Day 126: 9/23/19

Some days, the Democratic field is full of variety and spice, dozens of different stories from the different campaigns as they try different ways to get my attention.

Some days, it’s all the same.

Monday brought an overwhelming number of money asks. Joe Biden was leveraging Trump’s latest act of treason as a fundraiser. Tim Ryan was trying to point out that as the only candidate from Ohio, it only made sense that he made it to the Ohio debates in October. Kamala Harris had a surprising email about Cory Booker, who is himself struggling to raise enough money just to stay in the race. And Julian Castro loudly proclaimed that he was not asking for money (but he actually was).

I anticipate all these numbers going up over the next week.

At 5 emails each, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were neck and neck for friendliest Democratic candidate. Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren managed to restrain themselves to just 3 emails each.

News Events = Polls and Trump

Of course, Biden had the excuse of Trump extorting Ukraine to dig into his son’s history. After the first poll showing Biden’s lead slipping to second place, behind Elizabeth Warren, Trump’s actions were a godsend to keep his name front and center in the news and not focused on his poll drop.

An unprecedented response! Donate to my campaign!
I love that they had to include the pictures so I’d know who was involved.
Everyone knows Trump always lies.

Any time Trump mentions one of the candidates is always an opportunity to make a quick buck.

Now, I make light of this, though it really is an absolutely serious thing that Trump did. Congress needs to impeach him, even if the Senate won’t remove him from office. Every day we wait is another precedent that the Republicans will be able to use in the future. “Oh, yeah, but treason isn’t impeachable, or else you would have done it in 2019.”

However, for all the seriousness of the crime, I can’t help but laugh at Biden’s response. It feels so overblown and pearl-clutching. I don’t need ALL CAPS and yellow highlight and red font to realize how big a deal this is. I don’t need Biden’s campaign screeching about how much Trump is lying to us RIGHT NOW.

I don’t need to replace Trump with a leader who is every bit as driven by their emotional whims. Give me someone who is calmer. Someone who can firmly put their foot down and say Enough.

I have said that I support impeachment since August of 2017. It was not something that I took lightly. But while others said it was politically dangerous or that we should wait and see how it polls first, I believed that we had to make it clear that no person in America is above the law — no matter how high up their position of public trust. 

Well this week, more than two years later, we learned another troubling thing about President Trump’s lawless behavior. New reporting finds that he pressured the government of Ukraine to dig up dirt on one of his Democratic opponents. As you know, it’s just the latest in a string of abuses of power. 

Last election, Trump invited Russia to attack our democracy on live television. When it actually happened, he obstructed the investigation into it. And when reporter George Stephanopoulos asked him in the Oval Office if he would accept foreign help once again, Trump said, “I think I’d take it.” 

If we don’t act now, we could very well lose our democracy. We will be setting the irreversible precedent that presidents can break our laws, obstruct justice, and still face no consequences.

Beto O’Rourke

Yeah. Something more like that.

Moving beyond impeachment, Tim Ryan is one of the few who are still focused on the October debates.

Ask any Ohioan — we are more than ready to host the Democratic Presidential debate next month.

But we need to make sure that our biggest supporter — the man who wears our state’s flag like a badge of honor, who stands in solidarity with our working familes, and who works hard every day to make sure every Ohioan is heard — makes it onto the debate stage.

Contribute $10 to make sure Tim makes it on the debate stage to defend the critical issues that Ohio families care about.

Here at Ryan HQ, we know just how meaningful it is for Tim to make the debate. It’s not just about politics and the race for President — it’s about capturing the imagination of Americans everywhere and laying out a vision for our country that is New and Better.

And we can’t think of a more fitting place to do that than in Tim’s home state of Ohio.

Everyone at Tim Ryan HQ

I have to give it to Ryan. He’s holding on doggedly, convinced that he is capturing America’s imagination and if he just goes a little while longer, he’ll have his breakthrough moment.

I also have to give it to him: he was asked why he hadn’t dropped out already, and he said in politics, everyone tells you you’re crazy and don’t do it, and if he listened to them, he wouldn’t be where he is now. He’s not going to drop out because everyone around him says it’s time. He’ll drop out when he feels it’s time. We’re all watching him and thinking Drop out already!, but at the same time, major kudos for having a strong core and not just bending with whatever you’re told.

Still, make sure you’re considering what your advisers are telling you.

They’re not even trying to hide their asks.

Kamala Harris has been incredibly worried all day. She needs to raise just shy of $1 million by the end of the month, she told me, and it’s not looking good.

Our task: Reach a steep — and critically important — fundraising goal before the FEC deadline on September 30. We need to raise nearly $1 million online to reach our target. This team has done it before — and we know we can do it again.

Our challenge: We’re about 20,529 contributions behind where we were this time last month. That’s not good.

Our path: If every Kamala supporter pitches in before the deadline, we will reach this goal and be in good shape to compete. But it’s going to take all of us.

Team Kamala

A very concerning number is that 20,529 contributions behind last month’s numbers. July and August are the worst fundraising months for a campaign, and September is traditionally one of the strongest. Harris herself has talked about just how bad her summer fundraising had been. If what is supposed to be her strongest month is doing worse than her weakest month…

Well, it’s no wonder that she sent an email with the subject “Cory Booker.”

At first, when I saw that subject, I thought it was going to be a show of camaraderie, of Harris going “look, he needs some help, and it’s far too soon for his voice to be drowned out.”


Three quick things —

Cory Booker’s campaign manager said they had their “biggest online fundraising day” ever on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders’ team is boasting about having more than one million individual donors since February.

We’re running out of time to catch up on our fundraising goal before next week’s FEC deadline.

Team Kamala

That’s right. Kamala Harris is doing so badly with her fundraising that she’s worried about Cory Booker, who is openly saying “if we can’t hit our goal, we can’t continue running.”

Julian Castro is definitely not going that route.

Emails from Sunday and Monday

He is absolutely totally NOT asking for money. Just a survey. That’s all. Just a survey (that in order to complete, you need to give him money). But he’s NOT asking for money!

Not immediately.

Castro is asking for 25,000 respondents so he can have an accurate sample size. He frequently does this, asks for thousands upon thousands of survey respondents so he can have an accurate sample size. Now, I may have only taken high school statistics, but I distinctly remember: THAT’S NOT HOW SAMPLE SIZES WORK.

On the surface, it makes sense. More people you survey = more accurate your survey is. But the whole point of a survey is that you sample a small amount of people to obtain a statistically significant representation of the whole group.

Castro has over 165,000 individual donors. Let’s be generous and say 200,000. There is a mathematical formula you can do to figure out what sample size would be effective.

To have a survey that you are 99% confident is within 1% margin of error, with 200,000 people, you need a sample size of 15,363.

How many polls do you know that have a 1% margin of error? And even 99% confidence is actually very high for statistics. A much more typical spread would be 95% confident with a 5% margin of error. But let’s try 3%, just to be generous.

To get results that you are 95% confident are representative of the whole group, with only a 3% margin of error, you need 1,062 respondents.

Not 25,000.

It frustrates me that this man wants to be the leader of our country and is misrepresenting high school mathematics.

I think Andrew Yang should have a word with him.

And speaking of Yang, he is super excited about Iowa. It was a great weekend at the Polk County Steak Fry, and he had many pictures to share with me. However, his finance director was a bit less positive.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but as the Finance Director, it’s my job to report on the numbers. And the unfortunate truth is — the numbers aren’t good.

If we don’t catch up in the next 7 days, we won’t be able to make critical investments in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Can you help by donating what you can afford to give so we can build a campaign that can win?

While we are proud of the fact that over 80% of our fundraising comes from grassroots donors, this leaves us behind other candidates who have huge lists and are collecting checks in the thousands of dollars. They will outraise us if you don’t step up.

Make a contribution now so we can close our fundraising gap before our critical FEC deadline.

We can’t let up now — it’s crunch time.

Carly Reilly, Finance Director, Yang 2020

Wait. Wait a minute. “Over 80% of our fundraising comes from grassroots donors?”

I think this is the first time a campaign has ever admitted to not being 100% grassroots funded this cycle.

Where is that other less-than-20% coming from!?

If you’ve sent more than 2 emails a day, every day… why?

2 thoughts on “Day 126: 9/23/19

  1. Yang has his own problems with high school statistics. He’s been citing a Yougov/Economist poll taken Jul21-23 in his stump speech for months as evidence that he is one of 2 candidates drawing double digit support from Trump voters. Only problem is that they’ve run the same poll every week since then and each and every time it has not shown anything like that result. He’s only cracked double digits 1 other time in the 8 or so polls since. It is likely that there aren’t enough Trump voters who say they are going to vote in the Democratic primaries/caucuses represented in the poll for it to be a reliable figure. He is basically cherry picking a piece of statistical noise from 2 months ago, saying he is a math/numbers guy, and using that misleading piece of data to make an argument for why people should vote for him. All of the Economist/Yougov polls can be found on 538.. The politico profile of Andrew Yang references the inquisitr piece that was the original source of the misleading analysis of the Jul21-23 poll. With a campaign literally using the slogan MATH one would hope someone would be paying more attention.


    1. Yang’s problems with math bug me too, but he wants to use math as his slogan and I needed a bit of a segue, so it worked. I lectured him on Twitter for saying that people didn’t live as long back when the Constitution was written. They DID, they just were much more likely to die at the age of 0, thus dragging down the average life expectancy.


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