Harris has a target that is much bigger than getting re-elected.
Just days after senior-most Indian American congressman Ami Bera predicted that an Indian American president could be leading the United State in the future. A financial spending report done by the HuffPost suggest that that candidate could be Sen. Kamala Harris.
Harris won the race to the Senate barely seven months ago and has more than four years left in her tenure. However, her spending on her digital campaign makes one wonder whether the Indian American is aiming for a bigger catch – the first Indian American woman president of the United States.
According to the HuffPost report, Harris has been aggressively spending on her digital marketing. During the first three months of 2017, she is believed to have spent more than $300,000, which is quite unusual considering that she is a freshman senator.
The newspaper points that in all probabilities, Harris has a target that is much bigger than getting re-elected. It hints that this could be the title that was left unfulfilled by fellow Democrat Hilary Clinton – the first woman president of the United States. To further validate their claim HuffPost said that she has been investing more in recent days on email acquisition and brand building.
A campaign strategist of Harris who spoke on condition of anonymity to HuffPost said that the presidency is not the motivation for her heavy digital spending but rather she would like to “shore up her finances.”
The negative energy that is looming around the Trump administration, that too just a few months after taking office, has created a conducive environment for the Democrats to pitch in their values. And, to adopt new fundraising tactics, which the strategist compares to the one adopted by Berny Sanders: small-dollar giving that begets sustained forms of activism.
“When you stack it up against other ways to raise money, it has the advantage that when you’re fundraising, you’re also mobilizing a base that you can use for other actions,” Michael Malbin, head of the Campaign Finance Institute, told HuffPost.
He also added that the people who donate not just vote for their candidate but recommend them to others, too, through the word of the mouth. This, he said, is the most viral and the most beneficial marketing tactics ever.
According to the campaign managers, the inflow of money coming in the first quarter is phenomenal given that presidential election concluded just a few months back. Some see the investment in digital marketing as “free money” and is seen as building a strong foundation that can shoulder a candidate up during the presidential campaign.
Harris’s strategist also said that she received over 48,000 individual funders within the short span of three months, with donations averaging below $18.50 as small-dollar donations. He also added that the return on investment has spiked to 700 percent on every single dollar spent on digital marketing.
According to the HuffPost, the more acceptable number will be under 300-400 percent, which is not bad in the existing scenario. As of now, Harris’s online campaign has helped her in raising $738,459, thanks to all small donors who donated the Indian American less than $200 during the first three months of 2017.
According to HuffPost, other Democrats are also making a similar pitch in digital marketing and this includes Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who will all run for re-election in 2018. Reportedly, they too are finding similar success in digital campaigns.
(This post has been updated.)