Money & The Economy

Inflation Tanks Small-Dollar Donations To 2024 Campaigns

As prices across the country remain high, small-dollar donations have decreased for 2024 political campaigns, Politico reported Friday.

Although inflation fell in June, prices are still above pre-pandemic levels, and candidates who previously reaped the benefits of grassroots donations are not receiving them at the same degree, according to Politico. The campaign arms of House Republicans and Democrats, as well as presidential candidates, saw a drop in small-donor donations compared to previous cycles.

“It’s going to be a problem for everybody, you just have to find a way to get through it,” GOP Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida told Politico of the effects inflation has had on small-dollar donations.

The Republican National Congressional Committee (NRCC) has seen a decrease in donors contributing less than $200 by the end of the second fundraising quarter, dropping to $7.1 million compared to $20.6 million in 2021, according to Politico. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) brought in $15.2 million from small-dollar donors during the same period, and it raised $23.5 million two years ago.

NRCC Chair Richard Hudson of North Carolina told Politico the committee is working on bolstering grassroots fundraising and acknowledged inflation has caused the decrease in small-dollar donations this cycle.

“We’re just careful not to overextend ourselves and to continue to grow our fundraising base, just knowing that the huge amount we raised pre-economic downturn is not going to come back right away,” Hudson said.

Since his late May presidential launch, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis out-raised the entire GOP primary field with $20 million, but only $3 million came from grassroots donors, according to Politico. President Joe Biden raised $10 million from small-dollar donors by the end of the first fundraising quarter of his second White House bid, which is less than half of what other incumbents have raised during the same period of their reelection campaigns.

Biden campaign co-chair and Texas Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar told Politico that when campaigns are “really aggressive” with their fundraising tactics, it can often backfire.

“I have heard from folks on the ground in my district about fatigue with emails and texts,” Escobar said. “As we lean on the issues important to the American people, we are going to see that engagement go back up.”

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