With 326 emails from 22 campaigns, this week managed to be even busier than last week! While this week set a new total-email record, only 172 came from 20 non-donor lists, while the other 154 came from 21 campaigns reaching out to their donor lists. Honestly, I was not expecting to break the previous record this week, as we had both Monday with quiet emails as the campaigns recovered from their weekend push and Thursday with a holiday that quieted things down a bit as well. However, Sunday’s insane fundraising was still completely unmatched and brought in the numbers.
Julian Castro reveled in the email sending spree with 21 emails this past week. Joe Biden and Tim Ryan both sent 6 fewer than the frontrunner, with 15 emails, followed by Elizabeth Warren with 12 and Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker with 11 each.
To make up for their lack of restraint on Sunday, the campaigns held back the rest of the week. Instead of peaking at the end of the week, they rode to a high on July 3 and crashed back down for July 4 (obviously ignoring Sunday).
The campaigns did tend to stick to sending most of their messages between the hours of 11 AM and 9 PM EST. Sunday night was unusually bustling as the campaigns did their best to pull in last-minute donations, and some campaigns are still early risers, like Kirsten Gillibrand.
Speaking of last-minute donations, every single candidate asked for at least $1 at least once this last week. Some, like Kamala Harris, remained consistent in their $86 average ask, while others, like Marianne Williamson, varied wildly and frequently tossed in $500 donation buttons. You know. Just in case I had a spare $500 lying around.
It’s hard to say if the fundraising push was worth it or not. Very few campaigns have announced their numbers publicly, and while the books closed on Q2 fundraising on June 30, the reports aren’t due in until July 15, so there are still a few more days for the campaigns to keep their cards close to the chest.
Regardless, Pete Buttigieg was the first to announce and the biggest fundraiser this quarter, claiming $24.8 million, a huge jump from his Q1 numbers of $7.1 million and a practically unbelievable amount for a man practically no one had heard of just six months ago.
Joe Biden pulled in the second biggest total, with $21.5 million for Q2, though he was quick to point out that he technically only had two months of fundraising due to his late start, so if you count money raised divided by number of days actively raising money, he raised the most.
Bernie Sanders announced a haul of $18 million and a transfer of another $7 million from a previous campaign
in order to give himself larger numbers than Buttigieg because clearly his budget needed that extra padding. Sanders makes a big deal about how he had nearly 1 million donations, and all of them came in from small-dollar grassroots donors (and therefore is more pure?). His $18 million is a little less than his Q1 fundraising of $18.2 million, which could either be worrying that it dipped or possibly pocket change. It’s hard to tell when dealing with numbers that big.
Kamala Harris raked in nearly $12 million this past quarter, of which at least $2 million came in the 24 hours after stepping onto the debate stage. While this seems like a big deal for her, like with Sanders, her fundraising numbers are actually down from Q1, in which she did raise $12 million. It’s difficult to say, at this point, what this indicates about her campaign.
Michael Bennet was also not in the race in Q1, but he proudly announced $2.8 million in fundraising for Q2. Steve Bullock announced $2 million for his campaign despite not making it onto the first debate stage. Both seem pleased with the amounts they raised, though I’m sure they’d be much happier with the frontrunners’ hauls.
One thing I started tracking out of curiosity was the difference between the average amount the campaigns asked of their existing donors vs their new donors. While the above results seem drastic, they are slightly skewed by the Sunday emails not all being sent to donor lists. Elizabeth Warren, for example, sent 7 emails on Sunday to her non-donors and 0 to me as a donor. By the end of the week, the emails were pretty evened out, with a non-donor email for most of the donor emails, except for people who would never send one or the other (Tulsi Gabbard and Eric Swalwell do not care about people who haven’t given them money, and Joe Sestak hasn’t qualified for a debate to get a donation from me). Most candidates were actually asking the same amount from both of their mailing lists, but Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders had the most noticeable differences. Klobuchar would ask me for $1 as a minimum if I had never donated before, and $25 if I had. Sanders would ask for $3 if I had never donated before, and $1 if I had.
Castro asked for the same amount no matter what, to show that his story of someone like him, raised by a family like his, in a city like his, could resonate with everyone and he too could be President.
Overall, the week was pretty calm. While fundraising was still the biggest topic of the week thanks to Sunday, most campaigns switched over to talking about their policies. Their initial introduction happened with the first debate, so now they have to distinguish themselves from the pack.
Tim Ryan was making every email somehow relate to his education reform ideas. Unfortunately for Ryan, his idea of making every email relate to his education reform was by asking if I could give money to support his education reform plan. For the kiddies, you know? Because the number one pressing issue is to get better mental health treatment into our schools.
Eric Swalwell wanted to talk about gun control, though he had an odd emphasis on his end at the debate:
On Thursday, thanks to you fulfilling your end of the bargain, Eric was able to fulfill his end as he took the debate stage in Miami.Lisa Tucker, Chief Strategist, Swalwell for America
That emphasis is all theirs. It seemed so out of place: was Swalwell trying to hint that his campaign had ended that night? Regardless, he has student loan debt, so you’d better believe that a vote for him is a vote to help alleviate debt.
Pete Buttigieg called for a new and improved National Service program, to allow many more Americans to benefit from the social-fabric-building experience of national service without needing to go to war for it.
Elizabeth Warren had a few plans that she announced, including strengthening women of color and democratic reform. I’d like to know how many of Warren’s plans she’s said she’ll set into motion on Day One of her presidency, because from the sounds of it, she’s going to be very busy.
Steve Bullock wants to talk about getting big money out of politics, and he’s horrified of how little time was devoted to it at the previous debates. He’s currently on the stage for the next debates, so he’ll definitely absolutely be bringing it up then.
And Kirsten Gillibrand just sent an email with the subject Marijuana. The body was simply a link to a petition with the words “It’s time to legalize it.” I think she has a plan to legalize marijuana.
It might be worth noting that every single donor email I received referred to me by name (because I did have to give my name to make a donation). That means the “what I’m referred to chart” is much more boring for the donors.
The “inbox” chart is also much more boring. Because all of these emails are going to an alias which then forwards the emails on to my main inbox, almost all of them end up in my Primary folder. I’ve only received 2 donor emails in my Promotions folder.
Of course, most of my non-donor emails dump straight into my Promotions folder. No surprises there.