Day 56: 7/15/19

Monday, Monday. 49 emails on Monday. 19 campaigns.

26 of those emails went to non-donor lists, representing all of the 19 campaigns. The other 23 came from 16 campaigns and their donor lists.

Full disclosure: I haven’t donated yet to Mike Gravel. I just don’t feel like he actually qualified for the debate.

They come in ones and twos.

Overall, Monday was fairly calm. Julian Castro came back to life with a whopping 2 emails, along with Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. For once, Tim Ryan was fairly quiet. He emailed me extremely early in the morning to let me know there were only hours left until the qualification deadline, and then… silence.

Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang both encouraged me to buy merch to cheer them on in the debates in style. Yang told me his MATH (Make America Think Harder) hats were back in stock, while Warren told me about new merch she had.

Amy Klobuchar offered me a membership card for a donation. She encouraged her average donation of $24 if I was already a donor, but for non-donor me, she said even $1 was enough to get this amazing limited-edition card. I guess I’m only a member of Team Amy if I donate before… well, before the time this post goes live. Sorry guys. You’re too late.

The FEC filings deadline was Monday, so many campaigns were talking about their fundraising. Some, like Klobuchar, just skimmed over the topic and asked for more money, while others, like Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke, did deep dives into their numbers.

Cory Booker announced that in Q2, he added 72,000 new donors to his lists. 88% of all his donors were first-time donors in Q2, and his average donation was just $15.11.

Beto O’Rourke raised $3.6 million with an average contribution of $30 from 193,105 total donors.

Nice style

Teachers, nurses, and students were the top donors to his campaign, and 99% of the contributions were under $200. O’Rourke also tried to assuage fears that his campaign was floundering or dead in the water with a chart from his Senate run.

See how there’s a legend, Klobuchar? Learn from this!

O’Rourke points out that hey, it’s still early on in the race, and money will come later! Of course, at that point in 2017, O’Rourke was not a national figure that everyone was cheering for… but it’s still early in the race. If he does well in the July debates, he could very well make up some ground.

Also in his email about his campaign, O’Rourke offered a link to donate to the Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services of El Paso.

Bernie Sanders also talked about his campaign donors, though he said:

Look at our report and you’ll see the people we are fighting for: teachers, students, workers at Walmart, Amazon, Starbucks and more.

Look at our opponents’ reports and you’ll see many of the people we are fighting against: pharmaceutical executives, cable company lobbyists, hedge fund managers, union-busting lawyers, and more.

Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager, Bernie 2020

He’s not even subtle about the us-vs-them mentality. But he followed up with an email denouncing Trump’s racist statements.

This was a racist attack against Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It is unacceptable, and we must stand in solidarity with these young legislators.

That is why today I am asking you to respond to Trump’s racist attack by splitting a contribution between their campaigns and ours.

Please split a contribution of $5 today between Reps. Omar, Tlaib, Pressley, and Ocasio-Cortez, and our campaign for president. Your contribution will send a message that Trump’s racism will not stand.

Bernie Sanders

Except… how does splitting a donation between them and Old White Guy #2 denounce racism? It would have been a much stronger ask if he put the focus solely on the attacked women of Congress and did not step into their spotlight with them. It’s not always about you, Sanders. By adding your own campaign to the list, you changed an actual denouncing of racism into an opportunistic money grab.

Kamala Harris is also looking unintentionally greedy with her asks for donations.

I’ll be honest: our fundraising is already dipping this month and we need to work twice as hard to play catch up.

The fundraising team is scrambling to make sure our budget stays on track every single day. I’ve done the math, and if we don’t meet our mid-month target, we may need to make some serious cuts at a time when Kamala’s campaign has real momentum.

Jenn Liu, Finance Team, Kamala 2020

Harris had a huge surge after the first debates. She doubled her Q2 fundraising goal in 24-hours and really took off. If she’s actually already struggling in the first weeks of Q3, what that implies is that her team assumed that debate surge was going to be sustained and they planned for every day to be as prosperous as debate day.

A surge never lasts. It might level out higher than you were pre-surge, but it will always drop. Either her team didn’t expect this, they didn’t expect the drop to be as severe as it was, or they’re trying to emotionally manipulate me into feeling bad for them and needing to give them my money.

Instead of banking her windfall and scaling up pragmatically, Harris’ campaign is trying to ride the momentum as hard and fast as they can, but that means that they look fiscally irresponsible.

Elizabeth Warren was reciting a tired script about not running her campaign like everyone else, peek behind the curtain at what they’re doing wrong, blah blah blah.

Here’s a glimpse behind the curtain that a lot of other campaigns don’t want you to see:

Candidates regularly ask for money from ultra-wealthy donors. They spend tons of their time at exclusive fundraisers that are closed to the public, offering special access to those who donate the most money.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Elizabeth is committed to doing things differently — and this campaign isn’t holding closed-door fundraisers or selling her time to big donors.

Team Warren

This isn’t the first glimpse behind the curtain, or it doesn’t have to be that way, or isn’t selling her time to big donors. Like Castro, she’s starting to sound repetitive and boring.

And speaking of Julian Castro, he remembered that he still needs something from me. Sort of. He needs polls now, 4 national polls. In order to gain in the polls, he needs to get his message out there. So he needs money. From me. For ads. Please?

I’d like Castro to get through one email without mentioning his immigrant grandmother or his single mother. Just one email.

I’ll let you know if it ever happens.

Bill de Blasio was silent on the major shake-up in his home city. Instead of talking about what he did as mayor to get the lights back on in NYC, he sent out an email declaring that he raised $1.1 million dollars.

And yes, he used both the dollar sign and the word dollars.

Tom Steyer didn’t bother to talk about Q2 fundraising, as he hadn’t been involved. Instead, he told me that we needed to put a proven environmental leader in the White House. I’m not entirely sure if Jay Inslee realizes that’s one thing Steyer is running on.

Inslee, after all, is making things a little more fun by offering a prize drawing. If you donate $10 or more, you might win one of his paintings or sketches! He likes to make art to unwind.

Joe Sestak needs more donations, so he gave the stiffest ask for more money that I’d ever seen:

Thank you for the demonstrable response to my request yesterday for $1 from each of our supporters to make the debate stage in September!  I am resending my request to ask everyone to please allow my voice to be present that day, per below:

Joe Sestak

Sestak is still telling me I can donate via check, but at least he’s putting “online” first now.

And finally, John Hickenlooper sent me the most personable email ever from his campaign. He was talking about his time in Iowa, but he slipped this aside in:

(Can I take a moment to get nerdy about corn? The brewer in me wants you to know that, as early as 1587, Virginia colonists were fermenting ale from corn. In Cedar Rapids, the menu included everything from Mexican grilled corn to corn casserole to cornbread. This plant really has so many possibilities living inside it.)

John Hickenlooper

I think we all know at least one person who can completely nerd out on an unusual topic with such passion. This little note made me smile and feel like Hickenlooper actually did write this email, instead of a staffer.

I hope the field narrows after the July debates.

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