Donation patterns follow the partisan line, recent poll says.


Democrats and Republicans Democrats and Republicans differentiate on many things. Here is one more: how they donate money to their presidential candidates.

Democrats are more likely to donate money online or from their mobile phones, while Republicans tend to contribute in person, by phone call, or via regular mail, according to a recent Pew Study.

Text message as a method for political campaigns to accept campaign donations was approved by the Federal Election Commission in June this year. Since then, 13 percent of all American adults have made contributions to one of the presidential candidates in this year’s election.

Over 87 percent Republicans who have contributed to their campaign did so in person, via telephone or through regular mail. The percentage for Democrats is 57.

Democrats who contribute online or via email make up 57 percent of all the Democratic campaign donors, while only 34 percent of Republican donors have chosen this way.

Donations through text message or mobile apps come from 15 percent of Democratic contributors and the percentage for Republican contributors is only 6.

One reason for this difference is that many voters, especially young voters, find donating money to their political favorite online or through text message easier than other ways.

“I do almost all my stuff online and on my phone anyway,” said David Burf, a 26-year-old NYU graduate student, who made a donation to the Obama campaign online early October this year. “So I make my donations online, too. It’s just easier that way.”

Obama campaign’s bigger online presence could be a factor as well. Up till September this year, Obama’s facebook page has the fan count of 28.7 million compared with 7.1 million on Romney’s facebook page. About 20 million people follow Obama campaign’s twitter feed and only over one million for Romney, according to statistics on

Political candidates’ online presence could affect people’s voting and donation decisions. “US voters’ votes are the currency and US voters are captivated by social media and more generally the WWW, online strategies effective,” said Michael Cohen, Marketing Professor at New York University.

The Pew Study was conducted in September this year, and it was based on answers from over 2,000 respondents from two combined national telephone surveys.


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