Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has made lists of his donors and supporters available for rental – while still conducting his campaign. While campaigns do at times offer their donor files for rental, standard practice is to wait until the campaign is over.
But the Gingrich campaign has been financially strapped for a while. On April 8, Gingrich revealed that his campaign was carrying $4.5 million in debt. And recently it bounced a $500 check that was supposed to cover ballot access fees for the June 26 Utah primary (Gingrich has until April 20 to make good on the check).
Gingrich made his donor lists available for rental on April 11, according to Mike Murray, president and CEO of list firm TMA Direct, which is managing the files. Murray would not speculate on whether there was precedent for an ongoing campaign making its lists available.
The two lists from the Newt 2012 campaign are "Newt for President 2012 Email Donors and Activists" and "Newt for President 2012 Donors". According to their data cards, the donors and activists lists has a total universe of more than 338,000 individuals who have used the Newt.org website to either make donations or stay abreast of campaign and other current events.
That file is available for $50 per thousand names. It does not list any selects, but A/B splits and suppression file services are available for flat fees of $150.
The donor file is smaller, containing just under 194,000 names, and more expensive, at $135/M. It is also selectable based on dollar amount donated, gender and geography.
Is there a chance of rival campaigns gaining access to the names? Probably not. According to Murray, every potential renter and offer is approved by someone within the Gingrich campaign.
TMA Direct manages a number of lists from organizations "on the right side of the aisle", Murray says. According to its website, these include Dick Morris Reports active subscribers, Fred Thompson's League of American Voter activists, and the Giuliani master file, among others.