President Obama has out-earned Governor Romney 73 to 1 in text message donations.
Earlier this year, it was announced that politicians were able to raise money through text message marketing for what is known as premium SMS. Premium SMS uses a short code and consumers text a keyword to the short code to, in this case, make a donation to a politician.
President Barack Obama has always been one to embrace new technology and he rode this considerable advantage to a victory over John McCain in the 2008 election. Well, apparently, he’s at it again.
According to information released by Roll Call, the President has paid the premium SMS provider $84,655 while Governor Romney has paid $1152. The figures come from statistics released by the Federal Election Commission. Roll Call estimates that Obama has earned $836,550 from text message donations while Romney has earned just $1520.
Mitt Romney won’t even have to answer his phone to receive future text message donations.
2012 is shaping up to be a political battleground and now the newest weapon for political fundraising is the candidates use of text messages to earn money for political campaigns.
Certainly, the Obama’s are familiar with using text messages to make money. Mrs. Obama appeared on national television in prime time to help raise money forearthquake victims in Haiti for the Red Cross. The non-profits made money through viewers sending a text message to a short code using technology that Advanced Telecom Services’ offers called premium sms.
Both Senator Romney and President Obama believe that making donations via text message will allow middle class citizens to be able to give money to the campaigns through a convenient method that’s as simple as sending a text message. Both candidates had submitted letters in support of the use of text message donations to their campaigns. One would have to think that, given equal promotion, the Democratic candidate stands to gain more through this new and unique political fundraising effort.
With premium sms for political candidates, consumers will text a keyword to a 5-digit short code (for example, text ROMNEY to 84444). Upon receipt the sender will receive a text message back that confirms the cost of the text message. When the sender replies in the affirmative the charge is attached to the sender’s cell phone bill.
Most of the political text messages will be for $10. If the user contributes $200, the company will need to cap the donations per phone number. It could also send the political registration documents to the consumer to allow them to continue to contribute above and beyond the $200 figure.
PAC’s (Political Action Committees) should really be intrigued by the text message donation option, but they will need to cap the anonymous donations at $50 per month as the law requires.
Political candidates are going to love receiving donations via this convenient method. The only thing that they won’t necessarily like is the ultimate payout. The carriers are the ones doing the billing so they are going to expect the majority of the money, close to half. The mobile marketing company, also known as a service bureau, handling the accounts will also get a piece of the action.
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