After a vigorous frenzy lasting all weekend and culminating in a final burst of emails on Monday, the campaigns collapsed on the first day of the new quarter, worn out from all that fundraising.
So of course, Joe Biden, determined not to show his age, immediately jumped to his feet and began fundraising again. Cory Booker also staggered back to life, continuing his radical transparency agenda. Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, and Tom Steyer, on the other hand, all waved their hands tiredly in the air and just talked without asking for anything.
Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, and Bernie Sanders all were the busiest emailers on Tuesday with just 2 emails each. Steve Bullock, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Joe Sestak, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang each sent 1. All other candidates sent nothing at all.
For the first time in a long time, absolutely nobody was fretting about being behind on their fundraising. Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Steve Bullock all confirmed they made their goals, while Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, and Andrew Yang all excitedly told me how much they surpassed their goals.
Pete Buttigieg was the first to reveal his quarter numbers just before 6 AM ET, just like he did for Q2. $19 million! Just over five hours later, at 11:33 AM ET, Bernie Sanders announced his haul: $25.3 million! At 5:57 PM ET, Kamala Harris announced her fundraising was $11.6 million (only $0.2 million less than Q2, despite her apparent money woes). Cory Booker finished off the night at 7:40 PM ET, announcing over $6 million for Q3.
Most of the campaigns expressed their gratitude. Even those who didn’t specifically say “Thank you” in the body of their emails were excited and happy with their fundraising.
Except Joe Sestak, who went back to his weekly agenda as if nothing had happened. No thank you, no ‘we made it,’ no nothing of that sort. Just an announcement about the radio show he was going to be on.
Well, no. That’s not entirely true. Julian Castro also didn’t react to the quarter ending.
DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL POLL FOR: my email
This is one of the most important favors I’ve ever asked you:
The Democratic Party’s new rules state I need to REALLY stand out in the polls to qualify for the next debates.
I’m counting on you to take the poll: Do you believe I deserve to share my story in the next debates?
I’ll be honest — I don’t like asking you for money.
Luckily, this is not one of those emails.
But I do have a critical favor to ask.
The Democratic Party’s new rules state I need to really stand out in the polls to qualify for the next debates. Will you take the poll before midnight? Do you believe I deserve to be on that next debate stage? It would mean so much to me to have your response. >>
When I first entered this race, many counted me out.
They didn’t think someone who looks like me…
Who grew up needing to work for everything they got…
Who built opportunity out of an immigrant story…
Someone like that could never have a shot to be President — right?
This is our chance to prove them wrong.
I want kids of every race, creed, religion, and background to know they have every shot to succeed.
That’s why sharing my story in the Democratic debates is so important to me.
The rules say I need to secure a higher threshold in the polls to qualify.
Cory Booker was the one who was humble this time, not Castro. Castro was… asking for a survey. Knowing his surveys, he’d probably try to slip in a money ask.
Joe Biden was the first candidate to ask for money again after the quarter ended. He announced his average online donation was $24.56 and asked me to fill out a survey about what I care about. By early evening, though, he was offering up a chance to win a trip to the debates in exchange for a donation of ANY amount.
Cory Booker sent 2 emails as well, with the first being thankful (and humbled) and excited. His campaign manager, Addisu Demissie, sent a very long “state of the race” email, explaining what the fundraising meant and what they would actually need.
Demissie repeated a favorite talking point of Michael Bennet and Steve Bullock: only 9% of Democrats say their minds are definitely made up about who they’re supporting, and therefore the race is wide open. However, he took it a step further.
To that end, according to a national NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll released on September 17th, only 9 percent of Democrats say their minds are definitely made up about who they’re supporting for the nomination. And a Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll released on September 21st shows only six Democratic candidates are being considered in some way by more than 40 percent of caucusgoers — and Cory is in that group.
Cory’s net favorability numbers are continuing to grow among Democratic voters, and internal and public polling alike shows that Cory’s unique and longstanding message of uniting and bringing people together to overcome tough challenges is deeply resonant with a Democratic electorate looking for a healer after the hatred and division of the Trump era. That same Iowa poll from above, for example, found that 54 percent of likely Iowa caucusgoers are seeking a nominee who “will take the high road against Donald Trump,” and 63 percent want someone who “takes positions that seek common ground.”
In short, this is a race we can win — if we have the resources we need to steadily grow our campaign and show Democratic voters that Cory is the right candidate for this moral moment in our country’s history.Addisu Demissie, Campaign Manager, Cory 2020
This is where Booker’s campaign diverges from Bennet’s and Bullock’s. The other 91% of respondents who can still be swayed are really only considering 6 candidates, a poll showed, of which Booker is one. I honestly don’t believe Bennet and Bullock are in that pool of 6. Booker has a chance to pull in some of that 91% still.
What Booker also did was reveal his overall financial needs and October fundraising goal.
Cory 2020’s current projected expenses for the fourth quarter of 2019, after making the growth investments outlined above, are $7,213,882 — over $4,000,000 of which represents the payroll and benefits costs for the amazing team we have assembled across the country. We were among the first candidates to build out our team on the ground in the early primary states and in our national headquarters and, in doing so, were able to recruit some of the best and most experienced talent, from our field organizers to national senior staff.
We have worked hard in the first eight months of this campaign to keep overhead costs low so that we can invest as much as possible in the most important resource of any campaign: its people. That includes living Cory’s Democratic values in how we treat our employees — providing generous benefits, covering 100% of health insurance costs, guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid parental leave, and ensuring that staff are promptly reimbursed for their out-of-pocket expenses. We continue to believe that it is the Cory 2020 team — not just our staff, but our volunteers, endorsers, and donors — who will ultimately be the driving force behind our successes when voting begins in just over four months.
With that said, we still anticipate spending about $3,100,000 in the last three months of the year on everything from office rents to digital advertising and list building to cybersecurity to commercial flight costs to send Cory across the country to campaign (he visited 18 states in August alone, so that expense adds up quickly!).
This budget reflects what we believe it costs, at this stage of the race, to run a presidential campaign that has a real chance of victory. And we of course know we will need to continue growing and investing to increase those chances as we approach February’s first contests.
Actually, if we’re being precise: $2,998,771.
$2,498,771 is exactly what we are projecting it will take to cover Cory 2020’s expenses for October, and thus fully fund our new growth budget for the month. Raising an additional $500,000 in October will allow us, in November and December, to make additional growth investments as fall turns to winter — including funding our get-out-the-vote program and beginning paid persuasion advertising.Addisu Demissie, Campaign Manager, Cory 2020
This level of financial transparency is fascinating, and I’m interested to see if it continues. I’m interested to see if other candidates do it. Last quarter, it looks like only Pete Buttigieg released his numbers publicly on the first day of the quarter. This quarter, most of the campaigns have already announced via email or Twitter what their fundraising numbers were. Buttigieg was still the fastest, but clearly this time around, they weren’t going to let him have the entire news cycle to himself.
Of course, Trump is making sure only Joe Biden really gets any coverage at the moment, but that’s beside the point.