45 emails, 17 campaigns, and 1 new Twitter account has made Friday a very busy day! More for the Twitter than the emails, if I’m being honest. Note to anyone setting up a Twitter account for their blog: the birthday is YOUR birthday, not your blog’s birthday. A 2-month-old blog is not old enough to have a Twitter.
Anyway, 23 of those emails came in from 15 emails reaching out to me as a non-donor, while the other 22 emails came from a different 15 campaigns connecting to me as a donor.
No campaign really stood out with email volume, with most campaigns opting for just one or two. Michael Bennet was the only campaign who sent me more emails as a donor (1) than a non-donor (0). All other campaigns matched their emails one-for-one or didn’t have a donation from me to begin with (Mike Gravel, Tom Steyer)
Friday was mostly a chance to ask for money, with the campaigns asking for a total average of $28.07. Most of the campaigns were aiming to get their donor numbers up for the debates. There are now 21 active candidates qualifying for the debates, as Mike Gravel did indeed hit his 65,000 donor goal.
However, according to the DNC rules, the 20 slots will first go to the candidates who have qualified on both polls and donors (14 for July). If there are less than 20 double-qualified candidates, then candidates who have qualified based on polling will fill in the remaining podiums (6 for July). If there are any podiums leftover after that, then and only then will candidates who qualify based on donors will be given spots. Since 14+6=20, Gravel is still not going to be on the debate stage.
Unless another candidate drops out in the next week.
Tom Steyer isn’t even trying to make it to the July debates, but he’s focused on September. He sent out a Week 1 wrap-up email which… okay, yes, it was technically his first week done, but he didn’t really do all that much during that week. Regardless, he sent me an update on the fact that he launched and some of the platform he’s running on.
In their quest for money, some of the candidates are starting to shake things up. Kamala Harris is not one of those candidates. Her ask has remained steady at the default button spread of $5, $25, $50, $100, $250, or Other, for an average ask of $86. Very rarely does she throw in a money ask that does not include a one-click link to ActBlue.
However, Joe Biden has started changing up his buttons. While he used to do the same spread as Kamala, with the occasional extra ask for $5 here and there, on Thursday, he changed his $25 button to a $35 button, and today, he changed it back to $25 for non-donors only.
While Amy Klobuchar always asks for a little more from her donors than her non-donors in the form of a $25 vs a $15 donation button, on Friday she sent an email asking for a flat $5 from non-donors and $25 from donors.
Bernie Sanders usually asks for less from his donors, presumably because I gave such a small donation. However, on Friday, he asked donor-me for $1 to encourage new donors to match (along with my writing a message to inspire a new donor to match me), and he asked non-donor-me just to donate anything, with no specific value given. Sanders is chasing 1,000,000 donors total and wants to hit that goal as soon as possible. In 2016, he hit it before the Iowa caucus, and he wants to beat that record now.
Elizabeth Warren also had her buttons change for donor vs. non-donor, asking donor-me for $15 and non-donor me for $10. It wasn’t a big difference, but it was enough to throw the averages out of sync.
And then there was Kirsten Gillibrand. Her donor vs. non-donor was the most different out of everyone’s. For non-donor me, she just made her standard plea of asking for more new donors so she can hit her 2,000 new donors by Monday. She included hot pink buttons for $5, $10, $25, and Other donations. With her donor email, though, Gillibrand answered the question: “I’ve already donated to Kirsten’s campaign. What else can I do to make sure she has a spot at the next round of debates?”
Thank you, Gillibrand, for recognizing that as a donor, I can’t help you as a new donor. (I’m looking at you, Steve Bullock, Tim Ryan, and Julian Castro…)
Gillibrand goes on to answer the question with an explanation of how money is needed to run a presidential campaign, keep Gillibrand on the road, and run an aggressive digital advertising program to reach new potential donors. Giving money helps reach new people, even if it doesn’t count as new people itself. She then included her hot pink buttons: $25, $50, $100, and Other.
As for Beto O’Rourke, he sent an email referencing Tom Steyer and his big money entering the field.
We’ve been pretty up front about the dynamics of this race. It changes every week. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. Sometimes you’re Hootie and sometimes you’re the Blowfish. But this week, there was some news that might shake things up: we have a self-funder joining the race, and they’re bringing $100 million along with them.Rob Flaherty, Digital Director, Beto for America
For non-donor-me, he asked for a $3 donation, and for donor-me a $1 donation. Like with Sanders, this is very likely because $1 is all I gave him already. Nevertheless, it did mean that he was asking for less from the me that already gave him money.
Whenever I wonder something enough to make a chart, I like to share it with all of you. Today I was wondering how the flow of emails has looked. As you can see, the flow peaks at the end of each month, but there is a definite upward trend as the primary continues on and the campaigns start building momentum. This is only the non-donor emails, as adding the donor emails would skew all of the numbers from the point where I made my donation onward. Donor volume tends to match non-donor volume fairly closely.