Per CBS News. When I interviewed campaign managers a week or so ago at the event NR had with Google in Washington, the most interesting of them was Barry Bennett, Carson
’s manager. He laid out a campaign that is making the most of new technologies in a creative effort that is entirely different from the conventional model of, say, Jeb Bush going from one pricey fundraising to another.
It’s an overcast Monday morning, and Bennett has just wrapped a 90-minute meeting on the campaign’s Facebook strategy. It stretched on slightly longer than usual: As the end of September looms, and with it the Federal Election Commission’s deadline for the third fundraising quarter, Carson’s strategists are devising the social-media content needed to sustain a final push for donations, a vast majority of which come through Facebook prompts. Bennett’s expression is bright as he tells me the campaign has raised nearly $20 million in the last two months.
Such meetings are routine within the Operating Room. When he launched his campaign in March, Carson lacked the healthy donor list enjoyed by rivals who’ve spent their lives in electoral politics, even after his campaign purchased the direct-mailing list amassed by The 2016 Committee, a pro-Carson super PAC. His team has thus relied in large part on social-media platforms for fundraising. Through a mix of merchandise, ads, petitions, rally invitations, and even direct fundraising appeals from Bennett himself, the campaign has been able to solicit hundreds of thousands of dollars each week from an ever-growing army of online supporters. It’s made Carson something of a cause célèbre among grassroots conservatives, an outsider candidate whose intimate appeals to his virtual fans — many of whom have read his books and followed him loyally since day one — have helped give him the highest favorability rating in the GOP field.