At 5:40 PM ET, on Friday, November 1, 2019, Beto O’Rourke, former Congressman of Texas, became the first top ten candidate to drop out of the 2020 race.
In 165 days, Beto O’Rourke sent a total of 445 emails. 247 of those emails went to my non-donor email account and 198 went to my donor account. This came out to roughly 1.5 emails a day.
Beto was fairly even across all the days of the week, but he preferred sending emails mid-week on Wednesday (70 emails) and Thursday (69 emails). Mondays were his slowest days, with only 58 emails sent.
Beto sent the bulk of his emails between the hours of 11:00 AM ET and 4:59 PM ET. He did not send many emails earlier than this, and he also did not send many emails after 9:00 PM ET.
Much of Beto’s email focus was on raising the money his campaign needed to stay solvent. This email from June 10 shows that even early on, they were focused on their email strategy.
Back in June, they weren’t too concerned about their low fundraising numbers. Team Beto was only getting started.
As Beto pointed out mid-July, it’s fine that money is low early in the race. It will grow exponentially as the groundwork is laid and the campaign kicks off.
Only… Beto’s campaign didn’t ever really kick off. By the end, 1-in-100 people reading the email turning into donors wasn’t enough.
It was honestly emails like this that made me so surprised when Beto dropped out of the race less than 24 hours later.
I don’t think anyone can say Beto’s supporters weren’t fighting hard enough for Beto. There just weren’t enough of them. I can only imagine how much of a whiplash this was for everyone who was behind Beto for the long haul.
One of the absolutely greatest parts of Beto’s campaign was how much focus he put on social injustices. Out of all of the candidates running, Beto would seek out troubled communities, such as flooded towns in Oklahoma or ICE-raided communities in Mississippi. He would talk to the people being affected and then share their stories, leveraging his national popularity to shine a spotlight on their struggles and ask for financial help. Beto almost never asked us to split donations between himself and a good cause–he always wanted the maximum donation to go straight into the pockets of people who actually needed it, and not just a Presidential campaign. It was this level of consideration for those less fortunate that made me give Beto some personal donations above and beyond the $1 I gave him for BTE.
Everything changed for Beto on one horrific August day, when 22 people were killed in his hometown Walmart. Beto immediately responded with a video update sent through email and his campaign putting itself on pause as he flew back to El Paso to be with his city. Though he was not their representative anymore, the sense of service to his constituents was clearly still ingrained within him. Beto went to the people who were hurting and he listened and supported them.
And he grew angry.
The past two weeks have changed El Paso. They’ve changed America. And they’ve changed me too. These last few weeks, I made a decision to focus on El Paso and to be here for my kids and my community. A big part of me wants to stay here with all the people I love.
But this moment requires leadership. It demands we take on the man who bears so much responsibility: Donald Trump. I have to be in this fight for my kids, for El Paso, and for everyone in this country. So today we are heading back out to Mississippi today and Arkansas tomorrow because I’m thinking about this campaign in a new way.
As we get back out there, we’ll need you with us more than ever, especially since we took the last two weeks and focused exclusively on El Paso and healing instead of fundraising and campaigning.
There is no question in my mind that this was the right thing to do, but I need you to recommit to this fight with me. Can you give our campaign $3 right now to help us make up for our fundraising gap?
I see more clearly now than I did two weeks ago that the 390 million guns in a country of 320 million, especially weapons of war, are an existential threat to this country. These guns, including the AK-47 variant that the El Paso terrorist used, are meant to be on battlefields, not here in El Paso. They’re meant to kill as many people as efficiently as possible. We cannot sell assault weapons anymore, and we need to get them off our streets.
I see more clearly than ever that we must address our failure to provide the dignity that every American deserves in their lives — from preventing economic isolation to ensuring that everyone realizes their right to health care. If we don’t, we are providing fertile ground for fascism and nativism.
I see more clearly than ever that we must be constantly telling our story — of how we got here, of who we are, of who and what makes this country great — or it will be told by those who will lie and provoke fear.
I see more clearly than ever that we must not just defend immigrants — but elevate them, speak with truth and pride about their accomplishments, and make sure no one in this country — regardless of immigration status — ever has to live in fear.
I see more clearly than ever that when we stand up against Trump and for what we believe in, we are stronger.
Moving forward, I will fight with urgency and clarity. I will speak as honestly as possible about the challenges we face and run a campaign that meets this moment.
When Trump terrorizes communities, like we saw last week with his ICE raids in Mississippi, we will be there. We will show up anywhere there is suffering, anywhere people are crying out to be heard. I don’t care if it’s an early state or the last state on the calendar — we will show up.
On the campaign trail, we will be a voice for communities like El Paso which have borne the brunt of Trump’s racism, hatred and division. We will carry El Paso’s strength, kindness, warmth and pride with us at all times.
Ultimately, we will campaign on the belief in an idea of America that has never fully been realized — an idea we know can only be true when all of us come together.
From the very start, we’ve funded this effort with that idea in mind. All our money has been raised from people coming together to chip in what they can. And now we need your help to make our campaign stronger than it’s ever been.
It’s game on. Not just for this campaign, but for this country. Can you give $3 right now to make sure we can take this fight to Donald Trump? We have a fundraising gap and we need you to help us fill it.
Our country is in grave danger. And in this democracy, there are no sidelines to stand on. We either fight to protect America or we lose what this country means to us — and the world — forever.
I’m ready to get after this. I’m ready to fight for our future. But I can’t do it without you.
Thanks for being with us,Beto O’Rourke
Quite honestly, this was the email that upset me the most from Beto. To me, this email sounded like a man who didn’t understand how serious the issues facing most Americans were until it literally hit his home. People had to figuratively die in his backyard for him to be “ready to get after this.” I couldn’t believe that a man who had spent so much time talking to people who had been suffering hadn’t gotten it until it was too close for him to ignore.
And to be honest, it got worse.
Just as anyone who had their eyes opened to cruelty can marvel that there are people who don’t know or don’t get it, Beto marveled that there were people who weren’t okay with just taking guns away. His anger at the situation turned into anger at them, and then into bitterness when they did not change their minds and agree with him.
Angry and bitter are not good descriptors of a President, and the electorate apparently agreed, based on the lack of polling results.
With no November qualification in sight and finances becoming an increasing strain (by the end, Beto’s campaign reported spending $1.43 for every $1 they made), Beto decided to drop out. He did so before the Liberty and Justice dinner, where hundreds, if not thousands, of his supporters came out to cheer him on. I can only imagine their own pain, though he did let them know in his rally and took his time to thank everyone who was there supporting him.
Approaching the end, there was no indication that Beto was mentally preparing to drop out. Unlike many of the other candidates who did things such as cut their emails or change their tone, Beto went full steam ahead until he abruptly cut off.
Ultimately, I believe Beto is a good man with a good heart and a good skill for turning the struggles others are experiencing into a narrative that moves people and makes them react. His emails asking for help for others were always some of my favorites out of ALL the emails I’ve received to read. He has a lot of promise as an activist in the future, but right now, Beto needs time to heal and recover from the shock of El Paso. I look forward to seeing what he turns his future into, even though it is not President of the United States. Thank you, Beto, for your voice and your run.