OVERBY: That’s because the Internet is changing the way politicians raise and spend cash. Here’s Republican digital strategist Eric Wilson.
ERIC WILSON: There’s been this mindset for campaign managers that you want to have the highest cash-on-hand number possible at the end of each reporting period, and you want to have the lowest burn rate.
OVERBY: That’s been a GOP tradition. The big war chest would scare off opponents, and then the cash would turn into a TV blitz near Election Day.
WILSON: That math doesn’t work anymore because you can reach millions of voters very quickly on Facebook, on Twitter, on YouTube. You just need one bio video to go viral to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars.
OVERBY: Until recently, fundraising has been geographically based – the home district, the home state, lobbyists in Washington. Direct mail would also go to ideological loyalists around the country. The internet changes that. Candidates can hit up any qualified donor anywhere. Wilson said the technology is there for Republicans, but candidates and advisers need to catch up.
WILSON: We can build the best technology platform in the world bar none. But if you’re not growing your email list, you’re not going to raise money online.