Fact-checking a David Nir claim about fees for Republican campaign donation conduit WinRed

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The administrator of this blog has, and uses, a DailyKos account under the handle DownstateDemocrat, but is not employed by DailyKos.


David Nir, the political director at the left-of-center political website DailyKos, claimed on Twitter earlier today that WinRed, an online political contribution conduit for Republican political candidates that is the Republicans’ equivalent of the Democrats’ ActBlue, effectively charges a 9.8% fee on a $5 donation to a Republican political candidate made through WinRed:

To prove Nir’s claim that a $5 donation to a Republican candidate via WinRed would result in a 9.8% fee being charged by WinRed, I used Nir’s description of the fee system WinRed uses (3.8% of the amount of the contribution, plus 30 cents) to create a spreadsheet showing how much Republican donors who use WinRed would actually pay, as well as the net fee percentage, for certain donation amounts. I have a policy of not directly linking to Republican websites on Apollo Corner, although Nir, in this DailyKos story that he authored, included a link to a WinRed page that included the description of WinRed’s fee policy. One only has to look at the sixth row of my spreadsheet to find that the effective rate on a $5 donation to a Republican candidate via WinRed is 9.8% of the donation, or, rounded up to the nearest cent, 49 cents, resulting in a total cost to a Republican donor of $5.49. On a related note, a Democratic donor donating $5 to a Democratic candidate via ActBlue would be charged a 3.95% fee, which, rounded up to the nearest cent, is 20 cents, making the total cost of a $5 donation to a Democratic candidate via ActBlue $5.20. Assuming that both WinRed and ActBlue round up fees to the nearest cent, it is 29 cents cheaper to donate $5 to a Democratic candidate via the tried and trusted ActBlue than it is to donate $5 to a Republican candidate via new, untrusted, and grifty WinRed.

Assuming that WinRed rounds up fees to the nearest cent, Nir’s claim that a Republican donor donating $5 to a Republican candidate via WinRed would be charged a 9.8% effective rate is absolutely true.