The Good and the Bad About Internet Campaign Finance

By way of AmericaBlog comes this news about the Democrats’ fundraising:

According to the Washington Post — and Ken Mehlman — Democrats are competitive with the Republicans in fundraising this year because of the internet:

NC Chairman Ken Mehlman, whose committee has seen a 10 percent fundraising drop, compared with 2004, said Internet fundraising has allowed Democrats to reach a new group of liberal donors and narrow the GOP’s edge with individuals. But he said his party still holds a solid financial lead because of money raised by state parties.
Still, the trends at the national level are diminishing what in past years has been a powerful GOP asset: the ability to overpower opponents with expensive television advertising and voter-mobilization campaigns in House and Senate races.

It’s a whole new world.

And if I were the Democratic Party, I would be very worried.


It’s good news that the Democrats are able to be more competitive in the money chase. But what this tells me is that most of the ‘new’ money is going towards candidates, not party infrastructure. In the 2004 election, the Democrats lost, in part, because of a crappy groundgame: the Get-Out-the-Vote infrastructure (‘GOTV’) was piss-poor (I had first hand experience with this as a volunteer). Candidates do not build long-term infrastructure; they are only interested in themselves.
Until the Democrats figure out how to regain party loyalty from their base (here’s an idea-stop treating them us like goddamn lepers. That means you, Rahm Emanuel), they’re going to do poorly because the Democratic Party will lack the resources to build a good groundgame. And I’m not that optimistic about 2006 for precisely this reason. When will the Democratic Party realize that it’s not just about media buys (particulary TV) anymore? Of course, dislodging the Democratic consultants will not be easy because they have everything to lose.
Dear Intelligent Designer, when will the only opposition party learn that it’s not the 90s anymore?

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