Day 149: 10/16/19

The day after debate day is an interesting day. Campaigns are flush with new names on their mailing lists and trying to make a great first impression for these new eyeballs…

Oh, wait, no. No, they just want to talk about how much money they made (or didn’t make) in the 24 hours after the debate, and maybe recap a little about what happened.

Solitude is getting to Joe Sestak

Unbelievably, Joe Sestak took home “most emails sent” with a whopping 5, even though he had nothing to do with the debate. Pete Buttigieg and Julian Castro came in second, with 4, while Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren all sent 3 each.

Yellow is family.

This was actually a challenging day for me in terms of categorizing who sent the emails. Usually, it’s pretty easy: candidate or staff. However, Rosario Dawson emailed on behalf of Cory Booker. She’s his partner, but she’s also a celebrity. Is she counted as family or famous? And then Ilhan Omar emailed for Bernie Sanders. She’s not exactly a celebrity, but she certainly isn’t staff, and she’s more than just a friend of Sanders’.

Ultimately, I decided Omar was a celebrity and Dawson was a family member. That was the role they were taking in their emails, after all.

Still chatting about the debate.

Joe Sestak sent 5 emails talking about how his walk across New Hampshire was going. He usually begins before 6 AM with an update on yesterday’s events and today’s schedule. Today, he was talking to me about the nasty weather that was rolling in.

…he’s growing on me, in a grandpa sort of way.

Yes, Sestak walked, on foot, in the dark, in a nor’easter. The man is probably a little insane. He did send pictures of a street sign for Purgatory and wished his shoes were waterproof.

I don’t think I want to live on Purgatory.

Sestak finished up with a picture of an alarming sign and said he’d let me know if he made it through the next mile, but I should donate to him in case he doesn’t… and that was the last I heard from him.

Spoiler for tomorrow: He did email me this morning. He survived.

The campaigns were overwhelmed with their donations… or they weren’t. For the first time ever, Elizabeth Warren announced that she missed both of her debate night fundraising goals: 20,000 donations from her donor list, or 7,500 new donors from her non-donor list.

Or “…we fell short of our goal of 20,000 contributions on debate night…”

To underline how much of a momentous occasion this is, this is only the second time Warren has ever announced how one of her fundraising pushes ended. She had exactly 1 occasion earlier said that she surpassed her goal.

That was it.

For all the 113 times that Warren said she was behind on her goal, she only told me that she completed a goal 3 times.

Remember that cat and laser pointer analogy from last week? A cat needs to actually “catch” something to feel satisfied with their hunt. Playing exclusively with a laser pointer will result in a depressed cat. Warren keeps talking about having goals and deadlines, but she never lets us catch them. Even a “We didn’t make it” would allow for that sense of conclusion and “Let’s do better next time!” Giving nothing at all makes me, at least, wonder what the point even is. You have a goal. Great. Clearly, it’s not our goal, because you won’t tell me if we reached it.

However, speaking of goals, Amy Klobuchar set a $100,000 goal for the day after the debate. On Twitter, she announced that she pulled in $1.1 million in the 24 hours following the debate. I think that counts as a win for her.

Julian Castro also set a goal of $100,000 and added on to his backstory about how in middle school, his teacher said that half of them wouldn’t graduate high school.

Again, I get it. Rough childhood and you persevered anyway. You’re still looking backwards and not to the future.

Kamala Harris also set a $100,000 goal after a great night on the debate stage. She didn’t tell me if she hit her $150,000 must-make pre-debate goal.

Joe Biden didn’t set a goal, per se, but he did point out that several other candidates were announcing HUGE fundraising hauls from the debate, and he couldn’t afford to fall behind, so could I give him $5 (or more)?

Pete Buttigieg was one of those huge fundraising hauls. While he didn’t set a goal at all, he did announce that he added over 20,000 new donors since the end of September and raised over $1 million in the 24 hours from the debate. This was one of the campaign’s best fundraising days, same as Amy Klobuchar. He also sent a follow-up email about his Grassroots Investment Team call last night, thanking us for our support and showing off his new merch which was GIT exclusive for the first day… so of course I already tweeted it out to share with all of you.

Cory Booker also recapped the debate… but not as positively as the other candidates.

We get one shot and only one shot to make sure Donald Trump is a one-term president.

That’s why I woke up this morning with a feeling that, for voters tuning in for the first time to see what Democrats have to offer, a lot of last night was a missed opportunity for our party.

Too much time was spent attacking one another or repeating Republican talking points about our well-intentioned policy differences. We even had a question that echoed Trump’s baseless conspiracy theory designed to take down Joe Biden and distract from Trump’s own betrayal of his oath.

We need to focus on the issues that matter — issues that got far too little attention last night. The existential threat of climate change, a women’s right to reproductive health, and LGBTQ+ equality, which the Supreme Court is debating right now. The humanitarian crisis at our border, and the crippling problem of college affordability. How we’ll stop rampant voter suppression efforts going on in states across the country, and how we’ll reform our disastrously broken criminal justice system. On how we ensure affordable health care for all Americans and creating an economy that works for all, not just the ones at the top.

We win this election by being willing to come together, to say we’re the party of lifting every single person up. We win not by just telling voters we’re against Trump — but by showing people how much better, how much more decent, how much more boldly American we can be.

This election is not a referendum on one guy in one office. It’s a question of who we are and who we should be to each other. Hate is the root of Trump’s strategy. Love must be the root of ours.

That’s not only how we win, but how we solve some of the biggest problems we face as a nation. Today, I need to ask for your help to put our campaign in a position to win this nomination. Make a donation today — and help get our campaign on track to meet our ambitious October goals.

Finally, thank you for believing in me and what we can do together. None of us can do this by ourselves.

Cory Booker

Though Booker said the debate was a missed opportunity for the party, he did follow it up with an email saying thank you for the influx of support and reiterating that America is great not because of “rugged individualism,” but because we come together to recognize a common purpose.

One “Info” from Joe Sestak.

Andrew Yang asked for questions for his 10-hour answer session on Friday. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes. 10 hours is a long time to answer questions and stay on-brand. However, Yang has a history of announcing big stunts during debates.

Yang also launched a new piece of merch: the flag scarf.

For just $50, you too can violate the Flag Code!

Has the flag code ever stopped people from marketing the flag and using it as apparel? No, not really. But does that mean it’s okay for a presidential candidate to do it?

To me, this feels to be in incredibly poor taste. I don’t believe any of the other candidates dishonor the flag. They allude to it with red white and blue, or stars, or stripes, but never use it as a neck warmer. Like the lack of tie at the debate, this feels like yet another way in which Yang is trying to be hip and cool and show that the traditions of showing respect are stupid.

Like the lack of tie at the debate, this feels like wearing your pajamas to a job interview.

But switching gears, how about some…

Theirs Too!

Presidential elections aren’t the only important elections, and presidential candidates aren’t the only candidates who can have good (or bad!) emails. If you get any emails that you feel are brilliant, you can forward them to me at I’ll try to highlight ones worth your attention!

Jessica sent me an email from Phil Hernandez, in Virginia, who was so excited that his race has become a tie. Not only that, but he announced a staggering 3,000 grassroots donors to his campaign, compared to his opponent’s 6.

I have piles of good news for you:

This morning, our race was upgraded from “Tilt R” to “Toss-Up!” We also announced that we once again outraised our opponent, who reported just 6 grassroots donations … while we reported over 3,000. You read that right: 6 versus 3,000.

Yesterday, our first broadcast TV ad went live. We are now making our case to voters on TV, radio, online, in print, and at the doors. 

Watch our first ad, “Stronger,” now … And then chip in here! 

With just 20 days to go, our position is stronger than ever. But we cannot let up. Can you help us keep sending out our message by chipping in another $25, $50, or $100 today?


Phil Hernandez

This is such a happy, positive email. It’s the sort of the people wouldn’t mind reading, even if it does ask for money. Best of luck, Phil! I hope you win!

Buttigieg and Yang have sent the same number of emails, and combined have sent fewer emails than Biden.

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