Techies Cash In On Romney, Obama

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MITT ROMNEY
Startups are making millions off campaign funds in the 2012 race for the presidency. | AP

A presidential race with record-breaking campaign spending plus digitally savvy American voters equals an obvious opportunity for technology companies.

What used to be traditional grassroots campaigns are now morphing into high-tech consulting startups, launched by young entrepreneurs who are looking to profit off the most expensive presidential election in history, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

Now with more than three months left to go, presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have raised more than $330 million.

A chunk of that change is going to firms that help the candidates with social media campaigns, web advertisements, online fundraising and tracking voter sentiment. Three top tech consulting firms for political candidates -- Mitt Romney's Targeted Victory, and Democratic versions Blue State Digital and Bully Pulpit Interactive -- have already pocketed $46 million from candidates and super-PACs, Bloomberg reported.

Meanwhile, other techies have found nonpartisan ways to cash in. In May, Rally.org, which offers online fundraising tools for social causes and political campaigns, raised $7.9 million of venture capital in just eight days, according to PandoDaily.

In many ways, President Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, which successfully tapped the tools of the web to influence voters, set the stage for a tech boom in this election cycle, the New York Times reported in 2008.

Campaign finance records show that Romney's camp is using Piryx, a fundraising platform that Rally's founder previously launched, to collect online contributions, Tech President reported earlier this month. The Republican National Committtee, now fully linked to the fundraising operation of Romney, raised $39.8 million in June, crushing the Democratic National Committee's $20.5 million.