When it’s as easy as pushing a button on your smartphone, donating to candidates can become an itch that needs constant scratching. Thousands of Americans give to their favorite politicians over and over again in what the Washington Post likens to an addiction. The newspaper counts 1,300 people who gave to candidates more than five times in the second quarter—and those are only the folks who met the $200 threshold for disclosure.
“It’s a means of expressing my frustration with the news of the day,” explains a software engineer who’s given some $25 to Michele Bachmann every few weeks over the past few months. A donor from the other side of the aisle agrees. “If I like what he’s doing at that moment,” says an Obama supporter who’s given 26 times since April, “then I’ll give to him. It’s almost addicting to think that you’re influencing government." (Read more political donations stories.)