Report: Dems more likely to donate to campaigns via text or cellphone app

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project released on Thursday showed that only 10 percent of 2012 presidential campaign donors have contributed to one of the two major presidential candidates via text message.

The study, which found that only 13 percent of US adults have “made a contribution to one of the presidential candidates this election season,” was the result of two surveys the organization fielded in late September.

Democrats, the study showed, are more likely than Republicans to donate to a political campaign using text messages.

Approximately 67 percent of donors “donated in person, over the telephone, or through the mail,” while 50 percent “donated online or via email” and 10 percent “donated by sending a text message from their cellphone or using a cellphone app.” Individuals could donate several times using multiple methods.

Republicans surveyed, however, were significantly more likely than Democrats to contribute through offline channels.

“Because few (if any) congressional or state-level candidates currently accept mobile donations at this time, we limited our questions on this topic to presidential campaign contributions only,” said Senior Research Specialist Aaron Smith and Research Assistant Maeve Duggan in the Pew report.

Text message donations are still relatively new. The Federal Election Commission allowed for campaign donations to be given via text message for the first time in June.

In August, Reuters reported that the Obama campaign was finalizing agreements with the major U.S. telecommunications companies to allow for text message campaign donations.
Roll Call reported on Wednesday that the Obama campaign outraised the Romney campaign among text message donors 73 to 1.
“Last month, Obama’s campaign reported paying $84,655 in fees to m-Qube Group’s payvia mobile payment service, which manages text-to-donate programs for both presidential campaigns,” said Roll Call. “Mitt Romney’s campaign paid just $1,152, Federal Election Commission records show.”

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