Thanks to Gmail Meter, I feel validated in my firm belief that political fundraising is a bit ridiculous and overly bothersome. I learned in this month’s report that I received 71 emails from firstname.lastname@example.org during the month of September, which stemmed from one small gift to the Obama campaign. I realize that as the race nears an end, the candidates are more in competition than ever, but I’m not sure what spamming people with emails really accomplishes. I’m sure that for some, they feel nagged enough to give, and maybe that nagging is fair. I feel torn, because as a fundraiser myself, I know that an entity can’t get money if they don’t ask; the campaign is doing a great job of asking. However, isn’t there a point of diminishing returns? Ask me 3, 4, 5 times, fine. But after it passes 10, 20, 50 asks, it seems like overkill. I can see where there’s little cost to the campaign to send these emails (supporters probably won’t change their vote over the spam) and great benefit (they can only stand to gain money), but it still feels unethical to spam voters. Is this just politics as usual, or has email fundraising taken elections to a whole new level?
[Update 11/28/2012: Interesting article on the ‘science’ of the email campaigning.]