Day Ten

If I thought Wednesday was a busy day, Thursday proved me wrong. A new record of 35 emails from 18 campaigns came in, including the first ever from Pete Buttigieg. Completely unsurprisingly, 83% were asking for donations, but that’s a chart for the weekly wrap up.

May 30 2019 campaign
Buttigieg is yellow, because have you SEEN his website!?

Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, and Elizabeth Warren led the pack today with 3 emails each, while Bill de Blasio set a personal record of emailing me two days in a row. I’d say he was staring to get the hang of this national campaign thing, except the email was signed by de Blasio and yet spoke about the Mayor in third person in the middle. Whoops: pretty obvious you didn’t write that!

I’ve revamped my determination of optimistic vs neutral and will give more of a write up on this tomorrow, but here’s the breakdown of Thursday’s emails.

Green is good and red is bad and blue is in the middle?

As you can see, tone is fairly evenly split between optimistic, neutral, and mixed. I only marked 1 as pessimistic, and that came from, surprisingly, Cory Booker’s campaign. The email was signed by Booker’s CFO, Judy Zamore, and was a bit of a “woe is me, if you don’t donate, I’ll have to tell everyone they have to cut their budgets.”

If we fall short, I’ll have no choice but to send some tough emails. No one wants that.

One eyebrow-raising addition to this email was a (animated, woo!) chart showing their fundraising goal. As you can see, they’re at 81%. Why eyebrow raising?

May 30, 2019. Image from Cory 2020

Because on May 28, they were only at 12%, and I can’t recall any major appearance Booker had that might have earned him a boost.

May 28, 2019. Image from Cory 2020

Now, Booker’s goal is very modest. It’s entirely possible he made 69% of his fundraising goal in two days. However, I’m not quite as willing to trust his graphs as I am Kamala Harris’.

May 30, 2019. Image from Kamala Harris for the People

Look at that, she’s almost up to her goal! I’m so proud of her just by watching her chart fill up. Her town hall appearance definitely netted her a large boost.

Speaking of town halls, Michael Bennet was in a CNN town hall and came off the stage incredibly pumped up. I got an email at 11:47 pm apologizing for the hour but recapping his incredible appearance.

Bernie Sanders was griping about his moments accepting maxed-out checks and pointing out once again that HE absolutely does not no never take big money from any of those pesky billionaires. Except Elizabeth Warren was also making that exact same argument. Find out in the weekly wrap up on Sunday just how many candidates claim they are fully grassroots-funded, despite Sanders and Warren insinuating otherwise.

With all this talk of end-of-month deadlines, you’d think the new guy would be chiming in with a plea for money, but no. Pete Buttigieg sent one of only 5 emails on Thursday that did not ask for a donation (others included Michael Bennet sending a reminder of his town hall, Elizabeth Warren promoting her universal childcare plan, Beto O’Rourke calling for impeachment, and Tim Ryan supporting workers). Buttigieg’s email laid out his “rules of the road,” or the ten values that shape his campaign. His campaign staff apparently signed a pledge to uphold the following values, and he was asking his mailing list to do the same:

Pete identified ten values that he wants to shape our work this campaign: respect, belonging, truth, teamwork, boldness, responsibility, substance, discipline, excellence, and joy. My favorite is truth:

“Honesty is in our nature, and it is one of our greatest means of restoring faith in our democracy among everyday Americans and building a national movement rooted in trust and faith in our country and our beliefs. Internally and externally, our effort will be characterized by fidelity to the truth.”

Does Buttigieg realize it’s the END OF THE MONTH DEADLINE!?!?!? Or has he, like O’Rourke, decided to not panic about self-imposed fundraising deadlines?

May 30 2019 to date
I’m going to continue playing around with these charts. Let me know if you like/don’t like anything!

12 thoughts on “Day Ten

  1. Yeah, Pete’s pretty low-key when it comes to emails. I saw Chasten recently and he has sworn that they will never email us desperately pleading for $3.00 before midnight–they find that basically dishonest. Most of the few emails from the campaign are actual NEWS. The last one before this was an email explaining his decision to go on Fox for the Town Hall, which was very persuasive. Some of the emails include a request to donate, but it’s never ABOUT the donations.

    Pete has a very dedicated following of grassroots support. We are all networking with each other, making our own campaign materials (buttons, t-shirts, brochures) using the graphics toolkit on PFA’s website. It was one of those followers who posted about your blog, and we are all enjoying it–very nice work!

    Pete’s support continues to grow as he gains visibility. We HAVE communicated to the campaign that they really should send out at least a welcome email when someone signs up on the website. Hopefully they will fix that.

    Keep up the good work! This is all fascinating.


    1. I really appreciate that about Pete’s campaign. I recently underwent some DNC training, and I know most of those deadlines are BS. I’d love to know if they actually work, but based on the emails I am CONTINUING to receive from the campaigns that try it…not nearly well enough.

      I’m having a ton of fun with this, except for when I keep coming up with more things to track and have to go through the 200+ emails all over again so as not to skew my statistics!


  2. This site is great! My biggest issue is the charts. They are pretty unreadable, even on my laptop. The bars are super narrow and the text is so minuscule that I can’t make out the names unless I try hard. Maybe you could play around with some zoomable/interactive ones? For example, maybe if you mouse-over a bar you get a tooltip with the persons name. There are Google Charts: However, the most beautiful data viz stuff I’ve seen all seems to come from Tableau:

    Minor style points: There is a scroll bar on your left side menu frame that doesn’t need to be there. When you quote text from emails it’s much larger than your words. On some of your posts, you list out multiple things and visually the quoted text could go with either the person above or below the box.


    1. Thanks! Yeah, I’m pretty upset with how the charts are coming out too. I’m using Google sheets to track everything and make the charts, and it’s not giving me much in the way of making them easier to read. I’ll check out Google Charts and Tableau, though. Thanks for the links!

      Thanks for the style advice too. I wasn’t sure what I’d need for this blog, so I grabbed a free theme and slapped it on. The quote thing, for example, I can’t find a way to change. This weekend is definitely going to be spent playing around with the style.


  3. This is really interesting. I like the comparison of the emails and their tones. I believe that the staff tends to reflect the leadership so the tone from the staff sending these out most likely reflects what may be going on with the candidate him or herself that they are masking from the public. It will be very interesting to watch this as the months roll on. It might be the only thing to keep everyone sane once the real insanity begins.


    1. I curate the mailing lists so you don’t have to deal with the spam yourselves!

      It is definitely interesting the different tones from the different campaigns. I’m surprised at how my opinions of some of these candidates are shifting based on their emails.


      1. I gotta tell you about what happened with me and Pete’s most recent email (the “Rules of the Road” email). I went to read the Rules, signed, and then got a request for a donation to support the campaign. Now, I’m a monthly donor. I’d also just made a donation to attend a Pete for America fundraising event in NYC later this month. AND I’d already made one other separate donation that day. So my initial thought was, heck, I already gave enough lately.

        But then I thought, “Wait a minute–maybe they are tracking to see whether they get a good donation response by merely showing they are Doing the Right Things.”

        So I donated. AGAIN. #TeamPete has my #.


      2. See, I have a theory that if done right, less is more for precisely this reason. Rewards come in for good behavior easier than they do for begging. However, doing a mailing list right is HARD. And if you can’t do it right, then begging is all you have left!


  4. One more suggestion: Maybe you could archive the emails, for those who want to review them, themselves? Maybe a folder for each candidate, with the emails in chronological order? It would be nice for anyone interested to be able to see the actual emails, without having to subscribe. It would also help to dispel any concerns about how they are characterized in your commentary.
    I know *I* am never gonna read them all, but it might be fun/informative to read some of them.


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