let campaigns sign up to receive voice donations starting at just $5, and will process up to $200 per donor for each campaign, which is a much lower limit than on most digital platforms.Our thought bubble: It‘s a big deal because it would be the first time ever that candidates could solicit donations through highly-accessible voice technology. About one third of Americans use voice assistants today, with Alexa being the most dominant technology.

      Yes, but: It’s not just voice technology, which is still new to the political game. Where the real change has been happening over the past three cycles, and increasingly over this presidential cycle, has been on Google and Facebook, as well as with online fundraising software.


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