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Now you can donate to your candidate directly from a tweet

The candidates most likely to benefit from this are Hillary and Trump, who have over 4M followers

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
September 15, 2015
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/401f

I've been interested in politics for a long time. Ever since the Bush and Gore fiasco 15 years ago. It can be pretty annoying, and depressing, but I do like watching how things work and get done in the country.

One thing I have never done, though, is give money to a campaign. I doubt I ever will. I work hard for my money, and my $25 or $50 or whatever they want from me, means more to me than it does to them. Besides, they've got plenty of billionaires just itching to give them a lot more than I ever could. They don't need my money. My vote should mean a lot more.

That's my feeling about it, but I know that plenty of people do fork over their cash every four years, or two if they care that much about their congressperson. So good news for them: now it will be that much easier for them to give money thanks to a newly announced partnership between Twitter and Square.

Basically what it does is allow users to donate to their candidate of choice directly from a tweet. How convenient!

The campaigns themselves have to sign up to receive the funding by registering with Square Cash. Square will then verify the campaign (which is good, because I really don't want Deez Nuts raising any money this way), allowing the campaign tio Tweet a unique URL, or $Cashtag, to request donations from its supporters.

The Tweet will automatically include an image with a “contribute” button, which users have to push, then select a donation amount and then add their debit card and FEC information.

Of course, then they can tweet the candidate’s $Cashtag to their followers to try to get even more people to donate.

"When people have conversations about politics, they have them on Twitter. It’s what voters learn and share in these conversations that routinely motivates political action. That’s why we’re making it easier for Twitter users to actively support candidates and causes," the company wrote.

"This is the fastest, easiest way to make an online donation, and the most effective way for campaigns to execute tailored digital fundraising, in real time, on the platform where Americans are already talking about the 2016 election and the issues they are passionate about."

The candidates on Twitter

Who will benefit the most from this? The candidates with the most followers. Let's take a look at some of the most popular candidates running for President this year and see who can take big advantage of this new feature. 

The first name that comes to mind, sadly, is Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) who had 4.15 million followers. I was afraid he would have the most, but he actually beaten by Hillary Clinton. Her account (@HillaryClinton) has 4.23 million followers. Not that I'm a fan of Hillary, but, man does it feel so good when a blowhard and braggard like Trump loses at something. Now if only he loses the Presidency, then I will truly be happy. 

The only other candidate on the Democratic side who matters is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (sorry Martin O'Malley!) His account (@SenSanders) has only 668,000 followers. Wasn't be the one who was supposed to be so popular with young people? Looks like that enthusiasm hasn't translated into much of a social media presence.

The Republican side is much more crowded, for better or worse. On that side, there are sixteen candidates at the moment, but most of them don't have much name recognition, or much of a chance to ever actually become President.

Two of most well known candidates are probably Texas Senator Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) who has 497,000 followers, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) who has 681,000. They are both trounced by Florida Senator Marco Rubio (@marcorubio), who has 841,000 followers. 

Two of the more surprising candidates this year have been Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson), a former neurosurgeon, a 591,000 followers, and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) who has been surging in the polls lately, and who has 491,000 followers. I still don't believe either can win, but those aren't bad numbers for two people who have never held elected office before.

The most paltry showing of all is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (@ChrisChristie) who has only 45,400 followers. He's even beaten by former Texas Governor Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) who has 317,000 followers, and who just dropped out of the race. No wonder Christie is polling at nearly zero in the polls. 

So, if we were going by Twitter followers alone, the matchup would be Hillary vs Trump, who are head and shoulders above everyone else. Do I have to tell you how glad I am that's not how we pick our nominees?

(Image source: blog.twitter.com)


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