Day 127: 9/24/19

Tuesday saw a shift in some of my charts, a swell of petitions rising up with one voice, all crying for the same thing: Impeeeeeeach him!

Oh, except for Bernie Sanders, who wanted me to sign his petition for a wealth tax.

Despite everything, the numbers are still the same.

Kamala Harris surged to the front of the emailers yet again with a whopping 5 emails in my inbox. Joe Biden, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren were a distant second with only 3 each. The news events of the day did not change any of their emailing habits in terms of volume.

Of course, the FEC deadline moves for no man.

Now, not every candidate talked about impeachment or Trump on Tuesday.

Though a good chunk did.

For those who didn’t, it was very likely a deliberate choice. I know there are some candidates, like Pete Buttigieg, who do not want to campaign on Trump

So, here’s the breakdown:

No Talk of TrumpImpeach Trump/No PetitionImpeach Trump/Petition
Michael BennetX
Joe BidenX
Cory BookerX
Steve BullockX
Pete ButtigiegX
Julian CastroX*
John DelaneyX*
Tulsi GabbardX
Kamala HarrisX
Amy KlobucharX
Beto O’RourkeX
Tim RyanX
Bernie SandersX
Joe SestakX
Tom SteyerX
Elizabeth WarrenX
Marianne WilliamsonX
Andrew YangX

* Both Julian Castro and John Delaney had a survey asking if I supported impeachment.

Most of the calls for impeachment were the same thing: Trump broke the law and must be held accountable. Interestingly, quite a few of them came after the formal impeachment hearings were announced. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Tom Steyer were the only three talking about impeachment via email on Tuesday before Nancy Pelosi’s announcement.

Marianne Williamson had an… interesting take on it. After reading and rereading her email a couple times, I’m pretty sure she’s only reluctantly pro-impeachment. She never cared about collusion, but only about the kidnapping of children at the border.

Dear Friend,

I have always been cautious on the topic of impeachment. I’ve understood the argument for impeachment, of course, but my position has been tempered by political realities. The Republicans are in charge of the Senate, so they wouldn’t remove him from office even if the House impeached him. We have an election coming up next year and the president could play this in such a way as to make himself look like a victim.

All those things have kept me from getting on board with impeachment. Until now.

My main concern has never been collusion, though collusion seems obviously to have taken place. What has always been Trump’s most impeachable offense, to me, has been what in any other context would be called kidnapping—forcibly removing children from their parents’ arms—as a way of dissuading others from seeking to immigrate here. Such cruelty has no place in American public policy.

But what the president has done now is more than cruel, and more than a danger to our values. It could be a danger to our country. When a president has no qualms withholding aid from another country unless its government agrees to help him get dirt on his political opponents, America has a serious problem. Our president has apparently no respect for the demands, the responsibilities, or the limits to his power. American foreign policy is not a toy for the president to use for either his pleasure or his profit.

Because of that, I have decided impeachment is the only responsible way that we, as citizens, can take a stand against the president’s egregious overreach and careless use of the powers of the presidency. The Founders established the power of impeachment to protect our democracy at such a time as this. They did their part. It is time for us to do ours. Each of us is responsible, in our own way, for protecting the Constitution. 

It is with no pleasure that I support an impeachment inquiry into the president. It is, however, with a deep belief that it is the right thing to do.

With all best wishes, for you and for our country…

Marianne Williamson

I have so many issues with her email, but I’ll restrain myself to just a single one: impeachment is the only responsible that we, as citizens, can take a stand against Trump?

Impeachment is something Congress does. Representing us, yes, but it’s not us as individuals deciding on whether or not to impeach Trump. Booker puts it better:

This is not the first time I’ve called to initiate impeachment proceedings of the president. We have a president who repeatedly disregards the rule of law and misuses the powers of his office. He must be held accountable for his actions. And this is our one remaining path to ensuring that justice is served.

As members of Congress, it’s on each of us to fulfill our responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution. This is one of those moments in history where we must step up and meet that obligation.

Cory Booker

Julian Castro didn’t have a petition for me to sign. He had a survey, one that he needed 50,000 people to take. Immediately.

Because I’m sure the one thing led to the other.

I decided to take the bait and click on the survey, just to check. Surely, Castro wouldn’t use impeachment to raise money, right?

…or not.

Castro has been keen to let everyone know HE WAS FIRST to call for Trump’s impeachment. He leaves off the caveat of “after the Mueller report.” Beto O’Rourke had been calling for impeachment since 2017. Tom Steyer had built an entire PAC to push for Trump’s impeachment for years.

But Castro wants to be first.

Castro isn’t the only one attempting to profit off of calling for impeachment. Joe Biden has been using this as a drum to beat as he cries about how Trump is trying to cheat to smear him and keep the presidency, so give him money please? Pretty please?

Look, here’s the bad news: Trump is using the Oval Office to pressure a foreign power into interfering in the 2020 election.

And it gets even worse: A new poll has us down in Iowa, a key first state in this Primary race.

That’s why it’s so important that we meet our end-of-quarter fundraising goal — and we still have $330,000 to raise before Monday’s deadline.

Our numbers go public after this deadline. Everyone will know if we fall short. PLEASE — will you chip in now to Joe’s campaign?

Biden for President

Emails like the one above fall into the Pessimistic category on my tracker.

And that pessimism is growing

Joe Biden, Julian Castro, and Kamala Harris are the three big negatives right now, with Biden fretting about falling short and everyone knowing, Harris fretting about falling short and everyone knowing, and Castro fretting about being cut from the next debate for not getting the support he needs (see his “impeach Trump” survey above). But just as the Pessimistic slice is growing, so too is the Optimistic slice. Tim Ryan is having a great time with his campaigning. He’s still trying to get on the Ohio debate stage, and he hasn’t given up!

If you’ve kept up with our emails, you know how busy we’ve been on the campaign trail these last few weeks.

And — might I add — with no signs of slowing down.

Contribute right away to make sure we have the resources to keep moving full-speed ahead!

Mike Morley, Campaign Manager, Tim Ryan for America

Pete Buttigieg has been running an upbeat attempt to convince me to make my first donation on my non-donor account. On Monday, he emailed me himself to point out that I’d been on his list for about four months with no donation. On Tuesday, his Grassroots Investment Manager spoke up.

Grassroots supporters — like you — have helped Pete every step of the way. Since he first announced in South Bend’s old Studebaker factory. Three debate stages. Dozens of new field offices in early states. Hundreds of organizers on the ground. It’s a powerful movement that we must continue to grow stronger and stronger, day by day.

That’s where you come in! By chipping in your very first donation, you’re making change possible. You’re helping Pete reach every voter and make his case for this moment. In short, you’re helping us win. Are you in? Will you make your first contribution to Pete’s campaign and help us build a movement that will win the Democratic nomination, the presidency and a fresh start for America?

As Pete often says, we’re at a make-or-break moment, and our country is running out of time. Bold action is required from each of us, and we can’t lose another second. Supporters like you, who choose to rise at this moment, are among the boldest of all. We’re going to win this, together.

Raven Hollins, Grassroots Investment Manager, Pete for America

Buttigieg also sent another email later in the day in which he overused the words pride/proud, but the optimism was still strong.

We’re winding down some of the most memorable days I’ve had since we started this campaign. I spent Friday at the LGBTQ Presidential Forum, the one-year anniversary of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I’ll never take for granted that I can run this campaign without hiding who I am. That’s as good a reminder as any: all politics is personal.

It continued from there. We had the most enthusiastic support of any candidate at the Steak Fry in Polk County. Across the country, we’re bringing together people of all backgrounds. In this team and our vision for the future, we’re giving people something to be a part of that’s bigger than themselves.

Then we set out on the bus tour. We’ve made stops in Newton, Boone, Webster City, Iowa Falls, Waterloo, Elkader, Dubuque, Clinton, and Davenport. You can tell something is happening on the ground. Everywhere we go, people are turning out enthusiastically. Our organizers are doing a terrific job and earning a reputation for kindness as well as hustle. I can see for sure that our team won’t be outworked.

It all fills me with such tremendous pride and gratitude. Pride that people believe enough in me and themselves to be part of a campaign that’s going about things differently. Pride that we make an impression when we show up somewhere. Pride that on the strength of belief and hope, we’re building a formidable, top-tier campaign for president — one that will win.

I can see our path more clearly than ever. The last few days have illuminated it: go everywhere, talk to everyone, listen, organize, and don’t slow down.

If you share my pride in what we’re building and my belief in its promise, can you donate to help us keep it going? This is a team that will give nothing less than our all, and from everything I see, that can take us all the way.

I hope you’ve had a great weekend. Whether you’ve been with us in Iowa or your support has made any part of this possible, thank you. You’ve made me so proud. I hope to keep making you proud, too.

Pete Buttigieg

7 uses of pride/proud.

This email was also notable for the amount of panic it set off on Twitter. You see, when Buttigieg does donate buttons, they’re typically in his campaign’s dark blue. This time?

The horror!

This time, he was testing yellow.

My donor version of the email had the yellow buttons, while my non-donor had dark blue. This is a form of A/B testing that I talked about earlier, a test to see which color buttons brought in more donations. You’d be surprised how much color can influence people. Or maybe you wouldn’t, since the color was different enough to make people worry that this was a fake email.

I can assure you, it wasn’t fake. A senior PFA staffer confirmed it.

Other optimistic emails came from Michael Bennet, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren. Bennet shared his adventure at the Polk County Steak Fry, where his team had a 10 foot gavel to show he was pounding truth into the campaign. I wish I could show you the picture, but by the time I went to get it for this post, the link was already broken.

Amy Klobuchar was hyped up from her debate and following campaign events.

Highlighting in a color other than yellow!

Elizabeth Warren is pleased with her grassroots strength and not afraid of a challenge.

When we released our fundraising numbers last quarter, some pundits were surprised. They were surprised that our grassroots movement kept pace without big dollar donors and closed-door fundraisers — that we had the resources to compete, and win.

But, there’s been a pattern for a while. When people tell Elizabeth that something just isn’t possible, she proves them wrong.

When Elizabeth started working to create a consumer agency, people said she would never get it past the big banks and their friends. But she took them on, and she beat them.

When, in her first campaign, she started 17 points down against a popular incumbent Republican Senator, people told her she was going to lose. She took him on, and she beat him.

When we aren’t afraid of the critics — and invest in the change we truly believe in — we win.

Team Warren

These optimistic emails are such a refreshing change of pace from the dour, alarm-sounding cries for help. I wish more emails could be written with a smile.

And we’re closing in on 300 emails sent by some campaigns.

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