Day 130: 9/27/19

Friday marked the start of the final weekend push for fundraising before the FEC deadline on Monday, and all the campaigns were feeling it. Pete Buttigieg announced, for the first time ever, that he was behind on his fundraising goal. Andrew Yang pulled out some new merch, copying a sticker Bernie Sanders had done months ago. Joe Biden was trying to milk Trump’s latest scandal for everything it was worth, and Kamala Harris was jumping into the fray herself.

There’s a tie for first.

Both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris sent out 5 emails on Friday, battling for supremacy in my inbox. Elizabeth Warren sent out a restrained 4, while Michael Bennet, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, and Andrew Yang all sent out 3 each.

It’s worth noting that Tom Steyer sent me one email as a donor, and then never again. I’m not sure what’s going on with him. I guess he doesn’t need me now that he has my number for his donor requirements for the debates.

They brought back some variety. Phew!

After Thursday’s all-donate asks, I was worried Friday’s would be the same. Thankfully, many of the campaigns realized they had been one-note yesterday and threw in a couple whispers of differences.

Plus, Joe Sestak emailed with his weekly agenda, which is always good for an Info ask.

Of course, the overwhelming push was for money. Pete Buttigieg started the morning off with an 8:52 AM ET email to let me know in the most optimistic way possible that he was behind.

Pete and Chasten emailed you a couple of days ago to let you know about our goal to raise $1.5 million before we close out quarter three. Progress is coming in a little slower than we need, but if you step up, we can get back on track. We’re sure of it!

This campaign is growing by the day, and Pete’s been able to reach more voters and share a vision for confronting decades-old challenges with new, urgent solutions. Winning will take setting our goals higher and higher. The more we reach, the stronger we become. That’s what this goal’s about.

How would you feel if your very first donation helped Pete crush this $1.5 million goal? We think that’d be pretty cool, and we’d appreciate anything you can pitch in now. With our deadline in just a few days, we need as many supporters as possible to step up.

Pete for America

While his donate buttons were blue in both donor and non-donor versions, I found it interesting to note that his rust-red donate button said “DONATE NOW” for the non-donor email and “DONATE TO ELECT PETE” for the donor email. More A/B testing at play!

John Delaney said he missed qualifying for last debates.

Many candidates had similar messages. Elizabeth Warren was behind and wondered if I’d donate now like I had at the end of last quarter. Bernie Sanders underlined the fact that he didn’t believe in fancy fundraisers, so he was going to hold an online fundraiser all weekend long. Marianne Williamson informed me that the next FEC deadline was a critical one, while Cory Booker was pleased that his campaign was less than $500,000 away from their goal. Julian Castro informed me that this FEC deadline is the biggest obstacle he has ever faced. It would have more punch if he hadn’t used that exact phrasing to talk about the pushback he got after he attacked Biden at the last debate.

Tim Ryan informed me that this was the first major fundraising goal since the impeachment proceedings for Trump had been announced, and he (a sitting member of the House of Representatives) was doing everything he could to hold Trump accountable. Michael Bennet reminded me that this a marathon, not a sprint, though he did point out I hadn’t donated yet. Steve Bullock is barely even trying anymore: he had “The Dude” give me another video message, but the subject of the email was “Video message from *Jeff Bridges* for Bailey Mohr.”

My name isn’t Bailey Mohr. It’s not even close to Bailey Mohr. But both my donor and non-donor emails had the same subject.

Andrew Yang is trying everything he can to inspire people to donate. He’s telling me how it would blow everyone out of the water if everyone reading the email donated $22, his average donation. He included a short version of his animated power bar from his website.

Why does he blink and jiggle but not move his legs?

He even launched a new sticker declaring that Yang beats Trump (in polls matching them up head to head). Except… just about every Democrat can say that now. Bernie Sanders has had “Bernie Beats Trump” stickers since mid-June. What this is really showing is that Trump is a super weak candidate against our large pool of strong contenders.

Fundraising is still king at the end of the quarter.

Of course, the big topic du jour other than how much money everyone needs is what Trump has been up to. Joe Biden has been trying to wring every drop of pity possible out of my dried up purse.

Biden’s donations are slowing down

It’s hard, because Castro has already drained me of pity, but also because Biden’s arguments about how much money Trump is spending to smear him only make me think… wouldn’t that be a good thing? If Biden is the sacrificial lamb who drains Trump’s war chest, and then we put up a different candidate against Trump after he spent all his time and money tearing apart Biden… wouldn’t that make our fight stronger? After all, just about every candidate is beating him head to head in the polls (see Andrew Yang above). We don’t need our candidate to be Biden to reclaim the office.

Biden certainly doesn’t see it that way. And he’s certainly going to try everything he can to get me to donate… including mind tricks.

This is a screencap from a non-donor email

Notice anything off about those buttons? Like how, say, the $25 one is a deeper, darker, three-dimensional button? As if a subtle hint of which one I should click on?

This is a screencap from the corresponding donor email

The matched email sent to donors did not have that subtle color difference. It definitely did not give me any good fuzzy feelings toward Uncle Joe. Other candidates have done the same thing, yes, make the $25 button a different color to stand out, but they never tried to be sneaky about it. It was always a red button while the rest were blue, or a green button while the rest were blue, or a blue button while the rest were purple. Not a red button while the rest were dark pink.

I don’t want to be manipulated. I don’t want to be played. I want my candidate to be open and honest with me and I want to give them what I want to give them, not what they would like me to give them.

Kamala Harris has also been talking about Trump’s latest scandal, but not focusing on Trump so much as she’s focusing on Rudy Giuliani.

The past 24 hours have been nuts.

First, an Intelligence Community whistleblower detailed multiple efforts by Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate baseless claims about former Vice President Joe Biden.

Then, Kamala called on the State Department Inspector General to investigate whether Trump Administration diplomatic officials and Rudy improperly coordinated to pursue Trump’s political aims.

And late last night, Rudy Giuliani was on Fox News attacking Kamala, saying she doesn’t understand the Constitution.

I’ll start with this: Trump’s lawyer really needs a lawyer. And I’ll follow by saying this: there is no candidate in this race for president who is better equipped to stick it to these guys than Kamala D. Harris.

Ian Sams, National Press Secretary, Kamala 2020

Now that Giuliani is attacking Harris, Harris is saying she needs money to fight back against him. She’s stopped talking about her $1,000,000 goal and just focused on raising money because Trump’s lawyer needs a lawyer.

The thing is… I’m so tired of fighting. I’m so tired of being angry. But if all of these candidates are talking about fighting and fighting and fighting, and sticking it to the bad guys, and fighting… when there are no more “bad guys” left, what proof do we have that they’ll stop fighting? That they won’t pick more fights just so they can keep being the strong fighters? Do we need to fight against Trump? Yes, absolutely. But we need a leader who wants to do more than just fight. We need a leader who’s saying “We’re going to win, and then we’re going to heal.”

Because right now, I just want to rest and heal.

(though that may be because I’m still wrestling with a cold I’m pretty sure I picked up from my super bougie fundraiser…)

Will Biden cross 300 before Harris? Almost certainly.

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