Jack Vaughan, Christos Ioannou, and Stephie set out to do an experiment. Could Election Twitter collectively raise $5,000 to fund a presidential and senate poll of Alaska? As it turns out, they could do that and more. When Public Policy Polling (PPP), a Democratic polling firm based in Raleigh, NC., announced they were looking for someone to commission a survey of Alaska, the three turned to Election Twitter to crowdfund the poll – and Election Twitter set out to overcome what has proven to be a dearth of polling in Alaska this cycle.
In just over twelve hours, Vaughan’s GoFundMe appeal saw an incredible outpouring of grassroots support. It not only hit its $5,000 goal, it has now hit a secondary $8,000 goal for a mystery poll in another state. As for PPP, they are on the field in Alaska today and they have generously pledged to donate $5,000 of the fundraiser’s proceeds to an Alaskan charity of Election Twitter’s choice.
A Primer on Election Twitter
So, just what is Election Twitter? Election Twitter is a group of elections professionals, mappers, journalists, and enthusiasts who all came together in the Twitterverse to share ideas and information. It is the brainchild of Elections Daily contributor Genya Coulter, a professional elections worker. She hatched the idea with a hashtag in 2017 while working in social media for U.S. Vote Foundation, a site that offers state-specific voter services and information. Soon, the hashtag was automatically filling on Twitter for J. Miles Coleman, the associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Election Twitter was born.
Following the creation of the GoFundMe project, donations began pouring in, surprising Election Twitter’s tight knit community and proving its potential crowdfunding strength. Soon, what seemed like an ambitious attempt to raise $5,000 for a single poll had morphed into an imminently achievable goal to raise the funds for what will likely be an identical survey in Kansas.
Jack Vaughan, himself a field organizer with the Knox County Democratic Party, remarked that “raising $5,000 in under eight hours was a shock, and PPP’s willingness to commission our poll for charity added so much more to our mission and the donors’ generosity.” Election Twitter was thrilled. While PPP extended a warm congratulations, ET marveled at their community’s grassroots support. Now that they have proven their strength, what else is possible?
As for Jack, Christos, and Stephie, they were very pleased with the results of crowdfunding the polling campaign. Vaughan praised Public Policy Polling, saying, “Those at PPP are super gracious to allow us to donate the money raised while still conducting our Alaska poll.” The two Alaskan charities that will evenly split the $5,000 proceeds are the Alaska Native Justice Fund (anjc.org), and Alaska Community Foundation’s GCI Suicide Prevention Fund (alaskacf.org/blog/funds/gci). The results of the first ever Election Twitter-commissioned poll of Alaska will be released this Thursday, July 9th, at 10:00 am.