The day after the debate is just as important as the day of the debate when it comes to introducing yourself to the world. And asking for money. Always ask for money after a debate.
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!
Julian Castro sent the most emails on Thursday, with a whopping 6 to his donor list. Pete Buttigieg sent 5* emails, while Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar each sent 4.
*Occasionally I get an email sent to my BTE account from a candidate that pertains to something I did for them on my personal account, such as a reminder of an event I signed up for. When this is OBVIOUS, I make a note of “DID NOT COUNT” in a draft response to that email and archive it without counting, as it is not an email the typical “donated once and did nothing else” reader would receive. This was the case with Buttigieg yesterday: I have a reoccurring donation set up, and he sent me a thank you and a discount code for his merch store for being a reoccurring donor.
As always, the day after a debate is a chance for candidates to recap their appearance and reiterate their mission. For those of you who are long-time subscribers to a candidate, this may be frustrating as they seem to re-introduce themselves.
It’s okay. Remember, debates usually trigger a flood of interest for the candidates. In many ways, the candidates are actually INTRODUCING themselves to their newest members. That makes the choice of many to flood inboxes a bit curious. To me, it seems to come across as pushy and desperate. “HI. LET ME SEND YOU FIVE EMAILS ON WHY I’M THE BEST! WILL YOU GIVE ME MONEY NOW?”
Both Cory Booker and Kamala Harris had “why I’m running” messages in their emails yesterday.
Before you wind down for the night, I want to talk openly with you about why I got into this race in the first place.
I know there are a lot of candidates vying for your support right now, and honestly, we agree on most things.
But I’m not running only because I stand with my colleagues on believing that health care should be a right, or just because I’m with them on understanding the urgent need to meet the existential crisis of climate change, or solely because we’re together on knowing that a system of mass incarceration in a country that professes freedom is objectively wrong.
I’m not running just to beat one man in one office — because we don’t win races simply by talking about what we’re against. We win when we talk about what we’re for, who we’re for, and how we fight.
I’m running for president of the United States because I believe in us. I believe that this race isn’t about left or right — it’s about right or wrong. I hope you can believe with me.
This is a moral moment in America that will define who we want to be as a nation. And in this moment, we must have a revival of civic grace, a more courageous empathy, and a deeper love for each other.
When I talk about love, I’m not talking simply about sentimentality. I’m talking about standing, marching, and fighting alongside each other for a better America — fighting for each other’s children and futures, fighting for folks who don’t pray like you or look like you or live like you — that’s what love is.
And that’s why I’m running for president, team — that’s been my message this whole time.
If you think that’s a message that deserves to be in this race, then I need you right now. Please make a donation to our campaign to help ensure that we get a chance to be heard on the next debate stage.
Thank you. Together, we will rise.Cory Booker
I’ll be direct: I am reaching out to ask you to make a contribution to my campaign for president. You can do so right here »
I hope you’ll give me the chance to explain why your contribution matters so much in this moment.
The values that we as Americans hold dear are all on the line in this election. Justice for the American people is on the ballot, and the future of our democracy is at stake.
I know that when we overcome injustice, we will unlock the promise of America and the potential of the American people.
Millions of people heard this message loud and clear last night. As a result we have real momentum right now, and we have to use it.
We have to bring more people than ever before to the table, organize communities that have been left behind for too long, and re-build the Obama coalition that won the White House twice. I know we can do it but it’s going to take a surge of grassroots support.
That’s why I’m asking: Will you pitch in right now? Anything you can give will make a difference in this moment:
If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:
Thank you for all you do. I’m so proud to be in this fight for justice alongside you.Kamala Harris
Both of these emails came near the end of the day, presumably after their mailing lists had a chance to catch up from the influx of interest.
Booker was celebrating hitting 200,000 donors, the minimum needed to get on the debate stage in December. Julian Castro is still trying to get there. He had a lot to say about the debate himself…
Wow — Julián’s results since last night’s debate are INCREDIBLE.
— Julián Castro trended nationwide on Twitter throughout the entire Debate.
— MSNBC’s Joy Reid said that Julián’s voice was missed.
— And the most recent UNIVISION POLL showed Julián polling in the Top 5 with Latinx voters nationally out of the entire Democratic field!!!
We just spoke to Julián, and we know he’s so humbled that his message has resonated with America. These next 48 hours are going to be critical to getting him back on the debate stage.
Can Julián count on your $15?Team Julian
Apparently, Castro had the best night of the debaters, despite not being on stage! He was very humbled by the experience. His views were finally discussed!
We are completely stunned.
The reviews about last night’s debate are INCREDIBLE.
Last night, we saw that the issues that Julián has championed were finally front and center at the debate.
We need to have Julián’s back. We have a very short window of time to capitalize on this incredible momentum.
It’s even more important than ever that Castro gets a chance to speak in December! However… he also found the debate very long-winded and pointless.
Last night’s debate was exactly what we all expected.
It was yet another long-winded exchange about how each candidate would fund their health care plan.
The candidates traded more jabs about who “can win a general election,” which is just their euphemism for appealing to a less diverse electorate than what will be required to put a Democrat in the White House.
It’s clear from your response last night — support is strong. We’re not going anywhere, and we need you to keep us moving forward.
I’m asking you to help make sure I’m on the next debate stage, and make sure you have someone on stage fighting for what matters to you.
So… the issues that Castro had championed were also a long-winded exchange about how each candidate would fund their health care plan (a topic that was actually barely touched on during the debate…)
Joe Biden had an email gaffe where his post-debate email got sent out before the debate, though I did not receive it. Clearly, Castro’s post-debate email here was also written before the debate, as it doesn’t really match with what happened and was, in fact, a very generic summary of what most of the debates have been like.
In other words, the candidates write their emails in advance. (Spoiler: they always do.)
Castro’s emails do seem to be shifting in tone, however. Despite mentioning being humbled, his emails are growing more aggressive and less whiny. He’s not so much “wah, the billionaires are cheating me out of my spot” and more of “I’m the ONLY one fighting for the disadvantaged communities, I NEED to be on that stage!”
It’s an interesting shift for Castro, but I fear it may be too little, too late. He should ask his fellow Texan, Beto O’Rourke, how campaign message reboots worked out for him.
Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg were very pleased with their debate performances, with Klobuchar claiming momentum and Buttigieg claiming a win.
Our spirits are high after Amy knocked it out of the park at last night’s debate. She clearly showed America why she’s the candidate who can beat Donald Trump. Reporters at The New York Times wrote that “Klobuchar had her best debate yet.”
But we’re not taking time off to celebrate, because this campaign is heading into a new phase and there is so much to do. In order for Amy to meet all the challenges ahead and keep climbing in the polls, we need a huge post-debate boost.
Will you donate now to help us turbo-charge this campaign?Team Amy
The day after the current presidency is over, we will need a change in our politics, not just our policies. Last night, Pete presented a fresh vision of Americans coming together to solve urgent crises bearing down on us.
Pete’s vision is one of inclusion and belonging, and it’s why he is uniquely instilling hope in Americans who are otherwise exhausted with partisan fighting.
Pete’s politics aren’t based on scoring points on Twitter, but helping people in real life. Instead of fighting the same ideological battles that Washington’s been fighting for the last 40 years and polarizing us further into our corners, Pete is offering a new approach with bold solutions that bring people together to solve problems.
That’s what we all saw on stage, and it’s what I saw in the days and quiet moments leading up to the debate, too. Pete is calm, level-headed, strong, and conscientious.Hari Sevugan, Deputy Campaign Manager, Pete for America
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren gave similar messages to each other: the debate gave them a boost, but not enough of a boost. It was an interesting way to try to motivate new supporters.
The response to Bernie Sanders at last night’s debate was extraordinary.
If you haven’t heard the news, not only have we seen a surge in volunteer signups, but our campaign received more individual donations yesterday than on any other debate day.
The numbers were so good, in fact, that we went from 15% behind what we had raised at this point last month, to just 2% behind this morning. That fast.
Now… if we can wake up tomorrow ahead of where we were in October… well, that would put us in great shape to win. So what do you say?
This is important because November is typically a tough month for fundraising. And if we can come together to raise more this month than we did last month, we’ll have a great advantage over some of our competitors.
And with just 2 months to go until Iowa, that would be the difference.Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager, Bernie 2020
Nothing will change until we tackle one problem head on: corruption.
Our government has been hijacked by the rich and powerful. It works better for big drug companies, than it does for seniors who are trying to fill a prescription. It works better for a giant defense contracting industry, than it does for kids in our public schools. We have a government that works for those at the top — and only those at the top.
For too many, our democracy has never worked — so going back to business as usual won’t be enough. Small nibbles around the edges won’t be enough, either. The time for small ideas is over. We need big, structural change — and I know how to get it done.
I have the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate. It involves ending lobbying as we know it, blocking the revolving door between industry and Washington, and making everyone who runs for federal office puts their tax returns online. I’ve also pledged to never auction off ambassadorships to the highest bidder.
We can only make real progress on issues impacting our country and our planet if we root out this corruption.
In this fight, no one can go it alone. We’re building a grassroots movement that’s going to put political and economic power into the hands of the people — but it’s only possible if we all do our part.
Our fundraising numbers are down slightly this month compared to last, and it’s powerfully important we get back on track so we can build the biggest grassroots movement possible. Will you make a contribution right now and be a part of this fight for big, structural change?Elizabeth Warren
In case you forgot, Sanders and Warren were numbers 1 and 2 for fundraising in the last quarter. I don’t exactly have much pity for either of them at the moment.
Andrew Yang, on the other hand, was excited to close off the fifth debate with new merch.
First, his membership card, which used to be available with purchase of a gold-threaded MATH hat, was available on its own with a donation of any size.
He also launched a shirt and button that were available only on Thursday, and which are already gone from his store.
Tanya, from the FEC analysis chart, is helping me go through the debate right now to figure out who used their time wisely and who didn’t. We already determined that about 44 questions were asked during the debate, and Yang was asked 4 of them, so he hit exactly where he should have in terms of number of questions he was given.
Speaking time, however, has a lot more to do with rebuttals and who is talking about you than it does with how many questions you get asked. There may be a write-up about that to come!
However, there were 5 merch asks on Thursday, and Yang only made up 4 of them. The fifth came from Tom Steyer, who just needs donors to hit the debate stage in December.
For the low donation of just $1, you too can get a Tom Steyer sticker and put him one donor closer to his December goal.