What political donations are most impactful in October?
October 9, 2016 8:23 PM   Subscribe

This late in the election cycle, are my (modest) donations best targeted towards individual statewide candidates, or towards general democratic get-out-the-vote efforts? If the latter, any suggestions? I'm specifically interested in impacting Missouri statewide races, which will be highly competitive if enough disgusted GOPers stay home.
posted by chrisamiller to Law & Government (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Ballotpedia lists all the races in Missouri. This year, US Senator, Governor, Lt Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State are all open seats and/or pretty competitive last time I looked at polls.

US Senator (Kander vs Blunt) is definitely within reach & a place where donations would help.

Another strategy would be to donate to the Missouri Democratic Party - presumably they will be helping whichever races they feel will benefit the most.

There are tons of State House & State Senator races this year, but only a very, very small proportion of them are actually competitive. So if you are interested in those, you'll have to sort through them at the Ballotpedia links to figure out which are even a race at all (ie, more than one candidate) and which relatively few of those are actually competitive.
posted by flug at 12:36 AM on October 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

When in doubt I donate to Emily's List. They get progressive women elected all over the country and also help train the next generation of women to win.

If you want to affect change THE MOST with a small donation. Find a competitive battleground Statehouse election from this list (MO not on there, sorry!) and donate to a Democrat. Those state congresses will be the ones redistricting in 2020, setting up the rest of the decade in terms of balance of power in the US Congress.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:16 AM on October 10, 2016

For instance, I just pulled this candidate for a seat in the WI state senate at random from the DLCC's list of Races to Watch. He's a farmer. My $35 will almost certainly help buy coffee for their phone volunteers or something. Good luck Jeff Wright!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:28 AM on October 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

See also Find a competitive House race near you!. Disclaimer: I haven't used it, your question just reminded me of that post.
posted by bfields at 6:49 AM on October 10, 2016

Thanks for the answers so far! To clarify, I understand which races are competitive and not in MO. (US Senate, Gov, Lt Gov, SOS, etc, are all likely to be close this year, but the US house and State Leg. races are not). Given that there aren't many undecided voters anymore, I'm wondering how to best spend my funds to GOTV. Are the individual campaigns going to do the best job, or would the MO Dem party or some other GOTV organization be a better place to donate?
posted by chrisamiller at 7:36 AM on October 10, 2016

Hey fellow Missourian! I am in Columbia. I gave money specifically to Jason Kander at the end of September because that's the race I'm most concerned about. I am sure that giving to the MO Democrats would help a whole slew of candidates GOTV, but I am not seeing any specific effort on the part of the Democrats to GOTV other than the individual candidates. I could be wrong, I'm not an expert, but I have been looking for chances to get involved in my area, and I haven't seen much of this here.

I will tell you that, at least in my area, the Kander and Koster campaigns have joined forces, not only operating out of the same office, but they're handing out one brochure that lists all the candidates for MO state races. I was canvassing for them this weekend, and while my script mentioned Koster first (he is more popular), I was collecting info for the Democrats' database of voters and helping GOTV in general just by getting out there.
posted by aabbbiee at 8:21 AM on October 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

That's great info to know, aabbbiee. I gave a chunk to Kander and some to the MO Dem party, trusting that between the two of them, they'll invest it where it's most needed in the run up to election day. Thanks for the answers all!
posted by chrisamiller at 8:21 PM on October 10, 2016

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