Day 115: 9/12/19

Debate night. How bad could it be, right? There are only 10 candidates on stage…

Let’s just say I skipped all watch parties just to keep on top of my emails, and I still fell behind. How dare I need sleep on a Thursday night?

I don’t know if I’m more impressed by the numbers or the fact that some candidates sent 0.

Kamala Harris sent the most emails on Thursday, with 6, but Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren weren’t all that far behind with 5 each. Taking third with 4 emails was Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, and Bernie Sanders.

Nights almost never get emails.

Usually, the time of day chart is pretty same-y, so I don’t bother to include it. Most emails come in during the midday (11:00 AM – 4:59 PM ET), with evening emails (5:00 PM – 8:59 PM ET) being the second most popular time. However, debate night changes things up. 15 emails came in by 10:59 AM ET, and 40 emails during the midday, but 50 emails came in after 5:00 PM, split evenly between evening and night (9:00 PM – 11:59 PM ET).

You’d think something big political happened Thursday night…

Oh wait, yes, how could I forget?

Based on just the previous two charts, it’s pretty obvious even if you lived under a rock that the third debate was Thursday night. Scheduled for 3 hours, it actually ran short, ending about 14 minutes early.

Of course, the debate is merely an excuse to ask for money.

Add Merch to Donate and you get 100.

Most campaigns just flat-out asked for cash, though a couple did highlight their merch instead. Pete Buttigieg launched a new sticker an hour before the debate, for a donation of any amount.

Buttigieg has a sporty feel to his logos.

Joe Biden launched a brand new, debate-exclusive sticker just after the debate. He also asked for a donation of any amount, but he took a leaf out of Bernie Sanders’ playbook and hinted that most people donate $7 (how do these guys know how much people usually give for stickers they’ve never offered before?)

This doesn’t go with his branding other than the colors.

Joe Biden, Andrew Yang, Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro, and Kamala Harris all had emailed about their pre-debate deadlines.

  • Biden wanted 1250 debate-day donors (or reoccurring donors, if I was already a donor)
  • Yang wanted 10,000 donors by the time he got on stage, and had 4,619 to go as of 10:21 AM
  • Warren wanted 20,000 donations by midnight, including 499 people from Michigan.
  • Castro wanted 5,000 donors through the debate, which would be matched by generous unnamed donors.
  • Harris wanted $250,000 raised online by the time she went on stage. She only needed $37,659.14 as of 5:27 PM. By 6:08 PM, she still had a ways to go.

Only one campaign emailed me on Thursday and talked about meeting a goal of theirs successfully.

Hint: It wasn’t one of the above five.

You’ve summoned the courage to be a part of an entirely different campaign, one that recognizes we’re facing a make-or-break moment for our country that requires embracing new ideas and coming together in common purpose to enact them.

I am profoundly grateful for your support. You helped us secure our spot in this debate, and the ones before it. Your contributions are growing this campaign into one that’s getting stronger by the day.

Take this past weekend: Over 40,000 of you answered our call to raise $750,000 in a day to launch us into what we’re calling Phase Three of the campaign. Again and again, we’re showing the country we believe we’re at a crossroads in our nation’s history — and that we’re willing to put in the work to choose a new path together.

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg also took the time to let me know, again, that more emails were incoming. He name-dropped his husband, who is one of my favorite email writers. Still, 6 emails from this campaign, after the 7 last Saturday, is an awful lot.

And he’s still nowhere near the lead for most emails sent.

Sure enough, though, Chasten Buttigieg did email me. And he did what Buttigieg fans had been suggesting all along: he used his dogs to solicit donations.

Peter will probably talk about that in a few hours when he takes the stage. He’s running because he believes we need a fundamentally new way of doing things — and we need to do them together and with urgency. We have to come together as a community to make progress on challenges that have dogged* us for decades.


*I could have used another word here. This was mostly an excuse to share this pic of Buddy and Truman. They’re ready for tonight!

Chasten Buttigieg, Pete for America

I would love to see the donation rates for this email.

However, to my surprise, my favorite of Buttigieg’s 6 emails came from Mike Schmuhl, who I previously said was one of my least favorite email writers. This email came to me as one of the first 130,000 donors to Buttigieg’s campaign:

Pete’s going through the final preparations for tonight’s debate, and it’s because of your support that he’s on the biggest stage yet in this race.

Part of the criteria for making the debates was getting donations from 130,000 unique Americans. It’s a big, lofty number — and that was the point. We reached it because you believed enough in what we’re building to be one of those first 130,000 donors.

We often think back to those cold, snowy days in January when we were setting up our first office in South Bend. It was a small space with donated furniture and spotty WiFi. There were five of us then. All volunteers. We didn’t have much, but we had ideas. And we had Pete.

Today, we’re still growing and thinking bigger than ever. We’ve hired hundreds of organizers and we’re opening dozens of field offices in critical early voting states to spread Pete’s message. Our momentum is owed in so many ways to your early support. If you can help again, we’d be grateful — especially on a day as important as this one.

Debate Three. Quarter Three. Phase Three. We turn to our most committed supporters when we need help to keep building this campaign, and in that spirit, it would mean a lot if you gave again now.

I’ve got to get back with the team for prep. But thank you — thank you — for being among the first to take a leap with us. It’s meant more than you know.

Mike Schmuhl, Campaign Manager, Pete for America

Let this be a lesson for all writers, everywhere. When you try to write to a form (a cover letter, for example), you will sound stiff. Write you, that inner voice in your head. Just write it down. Don’t think about making it sound good or funny or smart. Just write you. Then you can clean it up. But write you, and your reader will read you being genuine.

Other than the debates, there were a few things mentioned. Beto O’Rourke had an idea to pressure credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard into not allowing their use for gun purchases without adequate background checks. Since so many retailers and CEOs are stepping up and making moves to ban things like open carry from their stores… maybe this is what needs to be done. It’s a novel approach that just might work until Congress can get its thumbs out of its butt.

Of course, it’s also giving power into the hands of private companies…

Joe Sestak had some local interviews in which he talked foreign policy. Among other things, he said he’d be open to negotiating with the Taliban–how else do you end a war? I agree, talk with them, but not in Camp David on the week of 9/11.

Joe Biden attempted to scare me into backing him.

I refuse to cave to fear-mongering.

Candidates who weren’t on stage spoke up to make their voices heard anyway. While Tulsi Gabbard and Bill de Blasio said nothing, Michael Bennet made sure I was aware that it was the DNC’s arbitrary rules blocking him from the stage and he was the only candidate who could actually win (four times). John Delaney told me about a recent poll in which he had 3%, which was more than Castro, O’Rourke, Steyer, and Klobuchar combined. Tim Ryan told me that while his challengers were all on stage engaging in their back and forth, he’d be where it really mattered, talking to voters in New Hampshire. And Marianne Williamson was live-streaming the debate with all the petty snark of an ex spying on their ex’s Facebook.

Are you watching the debate? I am. And, I am getting frustrated.

How can these insiders change our country in the way we need to thrive?

American deserves better.

Patricia Ewing, Campaign Manager, Marianne Williamson for President

Stepping off the stage, 9 of the 10 candidates reached out to me immediately to cap the night with an ask for money.

Team — I was proud to stand up on the debate stage tonight and share our vision for this country.

Right now, and every day that goes by, people are starting to tune in a little more closely to this race. For an underdog campaign like ours, we won’t get this moment back.

Your donation tonight is about so much more than the money. It’s saying you’re ready to roll up your sleeves to help bring people together to beat Donald Trump and get back to work for our country.

Will you chip in $5, $10, or whatever you can tonight and help build the grassroots campaign it’ll take to win?

Thank you for giving me the chance to represent you in front of the nation. I hope I made you proud.

Cory Booker

I’m deeply grateful to all of you for being in this fight with me.

I’m continually inspired by your stories, your concerns, and why you chose to be a part of this movement. And I’m more committed than ever to making sure that the big, structural change that we’re fighting for becomes a reality.

But the only way we can win is to build a grassroots movement — person by person, community by community, state by state — that is ready to fight for a Washington that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well connected.

Your voice is powerfully important in this fight. With just a couple of weeks until a crucial fundraising deadline, I need your help to continue fighting.

So I’m asking you: Can you chip in for the first time?


Thanks for being a part of this,

Elizabeth Warren

With the third Democratic debate all wrapped up, we’re hearing one thing from our supporters across the country: We want Joe.

If you feel fired up tonight, tell us where to send your we want Joe sticker. Pay whatever you think is fair for shipping and production (on average our supporters pay $7) and we’ll put yours in the mail >>


Joe Biden can do the job of President on day one. He can get us back on track, roll back Donald Trump’s dangerous policies, and get to work restoring the soul of America.

Show the world your Joe Biden pride by getting this new LIMITED EDITION sticker >>

Team Joe

I just stepped off the debate stage.

I spent every second up there fighting for you. Now, I’m asking you to fight for me. Your $5 has never been more important than it is in this critical moment. Generous donors have agreed to match tonight’s gifts to help me capitalize. Can I count on you to chip in? >>

Not only did we stand up for our winning vision tonight…

We proved that someone who comes from an immigrant family like I do…

Who was raised by a single mother like I was…

Who struggled to overcome adversity like I did…

Can take on Donald Trump and become President, too.

I need a massive showing of support in these next 24 hours to show the strength of this movement and prove that we’re in this for the long haul.

I left it all out on that debate stage tonight. If I made you proud, your $5 would mean so much to me in this moment.

It would mean so much to me if you would take advantage of the match before it closes.


Thank you,

Julian Castro


What a great night! I just left the debate stage — and I hope I made you proud. I hope you’re as ready as I am to push forward to the next phase of the campaign. In the coming weeks we’ll have to work even harder and connect with even more people about our bold plans to solve America’s most serious problems.

And yes, we’ll have to raise even more money to make it happen. So I’m asking: Can I count on you to donate today so we can keep pushing forward with even more momentum?

I’m working my hardest every day to put America back on the path to progress. Thank you for your support tonight and throughout this campaign.

Amy Klobuchar

I just stepped off the stage after the third Democratic presidential debate and I need to know if you’re standing with me because the next few days of this campaign are going to be critical.

Will you rush another donation to our campaign today?


Tonight’s debate was the start of a new phase of our campaign. For the first time, I stood on stage with every major candidate in this race speaking truth about what is happening to our country.

We need a president who is ready to speak the hard truth and confront racism, sexism, and homophobia in this country.

We need a president who is fearless — someone with a proven record of taking on the corrupt special interests that hold the reins in Washington.

We need a president who is ready to make our economy work for the people, fight climate change, enact gun safety reforms, and bring trust and accountability to our criminal justice system.

I’m ready to be that president, and I hope I made you proud tonight. Tomorrow morning I’ll be back on the campaign trail trying to win this primary. When I do, I need to know if you have my back:

I am asking you to make another contribution to our campaign today, so we can win this primary and defeat Donald Trump.


Thanks for all you do.

Kamala Harris

It’s late but we had to show you this screenshot.

Beto shined in tonight’s debate. Every single answer was pure passion, clarity, and strength. Now our fundraising is spiking in a big way…

Can you help us show Beto some REALLY good fundraising numbers tonight and in the morning? Add your own $3 donation to keep up the momentum.

We needed a surge like this one, especially heading into the all-important FEC deadline at the end of the quarter. A big boost in donations tonight will help us post a solid public fundraising report in two weeks.

So thank you to everyone for stepping up — it means a lot.

Team Beto
Screenshot in question

Friend —

I just stepped off the stage tonight and couldn’t be more fired up.

More people than ever are tuned in to the overwhelming change Humanity First policies can bring to this country.  And they will see, when we give Freedom Dividends to 10 Americans, the effect this will have on their lives.

Everything you’re doing is paying off.  And I could not be more proud to be your candidate.

But here’s the truth: The media, establishment, and everyone watching will use what we fundraise in the next 24 hours to measure the strength of our campaign.  So we need you to give it all you can TONIGHT.

This is the biggest moment of the campaign.  Friend, can you rush $10 or more before midnight?


We’ve reached a major milestone, but we can’t lose sight of our goal to get to the White House.  It is crucial that we leverage this moment to reach the next level.
Let’s keep pushing.  Let’s show our fellow Americans who should go up against Trump in 2020.  Let’s let everyone know we’re here to win.

Rush $10 before midnight and let’s take this fight all the way to the White House.

Proud to be your candidate,

Andrew Yang

Hey there,

I just got off the stage of the presidential primary debate in Houston. I told you who I am and what I believe.

And if I made you proud, please make a donation to our campaign tonight.

Trust is what this election is about. It’s about people trusting us with their lives. It’s not about the current president, even though it’s hard to talk of anything else some days. It’s not about the candidates running. You — it’s about you.

It’s about the kid wondering if we’re actually going to make their school safe when they’ve learned active shooter drills before they’ve learned to read. The generation counting on us to actually get the job done on climate change. The mom working three jobs because her pay isn’t keeping up with her family’s soaring health care costs.

We need a president bold enough to meet our challenges and big enough to bring people together to get it done. I will be that president, but I need your help tonight.

If you can, it would mean so much if you’d consider making a donation.

Thank you,

Pete Buttigieg

Bernie Sanders did not email after the debate on Thursday.

Joe Biden was magic email number 5,000

2 thoughts on “Day 115: 9/12/19

  1. I was at an event on Tuesday where Chasten said “I hope you like my emails best…I actually do write them!”

    On Fri, Sep 13, 2019 at 7:02 PM But their emails! wrote:

    > Aimin posted: ” Debate night. How bad could it be, right? There are only > 10 candidates on stage… Let’s just say I skipped all watch parties just > to keep on top of my emails, and I still fell behind. How dare I need sleep > on a Thursday night? EmailsCampaignsT” >


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