“Senate GOP escalates its attack on Google over email spam”


The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign arm of the Republican caucus, is preparing to escalate its attack on Google over the company’s email spam filter, which it blames for recent fundraising disappointments, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

A draft memo on NRSC letterhead, and addressed to Google, claims that “Google and its algorithms have handed a distinct advantage to Democrat fundraising efforts, resulting in Republicans raising millions of dollars less than they should be able to.” And a Wednesday afternoon email from an NRSC official to chiefs of staff and legislative directors for Republican senators asks them to have their bosses sign the letter before leaving for their August recess.

The email states that Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) is spearheading the effort. In a May meeting, Grassley told Google representatives that Gmail should operate like a post office and suggested that sending emails to spam was equivalent to a post office refusing to deliver the mail, according to three people in the room who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.

The basis for the GOP’s allegations, which Google denies, is a March study published by researchers at North Carolina State University finding that Gmail sent 77 percent of right-wing candidate emails to spam in 2020, compared with 10 percent of left-wing candidate emails.ADVERTISING

Google took issue with the study, saying it relied on a small sample size and old data while not accounting for which candidates had used recommended tools when sending bulk emails. People familiar with the company’s thinking said Google is being scapegoated by Republican consultants seeking to shift the blame for poor fundraising caused by lists that have grown stale and recipients who have tired of incessant appeals, especially those coming from entities that have rented or purchased email addresses. The GOP’s online fundraising has fallen off in recent months, declining by about 11 percent in the second quarter of the year, compared with the first, according to federal filings from WinRed,the main donation-processing portal for Republicans.

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