Over the weekend, I received 64 emails from 16 campaigns. Those emails were evenly split, with 32 arriving to my non-donor inbox from 15 campaigns and 32 arriving to my donor inbox from a different 15 campaigns. (Joe Sestak emailed me as a non-donor, while Kamala Harris emailed me only as a donor this weekend).
Of course, while the emails were evenly split between donor and non-donor, they definitely were not evenly split among campaigns.
Julian Castro went above and beyond, not only heaping my inbox full of the same old tired song, but also going so far as to text me one of his emails. With every passing day, Castro climbs higher and higher on my “most hated candidate” list. I’d rather get emails from the two candidates who can’t be bothered with my no-money account than get another repetitive “I’m so blown away!” “This will be the biggest upset ever!” “They said someone like me couldn’t do it!” from Castro.
No joke, as of right now, Castro is a “pinch my nose” candidate solely because of the quantity and poor quality of his emails. The only reason he’s not a never-vote is because he’s still not as bad as the current guy. As a person, as a candidate, he’s not bad. But his campaign is atrocious and if he drops out tomorrow, I would cheer.
Of course, he’s not going to be dropping out tomorrow. Not when he’s been giving me regular updates on HOW CLOSE HE IS TO 130,000 DONORS OMG HE’S ALMOST THERE CAN I PUSH HIM OVER THE TOP!?!?!
No. No, Castro, I can’t, because I already donated to you. It’s bad enough you’re begging me on my non-donor account to push you over the top, but the fact that you can’t even figure out how to separate your non-donor list from your donor list so you’re begging some who already donated to be fresh new unique donors tells me a lot about your campaign that you really shouldn’t want me to know.
Rant about Castro aside, let’s talk about some of the other candidates, the ones not abusing my inbox.
There was 1 email suggesting I make a donation outside of their campaign this weekend, sent to both my non-donor and my donor accounts. Unlike previous Outside asks, this email wasn’t suggesting I donate to a charitable cause or an activist group. No, this email was stressing the importance of diverse voices in the debate and asking me to donate $1 to Mike Gravel so he could be on the debate stage.
If you look at the email chart at the top of this post, you may have noticed that Gravel did not send me this email. Or any email.
It came from Marianne Williamson.
Democracy is, by definition, for the people and by the people. Democracy thrives when brave men like Mike Gravel risk their careers to do what’s just and right.
That’s why diverse and provocative voices like Gravel’s are so important to move the debates and conversation about our nation’s peace and prosperity forward.
Thanks to you, I’m on the debate stage. And that’s why today I’m using this platform, granted to me by you, to ask for your help.
Gravel is only 10,000 donations short of qualifying for the July debates.
Please send him to the July debate stage by donating $1 to the Mike Gravel campaign here.Marianne Williamson
I have to admit to being left completely stunned to get this in my inbox. I know the candidates have been nice to each other, but actively asking for donations to go to someone else? That’s a new step up. Granted, Gravel has repeatedly made it clear he’s not running to be President but to get on the debate stage, but still. I’m not sure what Williamson’s angle is here. The power of love and supporting each other? If Gravel qualifies with grassroots support, he’ll be kicking someone else off the full stage. As it is, there’s question if Eric Swalwell will be out for the July debates. Who else would be kicked off for Gravel? Would it be Williamson herself? (Not likely, as she has qualified both with polls and donor numbers).
The debates were definitely the big topic of the weekend, though, with the campaigns trying to hit that magical 130,000 number or asking what I thought about their debate performances and what I want them to talk about in the next debate. Kirsten Gillibrand reminded me that she still had her “win a whiskey with Kirsten” contest going on, with donations to that email earning 2 entries for a chance to win. Tim Ryan kept trying to sell me on his education reform plan, while Joe Biden’s team told me how Biden had signed a pledge promising he wouldn’t accept any foreign dirt on his opponents. (You know, that illegal thing that Trump said he’d do? Biden promised he wouldn’t do it. Because that’s where we’ve sunk these days, the point to needing our candidates to pledge to not do illegal things). Bernie Sanders was still trying to peddle his FDR-style sticker for an average donation of $8, though if I could donate more, that would really be appreciated!
What was interesting this weekend was the difference in tone between two candidates trying to get me to be one of their 130,000 donors for the fall debates (and no, I’m not talking about Julian “I asked you, my mom asked you, my brother asked you, and now I’m asking you again” Castro). Compare this email from Amy Klobuchar:
I’m reaching out again about the Democratic National Committee’s requirements to qualify for the fall debates. Candidates will need to have contributions from 130,000 unique donors to make it on stage.
We quickly qualified for last month’s debate, but we have to keep up our momentum if we’re going to build the campaign we need to win the White House. Everyone will be watching to see how quickly we hit 130,000 unique donors.
To this email from Cory Booker:
Five Democrats have already publicly crossed the DNC’s donor threshold needed to qualify for the fall debates.
Bernie Sanders did. Joe Biden did. Kamala Harris did. Andrew Yang did. And Pete Buttigieg did. Beto O’Rourke has probably reached it, too.
Now the question is whether other candidates will reach that tough measure of grassroots strength before the cutoff. And I’ll be honest: We’re just about 15,000 donors shy of the 130,000 benchmark.
Thanks to people like you, we’ve taken a big leap toward this goal. In the 10 days since the first debate, over 20,000 people have decided to become a donor to our campaign. I’m so encouraged to know that thousands of Americans heard what I had to say that night and decided I should be part of future debates, too.
But we have thousands more to go — and not too many weeks left to hit that DNC target.
Thank you — I won’t let you down.
One of these candidates makes me feel more important than the other. And while you’re supposed to base political decisions on logic, let’s all be realistic: you vote for candidates who make you feel good about yourself. Whether it’s by tearing other people down or by building you up, you vote for the candidate whose message resonates with you on a deeper, emotional level. The candidates who can carry on to the actual voting days are the ones who can make those emotional connections.