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GOP launches much-anticipated WinRed

After years of Republicans asking for a central, online conservative fundraising mechanism -- the GOP decided to launch WinRed. Which aims to attract small-dollar donors and convert President Trump’s popularity into success for other GOP candidates.

Republicans have lagged the Democratic Party when it comes to small-dollar donors, but they hope WinRed will be an answer to Democrats’ ActBlue platform -- which has already raised over $174 million this year. Much like ActBlue, the new tool will create a centralized, one-stop shop for online Republican fundraising. Furthermore, the GOP took it a step further to separate itself from the RNC, by using WinRed to collect data on donors and add to Republicans’ already-robust Data Trust. According to the sites privacy policy, it reserves the right to collect identifying information including; emails, phone numbers, voter registration and affiliation information, and information from registrants’ social media posts. Thus, improving the Republicans’ quality of political data, which will allow them to continue to have an advantage over Democrats who comparatively struggle in the voter data area.

Overall, the premise of WinRed is simple, the site is conduit that allows individuals to several conservative candidates or causes. The donor may give to their favorite candidate, split contributions among several candidates or set up recurring donations for a set period. Once an individual donates, the site will suggest other candidates or causes the donor may want to consider.

Transparency and a few other questions about the platform remain. Conduits require more discloser than other entities, they must report names and addresses of all contributors to the FEC, as well as employment information if contributions surpass $200. WinRed has not commented on the specifics of its disclosure practices. Despite lingering questions, President Trump is the first GOP candidate to announce he is using the site. Other candidates are expected to join him but aren’t required to jump on board.

Keith Knutsson of Integrale Advisors commented that “WinRed, much like the ActBlue, is a great platform for voters to contribute to their political affiliation. It offers a great channel for individuals to get involved.”

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