WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — A new study finds that text donations are already becoming a prominent factor in political fundraising, with 10 percent of presidential campaign donors sending over money via cell phone.
The study by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project also showed that Democrats were more inclined to contribute to President Obama’s campaign either through cell phone or online. Supporters of Republican nominee Mitt Romney still tend to donate through traditional mail, by phone or in-person.
Fifteen percent of Democratic campaign donors contributed online via text message or a cell phone application, compared with only 6 percent of Republican donors.
In June, the Federal Election Commission for the first time allowed political campaigns to accept campaign contributions via text message, and both of the major presidential candidates now allow supporters to contribute directly to their campaign using a cell phone.
Although the donations are still just a small party of the overall funding, neither candidate even began collecting donations through texts until late August.
“The fact that in less than a month, 10 percent of donors have contributed this way is impressive,” Aaron Smith, a Pew research associate who helped conduct the analysis, told The Washington Post. “It speaks to the centrality of mobile devices in all aspects of people’s lives.”
In total, 13 percent of all adults surveyed made a contribution to one of the presidential candidates in this year’s election. There was no difference in party affiliation when it came to making any type of campaign contribution – the parties both had equal contributors.
But the method of donations did split down party lines.
Nearly 87 percent of Republican donors have contributed in person, by telephone or via the mail. While on the other hand, only 57 percent of Democrats had done the same. However, 57 percent of Democrats contributed online or via email, compared with 34 percent of Republican donors.