At 11:48 AM ET on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, Mike Gravel, former Senator from Alaska, announced he was officially leaving the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary.
At 89 years old, Mike was the oldest candidate in the field, and his campaign was run by a handful of teenagers. He was never considered a serious candidate and in fact frequently claimed that he wasn’t running to actually be President but rather just to get on the debate stage. As such, his campaign was irreverent and at times obscene as he scrounged his way through the internet and heckled other candidates for a slice of attention.
Mike sent me a total of 12 emails in 77 days, averaging 0.16 emails a day, just over Eric Swalwell’s numbers. He frequently didn’t address me at all, though I was “friend” twice and “folks” once.
His tone was roughly 42% optimistic. Not taking the campaign seriously meant that nothing was doom and gloom for the Gravelanche. Though he did get upset at being left out of polls, he managed to gain over 65,000 donors and would have made it on the debate stage in July if the field had been just one candidate smaller.
Despite his focus on debates, Mike rarely asked for much money. $3.75 was his highest ask, in exchange for a 4-pack of campaign buttons. His goal was always only 65,000 donors, and he was livestreaming his celebration of that goal.
For what little he did in this election cycle, Mike will always be remembered as “that mountain guy.”
Overall, Mike was an old candidate with a passion for ending the war profiteering. He achieved his donor goals, though not his debate goals, but his drive to end wars is being discussed on the debate stages anyway. He leaves behind an endorsement for Bernie Sanders, despite only Marianne Williamson supporting him via emails.
Thank you for your run, Mike Gravel, and thank you for your puns.