Who to donate to before U.S. election?
October 22, 2020 9:01 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for recommendations on what candidates to donate to. That is, where our campaign contribution could make the most difference. We are thinking about four donations of $25 each and leaning toward U.S. Senate candidates. But I could also be interested in candidates for state legislatures, in states where redistricting for congressional districts could be pivotal.
posted by NotLost to Law & Government (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The House-Keeping Fund says that they aren't directing money to the races where it is most likely to have an impact.

Swing Left promotes their Immediate Impact Fund.
posted by zeikka at 9:11 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Was coming in to suggest Swing Left’s Senate Fund or Immediate Action Fund, both available here.
posted by stellaluna at 9:13 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I found this pretty convincing when I was looking for somewhere to make my small donation matter.
posted by MadamM at 9:28 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Sean McElwee of Data For Progress also has suggestions.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 10:00 PM on October 22, 2020

Best answer: It's not much money so I would donate to the smaller campaigns where it will make more of an impact in the budget. I used the Swing Left Immediate Action Fund (see stellaluna's link) to pick where to invest my donations.

You could double your impact by also giving a couple of hours doing "get out the vote" calls or texts. Here is the link the Swing Left phone bank. When I looked, they were recruiting for calls into Floriday, but if you check out their Swing State page, you can see if there is more going on in a state that you might feel more connection with.
posted by metahawk at 10:00 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Came here to suggest pacs like SwingLeft or the DLCC, the Democratic arm that deals with state legislatures. This is all pretty deep into the realm of "Let some professional dork decide where this is best sent today."
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:05 AM on October 23, 2020

Best answer: You are on the right track with Senate and House candidates. It's harder for them to raise money than for the top of the ticket.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:30 AM on October 23, 2020

Best answer: Here is the Panic Decision Matrix, which argues among other things that the Senate campaigns themselves are overfunded, and that you'd be better off contributing to House campaigns in those states, as the voters they turn out will help the Senate as well.
posted by vogon_poet at 6:09 AM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here's my pitch from Pennsylvania: We have a real chance of flipping the state House this year. This is good for so many reasons but one that could impact the whole country is that state reps are seated in early December before the electoral college votes for president. This means that if we flip the PA House, the PA GOP can't try to change PA's electoral votes (if Biden wins the state), as they've threatened. You can donate here.
posted by mcduff at 6:39 AM on October 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I'll make a pitch for Wisconsin: while we have a Democratic governor, WI's senate and assembly are controlled by the GOP. Our districts are already gerrymandered to hell: in 2018 Democratic assembly candidates received >1/2 of the votes but won only 1/3 of the seats. The GOP has a small but substantial chance at gaining a supermajority in both houses this election. You can donate to Democratic campaigns via SwingLeft here: here.
posted by esker at 8:32 AM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The above are all great suggestions for where to donate. I'll just put in a plug making your donations right now TODAY. There are 11 days left until the election and with every passing day campaigns are going to be less able to spend your donation effectively. It's already getting very late to buy television time, hire staff, print literature etc.
posted by fancypants at 1:26 PM on October 23, 2020

Best answer: Maciej Cegłowski's projects The Great Slate and The State Slate are both excellent. I donated to both. Long read on the underlying rationale, but basically battleground senate candidates have more money than they can effectively spend and it is too late to get through a committee to on the ground.

Main point: do it today. Please.

On preview, what vogon_poet and madamM said.
posted by Gotanda at 3:55 PM on October 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. We are splitting the money between the Swing Left Senate fund and Turn Pa. Blue.
posted by NotLost at 11:05 AM on October 24, 2020

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