It hit me today: there are no political emails in my inbox I look forward to reading anymore. I used to like Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, and Jay Inslee, but the latter two have dropped and Buttigieg’s emails are no longer an infrequent treat. Cory Booker will occasionally surprise me with a good one, but not nearly frequently enough for me to anticipate it. Sometimes Joe Sestak can make me laugh.
I never want to open a Julian Castro or Bernie Sanders email, and Elizabeth Warren’s are only ever enjoyable when she has new merch designs.
For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, though I have previously been on the mailing lists of 28 Democratic candidates! 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!
It took some time for the Trump emails to kick in, so I started officially tracking his list on July 7. I have been tracking Biden’s for longer, but I will start comparing them as of July 7. All of these emails are going to a new email, and I have not donated, filled out surveys, signed petitions, or otherwise interacted with either candidate’s emails.
The rules I try to follow for the various categories are laid out in The Framework.
At 22 emails to his donors, Pete Buttigieg stood head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd on his pile of emails. This is more than 3 emails a day. I think we can safely say that the era of Buttigieg emailing only 4 times a week is well and truly gone, and his email strategy is shaping up to be almost the same as everyone else’s: spam ’em for money.
Joe Biden came in second with 18 emails to his non-donors, while Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren all sent out 17 emails over the course of the week.
As per usual, the emails ramped up toward the end of the week. However, just like last week, there was a drop near the end that didn’t fully recover before Friday. Unlike last week, there was no end-of-month excuse for this dip in emails.
Campaigns were very big on talking about what was going on with their campaigns this week, though that had a lot to do with various filing deadlines and countdowns to caucuses. We hit the one-year-before-the-general mark this week, and the campaigns are flexing their ground games to prepare for the last 366 days.
Marianne Williamson has been going around the country giving speeches at various colleges and universities, mostly. She knows she has what it takes to beat Donald Trump, and she’s trying to raise $1 million to get her the exposure she needs to push through the final stretch.
Bernie Sanders was leaning heavily on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as the junior Congresswoman is now campaigning for him and attending various rallies with him. She has even written several of his campaign emails, which I’ve labeled as “sent from a celebrity” for lack of a better way to classify them.
Kamala Harris sent a letter from the last winner of her debate contest. Unlike Trump, whose email contest winners are shrouded in mystery, Harris was just the latest in a long line of Democrats to offer up names and faces and success stories from past winners.
A few policies dropped this past week as well. Julian Castro revealed his criminal justice reform plan, Bernie Sanders released an immigration plan, Pete Buttigieg unveiled his economic plan for American families, and Michael Bennet reminded me that he will put America’s kids first.
Did I mention that Bennet attempted to guilt me into engaging with him? Yeah… try again, Bennet. I don’t appreciate guilt trips.
That goes for you too, Julian Castro!
I have to admit, sad puppy Joe Biden was the closest to being successful at guilt-tripping me… except in an earlier email, I was sworn to strict secrecy to not tell Biden about this fundraising goal so it could be a surprise on his birthday. If you don’t hit the goal, just don’t tell him it existed! No sad puppy eyes needed!
The overwhelming bulk of emails were asking for money. Some were upbeat and happy about it:
Our whole team is committed to creating an organizing culture built on respect — a program that brings out the best in all of us, gives everyone a sense of belonging, and helps us find joy every day in the work we are lucky enough to do.
By building a strong Marathon States Fund, we’ll be able to continue to run a strong campaign through the early states and into the spring and summer to secure the nomination. We know that the Republicans are already stockpiling cash for 2020. We need to stay focused on the end goal of this race: winning. Can we count on you to contribute to the Marathon States Fund now and help ensure we have the strongest ground game in the race?
Thank you for your continued support!Greta Carnes, National Organizing Director, Pete for America
Others were less optimistic.
It’s time to have a real conversation about what’s at stake in the next month of this race, team.
When the DNC raised the threshold to make it to the debate stage in December, they put our campaign on the bubble. Each presidential candidate must have at least 200,000 individual donors (we’re less than 15,000 shy) — and hit 4% in at least four polls (we’re not there yet, either).
Our team has a plan to lock down Cory’s spot on that stage, but I’m not going to lie: This won’t be easy. It will take each of us doing our part.
If we don’t make the cut for this round, let’s be honest: That debate will be missing a critical voice in this race.
Cory’s voice is all about unifying our party, not working to tear each other down. If he doesn’t make it to that stage, there won’t be someone up there talking about the importance of courageous empathy, or how we can tackle some of our biggest issues — from the racial wealth gap to the gun violence epidemic — by reminding people that we’re all in this together.
While other candidates fight it out over small policy differences, Cory knows that the only way we can beat Donald Trump and heal our country isn’t by attacking each other, it’s by recognizing that we need each other in order to succeed.
That’s a voice we need in this race, team. If you’re with Cory, then please make a donation to this campaign today and let’s get him on that stage.Addisu Demissie, Campaign Manager, Cory 2020
Some were self-defeating from the start.
I get a fundraising report each morning — an important document that helps me set budgets in our effort to win this race. And one of the numbers I look at is our fundraising relative to the last month. This morning it read:
$ raised over the same
period last month
This is what we had feared. November is a tough month. It was in 2015. That year, we raised almost 25% less in November than the month before… and it hurt us.
We can’t make the same mistake again. Not with this momentum. Not with a real chance to WIN. So I am asking:
Poll after poll shows we have the momentum. We have an organizing advantage. We have an enthusiasm advantage. If we can keep up this fundraising advantage, we are going to win.
So please, help us start this month strong. It’s so important.Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager, Bernie 2020
But of course, no one had perfected the self-victimization nearly as much as Julian Castro.
We can’t overstate the urgency of this situation.
Tulsi Gabbard just qualified for the next debate — yet Julián might not make the cut.
If we let Julián’s critical voice get left off that stage, it will be a TRAGIC mistake.
When the press counted him out…
When the establishment turned a blind eye…
When billionaire candidates tried to buy their way ahead of him…
You had Julián’s back. You believed in his message. And you proved everyone who ever doubted him wrong.
Julián needs 1,579 supporters to have his back in this critical moment. Will you rush $5 before midnight to get him to the next debate?Team Julian
But throughout all of the 300+ emails of this week, there was a sense of desperation, of gritted-teeth smiles, of asking for money to feed the beast that campaigns become.
Buckle up, people. We’ve got one year to go. Things are about to get rough.
There is one shining beacon of hope…
There’s a new design in the BTE Merch shop.
(and also smaller mugs for those of you who think 15 oz is too much)