Day 100: 8/28/19

Wednesday marked the 100th day of tracking emails! After blowing a single party tooter, I proceeded to ignore everyone’s money asks. On Wednesday, everyone needed money. No, seriously, everyone.

Okay, maybe not EVERYONE. Tom Steyer didn’t need money. He just wanted me to RSVP for a livestream.

Gotta love me some variation

Kamala Harris was once again the big emailer of the day, sending out 4 fundraising emails. Joe Biden, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren were all the second biggest, sending 3 emails each.

Only 8 emails had non-donate asks.

Harris was far from the only one asking for money. In fact, only Tom Steyer didn’t ask for money on Wednesday. Steyer instead offered a proposal for a wealth tax, stating that he, as a billionaire, pays less than the average American in taxes and that isn’t okay, and despite what Republicans claim, it doesn’t help the economy grow. He also announced his own personal town hall on climate change that will be live-streamed next Tuesday, if I wanted to RSVP to watch.

Even Joe Sestak was asking for money. He started the day, as he always does, with an email detailing his campaign events for the week (in Iowa). Later, he surprised me with a second email in which he talked about how a local Iowa news station was running a piece on his talk at the DNC summer meeting. Instead of including a link for me to watch it, he included a screenshot and suggested I donate. Several times.

This is the exact image he emailed me, in the exact resolution he sent it.

Just as Joe Sestak sent out an informative email, so too did Kirsten Gillibrand and Pete Buttigieg.

The debate qualification deadline was midnight last night, and Gillibrand begged and pleaded to get help to hit 130,000 donors in time. She kept referencing other candidates who were so close to being on that stage, such as Tom Steyer, but she never actually referenced her own lack-luster polls. By the end of the night, she made it clear why: Gillibrand formally closed her campaign down and thanked me for my support. (Not as a donor.) Like Inslee, she was trying to end on at least a half-qualification.

Pete Buttigieg, meanwhile emailed me with the results of a survey I’d received as a member of his “Grassroots Investment Team.” He didn’t just link me to a page where he could ask for a donation, but he put the data directly into the email for me to see.

I recognize this chart style… and I appreciate use of his campaign colors!

You know me. I’m a sucker for a good pie chart.

The above image showed how Pete supporters reached out to their networks with their links. The email also included explanations people gave for why they were on Team Pete.

The email finished up with a reminder about my own grassroots team link.

Sometimes, I keep links included in quotes from emails so you can donate if you so choose. This email from Buttigieg got me wondering, though. I know several other candidates have offered me personalized links, so I tried to dig through my emails and look them up.

It’s very hard to search for things like “has link” when EVERY email you have has a link.

I ended up finding a handful of personalized surveys, but only Elizabeth Warren had a link I could use to set up a fundraising page and track donations. Warren’s page was… interesting. It was actually a direct link to ActBlue, which lets you set up your own fundraising pages for whichever candidates or causes (presumably ones registered with ActBlue) you choose. I actually didn’t know this was an ActBlue feature! It makes sense, though, with all of the “Reddit for ____” pages. By going through Warren’s link, I was able to set up a donation page using her branding.

If I removed her branding, I could add whatever other causes I wanted to the page. I could add every Presidential candidate so you could donate once and it got split between all of them. I could add charitable causes. I could change the button values. I had the power!

And I decided to keep it just to Warren. Those are my two fundraising links, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg. I’ll probably never mention them again, unless I actually get some interesting donation statistics.

(Really, I want you to donate to your preferred candidate when they send good emails!)

This is not a surprise.

With all the donation emails, I doubt anyone is shocked by how overwhelming the topic of Fundraising was on Wednesday. Most of the campaigns asking for money were expressing worry over how far behind on their fundraising they were.

We’re still a few thousand donors away from helping guarantee my spot on that stage, and time is running out before the DNC’s deadline at midnight tonight.

Kirsten Gillibrand

Spoiler alert: She didn’t make it.

I’m going to be honest with you, we’re behind and we don’t have much time left to hit our goal…

Friend, there are no corporate PACs or special interests who can close this budget gap for us, it’s just this grassroots team giving what they can. There’s something special in that — and we could not do it without you. If you can, please pitch in here.

Carly Reilly, Finance Director, Yang2020

Andrew Yang’s email started as a typical “out of time, never ran for President before,” but he ended with an awkward statement about PACs and special interests. I know his intent is to say that he won’t take money from corporate PACs or special interests, but the way it’s worded, it sounds like he’s saying “no corporate PACs or special interests are offering us help.”

2.5 million donations later (faster than any candidate ever) and with more than 1 million volunteers signed up to organize, we are in a great position to win this thing.

But in the next few days we face our biggest challenge yet — an important end-of-month fundraising deadline.

And the reason this one is important is because shortly after it comes to an end, we’re going to make some big budget decisions about staffing and advertising.

Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager, Bernie 2020

Surprisingly cheerful from Bernie Sanders, this email only vaguely hinted that they might not have enough money.

While I was away on a two-week active-duty drill with the Army National Guard, my campaign called on the DNC to ensure transparency and fairness in the debate qualification process. Whether we have the opportunity to be on the debate stage again or not, we will remain focused on getting our message out to the American people in the same way we’ve been doing all along — through the grassroots efforts and word-of-mouth momentum that has supporters lined up around the block from Iowa, to South Carolina to New Hampshire. 

That means we’re relying on you — not the DNC, PACs, or the establishment.  

So I’m asking you — will you stand with me and give $10 to make sure our voice is heard? 

Tulsi Gabbard

She made the donor goal for the debates. Her problem was with polls.

I want to serve Americans — all Americans — as President because I want them to have someone they can trust and know is accountable only to them, above party, above self, above any special interest. 

Join me in our mission to unite America so we can once again meet the defining challenges of our time, by contributing to my campaign so all Americans can hear and believe in what America most needs today!

Joe Sestak

This was from the email with the blurry screenshot.

We don’t want to resort to worst case scenarios but…

IF we don’t raise $375,000 more by Saturday, we will fall short of our August fundraising goal.

IF we fall short of our August fundraising goal, we won’t be able to hire more organizers in our early state program.

AND IF we don’t hire more organizers, we risk not reaching enough voters to win the primary and elect Joe Biden.

Team Joe

Lots of worst case scenario hypotheses there…

So here’s the bottom line: if we don’t raise enough, the DNC could continue to silence Michael regardless of the progress he’s making.

Jess Boad, National Finance Director, Bennet for America

It’s easier to blame the DNC than the voters who just aren’t interested.

Have you ever played two truths and a lie? It’s simple, and we’ll go first:

* The more undecided voters hear from Kamala, the more they like her.

* Kamala is off doing debate prep and can’t reach out to fundraise as much as she’d like to.

* We SMASHED our August fundraising goal and can stop reaching out on emails like this one!

Unfortunately, we aren’t celebrating yet. If you couldn’t tell, the last one isn’t true yet.

Team Kamala

I’d like to point out that when Harris genuinely SMASHED her June fundraising goal ($2 million raised out of $500,000 asked for), she immediately continued reaching out on emails like this one.

Missing our August fundraising goal would have real consequences for the future of our movement.

Every dollar we raise from emails like this one lets our team know how much we can invest in grassroots organizing — and how many people we can reach with Elizabeth’s message of big, structural change.

To be honest, right now, our August numbers aren’t as strong as we’d hoped for.

But we still have a few days to turn it around.

Team Warren

At least there’s some hope from Warren?

Every donation to Pete’s campaign is an investment in building an America where people like me and my students belong and can thrive. Will you give to help power Pete’s movement? You might get to meet him!

I never expected to win. I donated because I wholeheartedly believe Pete should be the next president. I hope you get the same experience.

Julia Johns, Debate Contest Winner, Pete for America

Not often do we get to hear from the winners of the contests the campaigns run, so thanks Pete Buttigieg!

To rise above and overcome, we all have to acknowledge that the status quo won’t cut it. Not anymore.

We cannot let this President’s racist attacks become the new normal.

I’m asking 5,000 Democrats to stand with Julián to fund his response ads to Trump.

Because the way I see it: Helping Julián defeat Trump would be exactly what this hateful, racist President deserves. 

Will you have my brother’s back with $15 before his End of Month Deadline in 72 hours?

Joaquin Castro

Sometimes I wonder if Joaquin is ever upset that Julian Castro is using Trump’s attacks on Joaquin as an attack on himself. Then I remember they’re both politicians.

This is how we’re going to win.

After Beto took two weeks away from the campaign earlier this month to be with El Paso in the healing process, we knew we were going to have to work hard to catch up. 

To get things back on track, we set an incredibly ambitious goal before the end of the month. And we’ve made amazing progress, all thanks to our grassroots community stepping up.

However, while we’re very close, we’re still short of where we need to be. Can you give $3 to help us close the gap and reach our goal before the month ends?

Team Beto

While enthusiastic, Beto O’Rourke is still technically saying he hasn’t raised the money he was hoping for.

I’m extremely excited for Cory to share his message with millions of Americans once again — he crushed it last time — but to be honest, we have a lot of work to do between now and then. Yes, we have to make sure Cory is ready for anything when he gets up on that stage. But we also need to amplify his message before, during, and after the big night.

Here’s why: We saw during last month’s debate that when people hear from Cory directly, they like what they see. And with so many voters still undecided, it’s essential we reach them all — every single one — so every American knows who Cory is and what he stands for.

Addisu Demissie, Campaign Manager, Cory 2020

Another cheerful email, not asking to fund something they had to cut, but rather asking to give to a new Debate Amplification Fund.

I liken my campaign to a bonsai tree: we have everything the other campaigns have, but we have material limitations that have kept it from growing any bigger.

Marianne Williamson

This is the most poetic way of saying “we’re being out-raised and out-spent” I’ve ever seen in a political email.

Tim only has one more day to qualify for the next debate. Contribute today so our forgotten communities have a voice on the stage in Houston.

Tim’s Media Team, Tim Ryan for America

Tim Ryan hasn’t been talking about his poll numbers, much like Gillibrand hadn’t. Is this a sign he’s next to stop his run?

This campaign’s momentum has grown by leaps and bounds since we made the fall DNC debates, but we have much more to do. We have more states to organize in, more communities to visit and more plans to release.

So I’m setting an end-of-month goal of $100,000 to help us keep getting Amy out there. Will you donate whatever you can right now to help us hit this critical goal?

Justin, Amy for America

For all their enthusiasm and confidence in Amy Klobuchar’s supporters’ enthusiasm, her goals are always some of the lowest of the “serious” contenders.

We need to crush our fundraising goal on Saturday, because every dollar we raise helps us hire more staff and talk to more voters. But we’re still $46,021 short. So can you chip in $1 to close the gap?

Team Bullock

Steve Bullock gave two reasons why he needs to be on stage: he won a Trump state and he’s the only governor in the race. Nothing about his plans or policies or what makes his ideas different from the others. Just Trump state and governorship.

Other honorable mentions for attempts to get me to donate are how Joe Biden showed me he’s missed every goal for early-state fundraising so far, Kamala Harris sending an email with the subject “I’ll try to explain one more time” (if your first three explanations didn’t make me budge, your fourth won’t), and Cory Booker copying Joe Biden’s “I know Joe” email format with a series of emails from “Cory’s Crew” and how they came to work on the campaign. The first one started with a senior adviser saying “I’ve known Cory Booker since he had (some) hair.” Like with Biden’s emails, these are personal anecdotes meant to humanize the candidate, show some pictures of the candidate being personable, and pleas for donations to show your support.

Meanwhile, Amy Klobuchar’s graphics team came up with another cute and ultimately useless .GIF.

Is the grass the support? Why doesn’t the ruler have a halfway point? Which blade should I be looking at?
Booker hit 200 AS the next candidate dropped out!

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