The decline and fall of big donors

“Technological growth has brought new ways for information to flow, and yet reaching voters is harder than in the old days, when TV ads alone could work. These changes mean that major donors are not sufficient, and in some cases not even necessary, to mount a competitive campaign. It’s about scale. …

“In this new political landscape, average people can go from never having heard of a candidate to immersing themselves in everything about that candidate and becoming a donor in a matter of hours—without leaving home or even getting out of their pajamas. In 2018, some of these people were contributing to candidates in districts or even states that they have never stepped foot in, in many cases contributing relatively small denominations to dozens of candidates. Welcome to the world of unbundled fundraising.”

While there will always be a place in politics for big donors, in this campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination large donors may well play less of a role than any time in modern history. The truth is, they weren?t that important in influencing the Republican nomination in 2016, either.

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