Day 171: 11/7/19

I have partnered with Boot Edge Edge Merch to launch a merch store for But Their Emails! Now you can own your very own BTE logo on a t-shirt or sticker or coffee mug!

There will be additional designs coming: I’m working with an artist to get some candidates’ likenesses on the merch. If you’re just interested in the logo, though, check out the store! There is also a permanent link in the sidebar.

Anyway, moving on to Thursday’s emails. Steve Bullock still believes he has the best chance to win, Cory Booker is worried about Michael Bloomberg, and Pete Buttigieg said thank you.


For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of 17 candidates for the Democratic Presidential Nomination! This blog breaks down recent emails with charts and excerpts. If you already know all of this, feel free to skip to the next chart!

I signed up to all mailing lists either on May 21 or the day the candidate announced, whichever was later. Using a different email address, I have donated at least $1 to all candidates who have been on a debate stage (I have given additional donations to my preferred candidates through my personal email, but the campaigns have linked the two accounts together and may ask for more as a result).

When showing breakdowns by campaigns, there will usually be 2 numbers. Emails to my non-donor account will be indicated by a darker color/top bar in horizontal bar charts. Emails to my donor account will be indicated by a lighter color/bottom bar.

Unless otherwise specified, all other charts combine the donor and non-donor numbers, as they are roughly 1-for-1, so the percentages and relative differences don’t change much. You can divide the numbers in half to get the rough estimate for what someone not signed up twice would be receiving. The rules I try to follow for the various categories are laid out in The Framework.

If you want specific data on any particular day, feel free to drop a comment!

An unusual leader.

Pete Buttigieg topped out at 4 emails on Thursday, while Joe Biden, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren each only sent 3. Tulsi Gabbard’s one email came in just after midnight, celebrating her arrival in the November debates.

Other races count as News Events

Several candidates reached out asking to split donations between their campaign and that of Doug Jones’, now that Jeff Sessions is going to be running against him. Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet both asked for this. Bennet also wanted to point out that two of the Democratic frontrunners, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were running on unpopular, unpassable promises, and he was the one who should be elected.

Steve Bullock, meanwhile, was repeating a quote from a top political forecaster.

I don’t buy it.

Bullock likes to tout polls where he’s beating 7 other candidates, or a Trump adviser saying he’s scared of Bullock getting the nomination, but the truth is, in a field of 17, beating 7 still means there are 9 ahead of you. Bullock (and Bennet) are trying hard, but neither of them have been able to pull together a convincing argument that they can spark passion among the Democratic base. Neither of them have 200,000 donors, after all, or 4% in enough polls to qualify for a debate.

Say what you will about the DNC debate requirements, but they are doing a decent job of narrowing the field to people that the American people are actually interested in. Regardless of how good your policies are, if you can’t excite Democrats and get them to turn out for you, how will you get them to turn out for you on Election Day? A simple fact of life is that if faced with too many options, people tend to lock up and not choose any of them. We are less than three months out from the first primary and still have 17 candidates to pick from.

And maybe not just 17. Both Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren made mentions of the latest news in the race: Michael Bloomberg, the 9th richest person in the United States, is filing to be on the Alabama ballot and seriously considering a Presidential run. Booker is worried about what it will mean to have yet another self-funding billionaire candidate in the race, while Warren is excited that this means the billionaires are scared of her.

And speaking of billionaires, Tom Steyer sent an email asking me to just update my contact information with him. He’s taken some beatings this week, between the Kamala Harris data theft and the breaking news that he has attempted to buy endorsements.

Update info is an Other ask.

Pete Buttigieg sent a bunch of emails yesterday: he’s starting a New Hampshire bus tour and he’s launching a Strategy Series of emails to explain aspects of his campaign strategy. However, the email I liked the best came from Mike Schmuhl, Buttigieg’s campaign manager. I used to give him a hard time about his emails, but Schmuhl has stopped writing formulaic messages and started writing from the heart, and now he’s one of my favorites.

On behalf of the Pete for America campaign, I want to thank you for your generous investment in our effort to elect Pete Buttigieg the next President of the United States. 

I have known Pete for more than 20 years, and I have long considered him to be the most courageous person I know. It requires immense courage to run for public office, to serve in uniform, and to come out to your constituents in the middle of a re-election campaign. This undertaking is no exception.

Politics can oftentimes be exhausting and negative. At Pete for America, we work every day with a candidate who leads by example, exudes optimism, and strives to put power back in the hands of the American people.

We are grateful to have you with us as we build a movement to offer a brighter future to our country. This whole process is a great exercise in democracy, and we believe this era will be defined by how we act in this moment – and change things for the better.

Thank you for having the courage to join us.


Mike Schmuhl, Campaign Manager, Pete for America

Look at that. An entire email just to say thank you, and not just immediately after an end of quarter deadline.

Kamala Harris launched her winter merch, and Andrew Yang launched a campaign ad. After his $1.5 million push to get the ad made and up, now he’s doing a $1 million push to keep it up.

Joe Biden is turning back to Trump to raise some money, absolutely offended that Trump is using his Ukraine call as a joke during his rallies. Meanwhile, Julian Castro went on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and once again demonstrated he doesn’t understand how sentence subjects work:

There is a joke here I will not make.

Castro, here’s a lesson.

If YOU say something on the Daily Show, then YOU just announced it.

If TREVOR said something on the Daily Show, then TREVOR just announced it.

Trevor did not announce that you didn’t transfer money or were considered a longshot or need help to get on the debate stage. You did. On his show. “I just announced on the Daily Show:” would be a fine subject. But take some responsibility for your own words, man!

Michael Bloomberg, so help me, if you make this chart any bigger, I will not go easy on you.

2 thoughts on “Day 171: 11/7/19

  1. Love the merch! Thank you for partnering with BBE merch, was planning to get some Pete merch from there anyway and now I can combine and save shipping! Expect a tweet as soon as I get it 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s