It’s officially been 60 days since I began tracking Presidential candidate emails, and on Friday I received 65 emails representing 20 Presidential hopefuls. All 20 campaigns sent 33 of those emails to my non-donor account, and the other 32 emails came from only 18 campaigns emailing their donors.
Kamala Harris and Tim Ryan tied for most emails sent on a Friday in July with 3 each. I have to confess, I can’t think of any legitimate reason why any political campaign would need to contact me so many times in 24 hours. What did they think was so important?
The debate, really.
Okay, that’s actually not entirely true. Kamala Harris did talk about the debate a lot. In her three emails, she asked me to host a debate watch party, enter her contest to win tickets to go to the debate, and then reminded me that it was my last chance to win that trip to the debate. Harris was all about dat ‘bate.
Tim Ryan, on the other hand, only mentioned the debate twice, first in a repeat of his email from Thursday, just in case I didn’t see that he was in the debates (though he still hasn’t actually told me what night he was debating on) and second in an ask for some financial support for his debate prep. His third email was about his own campaign contest, but unlike everyone else, Ryan is not doing a contest to win tickets to the debate. Oh no. He’s doing a different sort of contest, setting himself apart from the rest of the pack.
Tim Ryan is holding a contest for you and a friend to come and do some yoga with him.
It’s… well, I can’t say it isn’t different! Other campaigns have offered a chance to get a drink with the candidate, but only Ryan’s offered a chance to do some yoga on the trail!
Now, this does have a tie to Ryan’s policies and ideas. He has been pushing yoga and meditation as a way for veterans to recover from trauma and has ideas on making this a national thing. At the same time… I just find it bizarre.
The other contests mentioned on Friday were mostly for debate tickets. A few of them tried to distinguish themselves:
- Beto O’Rourke was offering a chance for you and a friend to be flown to Detroit, put up in a hotel for 2 nights (most campaigns only offer 1!), tickets to the debate, and reimbursement for travel in the city. Prize value is not to exceed $2,000.
- Elizabeth Warren was offering a chance for you and a friend to be flown to Detroit in coach class, put up in a hotel for 1 night, and tickets to the debate. No travel reimbursement or second hotel night from Warren. Prize value is estimated at $2,250.
- Kamala Harris was offering a chance for you and a friend to be flown to Detroit in coach class, put up in a hotel for 1 night, tickets to the debate, and travel to and from the airport in Detroit. Prize value is estimated at $5,000.
- Marianne Williamson was offering a chance for you and a friend to be flown to Detroit in coach class, put up in a hotel for 1 night, and tickets to the debate. Prize value is estimated at $1,500.
Though these were the only four that emailed me on Friday about their debate contest, Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Steve Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, and Andrew Yang are also all offering chances to go, though time is running out! Most candidates were offering the trip in exchange for a donation, though Castro simply wants a signature on his petition. However, all candidates do include a “No purchase necessary” in the official rules of their contests, and there is usually a form you can fill out for an entry instead.
Jay Inslee, like Ryan, was offering a contest that had nothing to do with the debate. He was continuing his art contest from earlier in the week. Donate at least $10 to his campaign, and you could win an original piece of art by Inslee himself.
Tulsi Gabbard and Kirsten Gillibrand were both demonstrating their ability to make their message match their audience. Their donor and non-donor emails were linked but not identical. Gabbard asked me, as a donor, to host a watch party for the next debate, and as a non-donor to be one of her new donors for her 5,000 donor/week goal. Gillibrand put up a $50,000 goal to raise money for ads to attract new donors to me as a donor, but me as a non-donor, she asked me to join to meet her 3,000 new donors goal.
Bernie Sanders was also doing some A/B testing with his email subjects. As a donor, his email started with “Tell Mitch McConnell to hold a vote for a $15 minimum wage, which has passed the House of Representatives.” As a non-donor, he was a little softer with “I am asking you to tell Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on a $15 minimum wage”
Sanders also sent me a poll to find out which issue I most want to see him talk about in the next debate, in which he will be joined by Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Beto O’Rourke. There was no mention anywhere of the 6 other candidates who would be on stage with him.
Tom Steyer, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper all gave me little updates on what they’d been doing. Castro refrained from mentioning his mother and grandmother for another 2 emails! His message is really much stronger when he’s focusing on his campaign and his vision instead of his backstory. Steyer reminded me of the 5 Rights he’s campaigning on.
Hickenlooper asked if I saw him on The View and signed off his email with “Giddy up.” I cringed a little.
Marianne Williamson pointed out that Trump didn’t win because he was a politician. He won because he was a phenomenon. Clearly, the only way to beat him is with another phenomenon (like herself).
Amy Klobuchar sent me some GIFs of quotes she made in the last debate and sent me a survey on her debate prep.
John Delaney marveled that he just found out last night (Thursday night) that he had qualified for the second debates!
I think he meant to say he just found out which night he had qualified for, but his email came across as being so excited to have just found out something the rest of the world had known all week.
Joe Biden sent a surprisingly positive email about the debates and the primary.
You probably thought the same thing we thought when we saw the lineup for the next debate.
What a primary!
This is exactly what a primary election should be: a chance to hear about all of the candidates’ plans for the future.
On a lot of issues, we agree. On some, we don’t.
We support building on Obamacare with a public option like Medicare.
Others support putting everyone into Medicare for All.
And you know what? That’s why we have a primary to sort this all out. Whoever wins, we’ll have a talented, tested nominee ready to take it to President Trump.Team Joe
The email goes on to talk about Biden’s view on Obamacare and why it’s best, but it does so without insulting or tearing down his opponents. However, he does remind me that in order for him to be the candidate, I need to give more money. Still, it was an unusual, not-Trump-focused email from Biden that I actually really liked. He’s absolutely right: we have a primary to figure out which ideas the people actually want. Having choices matters.
And then there was Pete Buttigieg. Where everyone else was talking about the debates and giving their campaigns money, Buttigieg broke out a history lesson and linked it back to his vision.
On this day 171 years ago, roughly 300 women and men gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, to declare women every bit the equal of men. It was the first women’s rights convention in American history — and it changed the course of American history.
Theirs was an audacious act, met with doubt, derision, and conflict.
One newspaper deemed the convention “the most shocking and unnatural incident ever recorded in the history of womanity.” Yet 68 women — and 32 men — boldly affixed their signatures to that declaration. Among them was the former slave and famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Thanks to the hope and courage of visionary leaders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, women would go on to earn the right to own property, to vote, and to hold high political office. And in this 2020 election, I am proud to be competing alongside half a dozen formidable women contending to be President of the United States.
But for all our progress, we know that the work set in motion in 1848 remains unfinished today.
We have not yet fully realized the promise of Seneca Falls when decisions about reproductive freedom are dictated by male politicians, or when women are still not paid the same as a man, whether that’s a factory worker or a member of the women’s national soccer team.
That is especially true when women of color — excluded from Seneca Falls — remain disproportionately disadvantaged and discriminated against today.
When I think about what it will take to achieve full equality in our time, I think about the leadership of those 68 women and also the signatures of those 32 men. Because as vital as it is for women in this country to lead the way, it is also important that people from every walk of life stand up for each other.
It’s why those of us whose marriages depend on the grace of a single vote on the U.S. Supreme Court benefitted not only from the effort of individuals across the LGBT community but of straight allies as well. It’s why, as a man running for president, it is particularly important that this campaign be outspoken about women’s equality.
It’s why I welcome my obligation as a candidate with the privilege of whiteness on my side to speak about systemic racism in this country. That includes putting forward a Douglass Plan to empower the women and men of Black America, named in honor of a Black man who made common cause with the women of America.
The road to true equality will not be easy. But it was an act of hope that led the women of Seneca Falls to declare themselves equal. And filled with that same hope, we will continue along the trail they blazed.Pete Buttigieg
I tried to cut the email short, but really, I couldn’t. How often does a candidate seamlessly go from history to opponents to problems of today, to using white male privilege to help oppressed people? And he did it without interrupting every two paragraphs to ask for money or for me to sign my name?
I’m part of a writers’ group online, and the number one thing I stress is that it is the quality of your writing that matters, not the quantity. In just his 36 emails, Buttigieg has been able to impress me more than Ryan has managed with his 148.