Day 66: 7/25/19

In Thursday’s emails: Elizabeth Warren gives weight to my argument that the “We need X donors!” numbers are largely made up, Jay Inslee almost gets what he wants, and Tulsi Gabbard takes Google to court. Also, I grow tired of starting every post with some bland numbers and decide to shake things up!

We have a new challenger!

Kamala Harris launched an email fundraising blitz with 4 donor emails in one day, just as Steve Bullock, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren all assumed 3 emails was the way to get the most emails in my inbox.

I did want to give a shoutout to Eric Swalwell as well. I forgot to include him in yesterday’s post: he did email me again on Wednesday with some news about Mueller’s testimony, of which he was part. Swalwell has gone from a “who’s that?” Presidential candidate to an “IDGAF” Congressman, taking no prisoners as he stands up for the people he is representing. Way to go, Swalwell! We need more people like that in Congress!

End of the month, upcoming debates, you’d think the candidates would find something else to talk about! But no, the campaigns are going all in on “give us money” and “watch us talk.”

  • Michael Bennet made sure to explain he was about to explain he was going to ask me to give him money to shut down the doubters.
  • Kamala Harris threw some light shade in pointing out that she had never run for President before, unlike some other candidates, so she doesn’t have a big political machine to bring in money and that has her worried. (She did not point out that most of her fellow candidates also have never run for President before, or that the biggest Q2 fundraiser had never run for a federal-level office before, so running for President does not automatically mean the biggest dollars.) She also informed me that due to her debate and the fundraising deadline falling on the exact same day, she can’t split her focus between fundraising and debating, so could I please just donate to ease her stress? (Shouldn’t her staff be focusing on fundraising?) She did include her infamous fundraising chart, with the amount growing every time I saw it!
  • Elizabeth Warren stressed, multiple times, that this fundraising goal was critical and that they were behind. Also, if I donated, I could get a call from Warren, because she loves calling the grassroots donors who make her whole campaign possible. She told me as a non-donor that she needed 988 donors from my state to make her goal. She told me as a donor just one minute later that she needed 494 donors from my state to make her goal. Before you say something like “Oh, she asks for less from non-donors, so of course she needs more!” or “she asked later from donors, so of course she needs less!” I will point out that on my personal donor account (where I have given her more than $1), she told me 988 from my state. Either she got 500 donors in a minute (and is doing just fine), or those numbers are BS.
  • Bernie Sanders also explained he was going to explain why he was asking me for money, because I deserved an explanation. He said so right in the subject of his email. This was not the first time he told me I deserved an explanation. I deserve an explanation why he’s sending me multiple emails a day asking for money, but I don’t need to hear him tell me WHY he’s asking for money. He’s asking for money to fund his run for President. I figured that one out all on my own!
  • Beto O’Rourke told me that his campaign didn’t have a Plan B. They had to get their money from grassroots donors, or it wasn’t worth doing at all.
  • Tim Ryan told me what he’s going to be bringing to the White House: Ohio’s spirit of resiliency. Yes. That was the only thing he told me he was bringing. And because of that, I should donate to him. (Donating to him is not committing to him (yet), he assured me, it’s just saying that that spirit deserves to have a voice.)
  • Amy Klobuchar let me know that the donation I give to her could really make a difference.

Those were just the candidates who directly appealed for money for money’s sake. Some candidates did apply a veneer of ulterior motive to their pleas.

Jay Inslee made a plea for a focus on climate change.

This is our planet on climate change

After including a GIF showing how the temperature of the globe had been heating up, he asked for money to continue to push this issue front and center (still with the “get three friends to sign up and get a free t-shirt!” carrot). His campaign forwarded this email to me again, and then, overjoyed, he emailed me to announce that CNN was going to hold a Climate Change Town Hall! It wasn’t quite the climate debate he had been pushing for, but as a town hall, it doesn’t require the DNC sign off. All candidates who have hit the September debate polling requirement will be invited on stage in September for this town hall.

Unfortunately, Inslee has not qualified for the polling requirement. That’s what he’s pushing for now.

Kirsten Gillibrand and Tom Steyer also talked about climate change in their emails, while Bernie Sanders and Steve Bullock both asked me why I support them. Sanders had a live poll in the email (47% say it’s because they trust Sanders will fight for them), while Bullock had a link.

Bullock also had a P.S. that he had launched the official Bullock for America Facebook group. I know he had a late start to the campaign, but you’d think getting the Facebook group would have been top priority before the launch, not three months after. It’s 2019! Everyone is caught up in Big Tech, even if they aren’t on Facebook!

Speaking of Big Tech, Tulsi Gabbard is lashing out left and right. First, she emailed me to let me know that she was suing Google for election interference by taking down her AdSense account the night of her Presidential debate. She was the most Googled candidate immediately after, according to several news sources, but her Google ads had been suspended. Google replied by saying an automated system flagged unusual activity on her account, including large spending changes, in order to prevent fraud and protect their customers. The account was reviewed and reinstated shortly thereafter, though Gabbard is still going after Google for $50 million. (Would this count as a campaign contribution from Big Tech?) Gabbard also complained that her emails were ending up in Spam folders at a higher rate than other candidates.

Best I could do color-wise with the Google bug.

My virgin Gmail account has not skewed the data in any conscious way. I haven’t marked any candidate as important or not important, have read every single email, haven’t deleted any, haven’t deleted any without reading, haven’t interacted with emails, etc. Gabbard has never had an email hit my Spam inbox. She does have an unusually high percentage of Primary emails due to the email-forwarding I use for donor emails. As you may remember, though, it took 57 days before Gabbard sent me a non-donor email. I was checking my Spam folder every day and pulled other candidates out of Spam. If Gabbard’s emails weren’t going to her non-donors, it was far more likely that the problem is on Gabbard’s end than it is on Google’s.

Or, it’s possible, that people receiving her emails were marking them as Spam. If I mark an email as spam, Google ticks up the possibility that that email is spam for everyone else receiving that email. Side note: That’s why it’s important to unsubscribe if you’re no longer interested in receiving a newsletter instead of just spamming it.

Split the numbers roughly in half for donor vs non-donor

Kamala Harris was quite pessimistic in her emails on Thursday, bemoaning her fading bump from the first Presidential debate and her slower fundraising. When she wasn’t being outright pessimistic, she was being mixed in her tone, knowing that her campaign WILL fight back… but they’re going to be attacked and might need to make cuts.

Joe Biden also sent some mixed messages, proud that a recent poll showed him crushing Trump in Ohio, but fearing that their lead would slip through their fingers if I didn’t step up to help him out.

Jay Inslee sent an optimistic email when he learned about the climate change town hall, but Cory Booker sent one when he announced he was less than 5,000 donors away from qualifying for the September debates and fairly confident he’d hit his goal by Monday!

Andrew Yang and John Hickenlooper were also both optimistic about their chances at qualifying for September, both adding a new poll to their count toward qualification. Yang now has 3/4 of the polls he needs, while for Hickenlooper, this was his first (Giddy up!).

Finally, Steve Bullock sent me an email to tell me about that time he went to talk to people about their health care and instead of talking, he listened, and because he listened he was able to hear stories and actually make a difference, and so could he get some help so that he can keep talking about the time he didn’t talk and instead just listened? Because listening is what politicians should do more of. So give him money to talk about that.

Oh Bullock. Sometimes I don’t even know what you’re doing in this race.

Actual email count: 2,376. Number of complaints to Google about the bug? 499+ in 3 days.

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