Blue Wave Coming, in Fundraising Dollars That Is

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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23 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    I’d be interested in knowing the mean, median, and mode of the donations.

    Cillizza comes out and says that the small dollar donations are a huge indicator (AND I AGREE!) but he doesn’t mention anything about how much of that money is small dollars…Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
        Ignored
        says:

        Thank you!

        Now to read it…

        The online fundraising platform ActBlue announced Thursday that it raised more than $297 million from small-dollar donors for Democratic candidates and causes in the third quarter of 2019, bringing the group’s total fundraising for the year to more than $700 million.

        Despite the third quarter being known as a challenging time to raise campaign funds, ActBlue said it saw more contributions during that time than any other quarter in ActBlue history—more than 10 million total. Of those contributions, 1 million came from new donors, and the average donation was $28. September 30 was its biggest day for contributions ever.

        10 million donors and average donation was $28 and, yep, that’ll get you to $280 million right quick.

        Republicans need to assume that 97-98% of those donors will be voting.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          By the way, all donations to Black Lives Matter go to Act Blue.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          True, though in fairness no small proportion (most likely the overwhelming majority) of those donors are likely located in safely blue states.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
            Ignored
            says:

            If it’s true that donations to BLM ended up in ActBlue’s pockets, there may be a phenomenon where many things are going on.

            I mean, *WE* have donated to various BLM-adjacent charities in the last few months. If someone out there donated $20 to Black Lives Matter thinking that they were donating to Black Lives Matter and that $20 ended up in ActBlue’s coffers, ActBlue is engaging in a little sleight of hand. Someone who donates to ActBlue straight up can 97-98% be counted on to vote for the Dems come November.

            Someone who gave that money to BLM? I don’t know that that can be counted on to that degree. (I can easily imagine someone liking BLM and not liking Biden/Harris, for example. Well, someone sufficiently online, anyway.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, then, it’s just a question of who is lying to themselves.

                If it’s George, he can wake up on November whateverth and say “we had no way of knowing Biden was this far ahead! There must be shenanigans!”

                If it’s ActBlue, a lot of other folks will wake up feeling déjà vu.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Huh?

                George is wrong to say that donations to BLM goto Act Blue insofar as the money actually goes into Act Blue’s coffers.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                When you go to BLM’s website and click “Donate”, it says:

                1. This contribution is made from my own funds or the funds of an authorizing corporation or other entity, and the funds are not being provided by any other person or entity.

                2. ActBlue Charities is a registered charitable organization formed to democratize charitable giving. A copy of our latest financial report may be obtained by…

                There is no 3.

                “ActBlue Charities is a registered charitable organization formed to democratize charitable .”Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                You didn’t read the link. Here is a relevant section: “ To collect donations, the website uses ActBlue Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization that specifically makes the platform available to charitable organizations.

                Owens’ Instagram post features a video showing that BlackLivesMatter.com uses ActBlue for its donations. It then shows an OpenSecrets.org breakdown of expenditures by ActBlue made in the 2020 cycle; the top recipients are the presidential campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

                But the video misrepresents how ActBlue works. ActBlue isn’t itself donating money. It’s just the online platform that campaigns and groups use to solicit and collect donations.

                Campaign finance experts told us that it’s false to say that donations to the Black Lives Matter group are going to the Democratic National Committee, or to Democratic presidential campaigns, simply because the website uses ActBlue.

                “ActBlue lets candidates and liberal nonprofit organizations set up their separate accounts,” Michael Malbin, director of the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute, told us in a phone interview. “There’s no crossing from one account to another. If you give the money to Sanders, it does not go to Biden.”

                Malbin — a professor of political science at the University at Albany, State University of New York — said candidates and organizations use ActBlue “for the ease of transactions.”

                “ActBlue has no discretion over” where to direct individuals’ contributions, he said. The money “you see coming through ActBlue is coming through it, not from it.”

                A similar platform used for Republican fundraising efforts, WinRed, launched in 2019.

                “When you donate on an ActBlue or ActBlue Charities page, the donation is earmarked for the group listed on the form,” Caleb Cade, a spokesperson for ActBlue, told us in an email. “We pass along the contribution directly to the receiving campaign or entity. We do not choose the recipient of the contribution, the donor does.”

                In a statement to FactCheck.org, the Black Lives Matter Global Network’s managing director, Kailee Scales, said that the claims about the money being routed to Democrats are part of “an organized disinformation campaign against BLM, from actors clearly trying to blunt the growing support for this movement.”

                “All contributions to the DNC are publicly reported to the FEC and review of FEC reports will confirm there has never been any donation from this organization,” she said.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                My paycheck for protesting in June was issued from Black Lives Matter inc., A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of (((Soros, International))).

                Now the reimbursement check for black balaclava and cement milkshakes, well okay that came from Antifa Quartermaster Resources, LLC.Report

  2. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    I would think very little of it is small dollar donations. That big and fast with such a non-existent candidate is probably corporate. Transnational corporations, hedge fund managers, sketchy charities, the CIA, the Pentagon’s generals, China, Russia, and all the Bush neo-cons are throwing their financial weight behind Biden, even though Nancy’s already formed a commission to investigate “Presidential fitness”, which everybody knows isn’t aimed at Trump, but Biden. The powers-that-be intend to install who they want to install.Report

  3. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s certainly interesting. Though I’m equally interested in how Trumps campaign managed to melt away their entire fundraising advantage with so little to show for it. George assured me back in the beginning of the year that the deployment of those funds by Trumps people would be devastating. He did imply it’d be devastating for their opponents though maybe he didn’t outright say so.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to North
      Ignored
      says:

      Has it melted away? Are they still on track, but spending it wisely? Poorly?

      Are the Dems out fundraising the R’s due to sheer panic, to the same effect as HRC’s campaign?Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Aaron David
        Ignored
        says:

        Well the poll numbers don’t seem to suggest it’s been spent wisely. The proof in the pudding won’t be known until November of course.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to North
          Ignored
          says:

          Well, considering that at the last rodeo the Dems spent 3x as much as Trump, and had the polls to prove it! But alas, no joy. So, I would say it is too soon to tell.

          But, as you said, the proof is in the pudding, and we shall see next month.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Aaron David
            Ignored
            says:

            HRC’s polling, it should be noted, was enormously closer to Trumps than Biden’s has been and was also considerably more volatile and included far more undecided voters. None of those moderating factors are present this year. Maybe Trump will pull it out again, but it seems extremely unlikely.Report

  4. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    What DO they spend the money on? Advertising? Phone banks? I keep getting hit up with random texts from Dem folks asking me to volunteer time to call potential voters? Why do they need me to volunteer my time if they have this war chest?Report

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