Calculating the Potential Impact of Fraudulent Donations
How big of an impact could the Obama campaign credit card donation loophole have in this election? Let’s do some math. Follow along…
The Open Secrets website is a great place to start and allows us to determine the total dollars raised by each campaign as well as the amounts attributed to donations over and under $200. According to the site, the Obama campaign has raised an astounding $639 million dollars. $364 million of these dollars came from donations over $200. The remainder of the donations can be attributed to donations under $200 and is calculated to be ($600M – $364M) = $275M. So that’s $275 million dollars worth of donations that the Obama campaign is choosing not to disclose.
We also know that two thirds of Obama’s donations have been made online. Now, we take the total number of all donations under $200 (remember, this totals $275 million) and multiply this by two-thirds to calculate the number of undisclosed donations that are highly susceptible to online fraud. This equates to $181 million dollars worth of online donations that the Obama campaign has deliberately put at risk by turning off online address verification. That’s also $181 million dollars worth of donations that the Obama campaign has chosen not to disclose.
To give you a sense of scale, this amounts to almost 50% of the total funds the McCain campaign has raised this election cycle!
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