Political donations via the Internet in the 2000 Election amounted to about $50 million. By 2004 that number is likely to more than triple, reaching $170 million, predicted John Richardson, founder of eContributor. Other analysts predict online donations could become the dominant way to give money to political campaigns, with 80 percent of donations received online by 2008. The presidential candidates raised millions online; some congressional candidates raised tens of thousands of dollars online. The national parties used innovative fundraising opportunities, such as an online arts auction. Popular artists from across the country donated their time and talents to the Democratic National Committee and was the first national online political sale and auction site.
Both Gore and Bush used their Web sites to inspire and recruit volunteers. Subscribers to campaign e-mail newsletters received frequent updates, are asked to make telephone calls and recruit others. The campaigns used "virtual volunteers" from around the country. Volunteers were urged to send an email to 10 friends, or send an online postcard. Each of the two major presidential contenders collected more than 250,000 e-mail addresses who agreed to receive frequent messages from the candidates or their surrogates. In the last days of the campaign, each supporter was encouraged to forward a campaign e-mail to at least 10 friends and associates. If the half a million Democratic and Republican online activists forwarded the e-mail to an average of five friends or associated, 2.5 million voters were reached. In a close election such as the 2000 Election, that initiative may have made an impact.
All information regarding the 2000 Election is taken from How the Internet is Changing Politics; Campaign 2000 on the Internet, by Jim Buie.1
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Created On November 29, 2001
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