As the end of another month approaches, so does the deluge of emails from candidates and campaign committees in search of contributions. This torrent of missives begging for $5 or $10 used to come only toward the end of the quarter, but there are now mid-quarter and monthly deadlines, making the pace relentless to the point that there are candidates who send one or two fundraising emails nearly every day. At that pace, one or two candidates who shall remain nameless are becoming caricatures of their own email solicitations. As recipients of lots of these emails asking for $5 and $10 contributions, we got curious as to whether they and other forms of online fundraising make a measurable difference on the candidates’ bottom lines? A look at unitemized contributions – those under $200 that don’t have to be listed individually under Federal Election Commission rules – for both Senate incumbents and challengers suggest that it can … in the millions of dollars. Two important caveats here: not every dollar listed as an unitemized contribution was raised online, and some contributions
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