Even so, donors often only give money when they’re asked, and Republicans need to invest in building email lists and small-dollar donor programs via online surveys, merchandising and other outreach early in an election cycle, even if it doesn’t provide immediate dividends, said Eric Wilson, a Republican online strategist who has worked on campaigns.
“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,” Wilson said.
One of the biggest outside groups supporting Republicans agrees with Wilson.
In a statement this week, Dan Conston, president of the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC, which spent $138 million supporting Republican House candidates in 2018, said the only way WinRed will work is if candidates engage in such efforts.
And from now on, Conston said, the super PAC “will be adding small dollar fundraising to our evaluation of GOP campaigns” as it decides which candidates will benefit from the millions it has to spend.
In case the carrots offered by WinRed aren’t enough, that’s a big stick.