Day 71: 7/30/19

On Tuesday, everyone was preparing for the July debates, Andrew Yang celebrated too soon, and Kamala Harris sent the most boring campaign email I’ve ever received.

Such a full chart!

Elizabeth Warren swept the numbers game with 5 emails yesterday, though she was dogged by Tim Ryan, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Steve Bullock, and Joe Biden with 4 emails each. With only 2 emails, John Delaney and Beto O’Rourke were the quietest of the candidates appearing on the debate stage.

I could not forget a debate was happening tonight.

Everybody had debate fever. Out of the 57 non-donor emails, 6 were letting me know the candidate was just about to walk onto the debate stage, while another 6 were “I just walked off the debate stage.” Pete Buttigieg, John Hickenlooper, and Tim Ryan went both before and after updates. Bernie Sanders and Marianne Williamson both had their campaigns email during the debate, referencing things they just said, while Jay Inslee weighed in on how little climate change was talked about. Andrew Yang also wrote an email expressing his thoughts on the first night, though it was only sent to my donor account. In it, he threw some subtle shade at his opponents:

Some candidates swung big, knowing that if they didn’t break out, they’d be dropping out of the race.  I think I already know a few people who didn’t get the moment they needed.

Others played it safe, knowing that they’re already in the next round of debates.  Despite needing only one more poll to qualify, that’s not going to be my strategy.

Andrew Yang

This was an email Yang actually seemed happy to write. It didn’t feel forced, and despite the shade, he also credited his fellow candidates for putting in the hard work it takes to participate effectively in one of these debates.

Marianne Williamson also spoke highly of her fellow candidates:

What happens after those remarks, your guess is as good as mine. I can only hope it will be a wonderful evening and that every candidate will rise to their best.

Marianne Williamson

Interestingly, Williamson said earlier in the day “Tonight is a big night. Please give generously,” but just before stepping on stage, her donation message was:

If enough of us donate $3 right now, we can create a powerful wave of support for the campaign over the next few days. Please do it, so that we an continue on our journey with all the joy and power possible.

Marianne Williamson

$3 is a lot less than the average of $28.33 she was asking for just after lunch.

Williamson wasn’t the only one with a fluid opinion of money. While Bernie Sanders had been heckling us earlier in the month for only giving an average donation of $19, now he is very proud of his $19 average donation.

As you know, we are taking on virtually every special interest group in the country, and we have some strong opponents who are raising a lot of money at fancy fundraisers.

They collect $2,800 checks. We receive donations at an average of $19. I am very proud of how we’re funding this campaign – but it also means that we must keep pace, especially with a monthly fundraising deadline coming up tomorrow.

Bernie Sanders

And in case you thought that just meant “proud we’re funded by grassroots”

This campaign is funded by lots of people giving small amounts at a time, at an average of $19. Bernie is very proud of that – and you should be too.

Team Bernie

Quite a different tune from what he was saying earlier, when $19 wasn’t enough.

Pete Buttigieg was unusually prolific with his emails on Tuesday, sending a practically-unheard-of 3. He started off by linking me to his Mobilize site so I could find a watch party near me to get connected to the Pete for America campaign. Just before 8 PM ET, I got another email that he was about to walk on stage and impressed upon me the urgency of the situation:

We have a few short years to change the trajectory of our country before it’s too late — and we’re not going to get it done by recycling the same arguments and the same politicians that have dominated Washington for as long as I’ve been alive.

We need to summon the courage to break with the past and walk into a new, and very different, future. 

Pete Buttigieg

He followed up with an email after the debate about the many problems looming ahead, but we are able to solve them. Despite the dark future, he remained on-brand with his hope for the future message.

This is a make or break moment in our nation’s history. In 2020, we need to act on bold solutions so we can tell our kids we did what it took before we ran out of time. 

We need to meet this moment with the urgency it requires. It’s not too late. But if we don’t act, it will be. By the year 2030, we will have passed the point of no return on climate; there will be another 130 million guns on the street; a college degree will cost $200,000; the average home will cost half a million dollars.

These are problems we can solve. We can do this — but only if we’re ready to walk away from what hasn’t worked and take bold action. We need to summon the courage to break with the past and focus on real, practical solutions to these problems before they overwhelm us.

Pete Buttigieg

Cory Booker told me he knew I’d be getting a lot of emails today, but he added to the pile anyway with concerns about not hitting his end-of-month goal. Booker has a lofty goal of $400,000, second only to Kamala Harris’ $500,000 goal. Booker also was incredibly close to hitting his goal: his goal in the chart above is less than $400,000 because one email did not list his final goal number but instead the amount he was short: only $34,813.

Booker also announced his $15.11 average donation. That’s much less than Sanders’, but Booker is much more consistently proud of it.

I don’t think we’ll ever be 100% donate, but we’re getting close.

Andrew Yang was celebrating his entry into the September debates with a new merch item:

It’s a long shot

I do like a good merchandising pun. The long-shot long shot glass made me giggle a little… but then:

Just yesterday, Andrew hit 2% in his fourth and what should’ve been his last qualifying poll for the September debates. Less than 24 hours after that poll was released, the DNC has revoked our second poll, saying that Andrew does not qualify to be on the September stage in Houston. This is where you come in: we need you to help us fight back.

Zach, Yang 2020

The DNC revoked one of Yang’s polls. Heavy sigh. Here we go again with another round of conspiracy theories and DNC stacking the deck (not just from Yang, Steve Bullock and Jay Inslee were pretty hostile toward the DNC last month)

The facts are these: the debate rules say the 4 qualifying polls must be from separate sponsors or, if from the same sponsor, from different geographies. Yang claimed 2 NBC-sponsored polls both taken nationally. Therefore, only 1 of those polls would be allowed.

1. Polling Threshold. Candidates must receive 2% or more support in at least four polls (which may be national polls, or polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada) meeting the following criteria (“Qualifying Poll Criteria”):

Each poll must be sponsored by an approved organization, which presently includes the following: Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Des Moines Register, Fox News, Monmouth University, NBC News, New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), Quinnipiac University, University of New Hampshire, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, and Winthrop University. Any candidate’s four qualifying polls must be conducted by different organizations, or if by the same organization, must be in different geographical areas.  The DNC and its media partners reserve the right to add a Nevada-specific poll sponsor to this list in the near future., May 29, 2019

Yang is arguing that this is changing the rules in the middle of the game. Seeing as how these rules came out before the window for polling (qualifying polls for the September debate must be released between June 28, 2019, and August 28, 2019.), I have to wonder if Yang understands the meaning of the word “middle.”

Just because you didn’t read the rules correctly doesn’t mean someone’s out to get you.

It also doesn’t mean that you get to ignore the rules. We went through this with Bullock last month. If you’re not qualified, you’re not qualified. Yang still has a month to get one more poll. I’m not concerned about his ability to qualify. I don’t know why he is.

Speaking of Yang, let’s talk about Kamala Harris. In her flood of “please donate” emails, she slipped in a new (to her) idea that I don’t recall ever seeing before in her emails:

Ours is a campaign powered by the people, focused on making health care a right, putting $500 a month in the pockets of working Americans, and giving every public school teacher in America a raise.

Team Kamala

Putting $500 a month in the pockets of working Americans? That sounds a bit like Yang’s Freedom Dividend, giving Americans $1000 a month. In other words: Universal Basic Income.

Now, before we delve into this, Democrats are on the same side. 80% of their policies are in agreement with each other. As we saw in the debate last night, they all say yes to universal health coverage and simply differ on the details. It’s not stealing for one candidate to have a similar policy to another candidate. We’re on the same side!

Universal Basic Income is also not something that Yang invented. It’s the simple idea that every single citizen should automatically have enough money to survive. Not necessarily have an amazing, comfortable life, but enough money that they can keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. Getting a job would then provide additional income to make life more comfortable, but losing a job would not mean you become homeless and you and your family starve. There are plenty of arguments for and against UBI, especially when unemployment spikes.

Doing some research, Harris’ plan is not truly UBI, but a tax credit accessible throughout the year for people making under a certain amount of money. However, there is no explanation of this in her email or any previous emails. I found it very interesting that she just slipped it into a paragraph with no preamble or description. Is she trying to score some points with Yang’s crowd? Does she think anyone who isn’t me will read her emails thoroughly enough to notice that?

Even more surprising from Harris was this incredibly bland email with the subject “This is a fundraising email.”

We’re writing you this email to ask you to make a contribution to Kamala’s campaign for president.

With 24 hours to go, we still have a gap to close to reach our July fundraising goal.

We have some big investments to make in August, and hitting this goal is crucial to our strategy.

That’s why we’re asking: Can you pitch in to help reach our goal?

If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:


Thanks for pitching in,

Team Kamala

I know I complain about the candidates being too !!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! in their emails, but this is way too far in the other direction. Yawn. Could you get less inspiring?

Elizabeth Warren is really surging with her email numbers.

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