This past week had lows and highs. We lost three candidates and gained some new righteous anger. Elizabeth Warren is doing call time again, while Pete Buttigieg keeps releasing policies. And Julian Castro is demonstrating imitation being the highest form of flattery.
For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of 12 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 was the neediest little candidate this week, sending me 25 emails in 7 days. Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden tied for second with 22 emails each, while Amy Klobuchar was a distant third at 18.
Sunday’s low numbers were expected due to it being the first of the month. We also said farewell to Joe Sestak on the first. Steve Bullock dropped out on the second of the month, but it was Kamala Harris’ departure on the third, Tuesday, that sent shockwaves through the race. Cory Booker and Julian Castro took it especially hard. Booker relayed how Kamala was his friend and his sister before expressing his distaste at the lack of candidates of color on the debate stage. Castro, on the other hand, did the opposite: he grew upset over the lack of diversity, then he remembered to say how much he liked and appreciated Kamala and by the way, her voters should check him out.
Castro wasn’t the only one seizing on Kamala’s departure. Marianne Williamson is confident she will attract Kamala’s supporters, as she has all the traits they’re looking for: she’s appealing to women, she talks about African American issues, and she’s lived in California for a while.
Some major endorsements were dropped this week. Pete Buttigieg accepted the progressive political group VoteVets’ first-ever Presidential endorsement, while Joe Biden picked up John Kerry’s official endorsement. Michael Bennet announced James Carville endorsed him, while Bernie Sanders was endorsed by Mark Ruffalo, who asked me to endorse as well.
Elizabeth Warren announced that she was doing her version of call time again, that is, calling people who have donated to her recent email announcing call time to thank them for their support. It felt a little oddly phrased to me, though, and made me wonder if Warren only does call time when she announces it. It also feels like the only way you might get a Warren call is if you donated to that specific email, and therefore you would need to donate again in order to be considered.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that Warren started a trend of making calls to random donors to thank them! It really helps solidify the feeling that you matter when you get a call, or when someone you know gets a call. But some candidates very clearly make it about a fundraising push (if you specifically say you are only going to be calling for 1 hour, you’re not going to get to talk to very many people, Tulsi Gabbard, Joe Biden, and Andrew Yang), while other candidates don’t advertise it at all, you just… get a call (I’ve seen reports that this happens a lot with Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of Pete Buttigieg). Warren at least falls in between the two groups, though I haven’t donated to her frequently enough to know if she calls in-between her advertised call-time sessions. If she does, that’s great, and it’s definitely more on the spontaneous side of things If she doesn’t… well, she is a politician. That involves knowing what to do to get the most value for your time.
Julian Castro hit the 200,000 donors he needed this week for the December debate threshold, though he is still 4 polls shy, and the qualification deadline is the 12th. Cory Booker hit his 200,000 donors after the last debate, but he too needs 4 polls. Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard both have had the donors for a while, but they are 1 poll short.
Amy Klobuchar is on the December debate stage, but she’s aiming for 250,000 donors soon. She keeps telling me she’s close. Meanwhile, Pete Buttigieg announced he is within 200,000 donations of 2 million total campaign donations and is trying for his own donation push.
It’s worth noting that while Bernie Sanders is coming up on, I believe, 5 million total donations to his campaign, the next highest was Elizabeth Warren, who hit 2 million total donations in October. It’s also worth noting that as of November 7, Joe Biden had 951,629 donations, according to an email he had sent.
All three of those candidates started out with hefty mailing lists and name recognition already from previous national campaigns. Buttigieg did not, and he’s almost caught up to the first two and shot way past the last one. No wonder I see all kinds of attacks on him these days.
With Cyber Monday and holiday shopping, merch was making a comeback, but donation asks were still the big thing. There were quite a few emails this week that were informative only: the three candidates dropping out were big ones, along with the emails about the candidates who had dropped out. In addition, Mike Bloomberg talked about the importance of gun control, and Pete Buttigieg released two new policies: Health Equity and Pre-K through 12 education.
Elizabeth Warren did tell me that she never forgets birthdays and if I fill out a form, she’ll send me a message on my birthday. I’m tempted to send that to my niece, but her birthday was just last month. The election will be over by the time it rolls around again. 😦
Tom Steyer offered to let me tell him my story, which is something both Marianne Williamson and Pete Buttigieg do a lot. I’m not sure if Steyer has it set up to record videos like Buttigieg does or if it’s just to write a letter for him like Williamson does. It could be either.
However, the true copy-cat of the week goes to Julian Castro. Here’s a recent email I received this week:
I’ll get right to the point: Six candidates currently in the race are qualified for the DNC’s December debate. But as it stands now, after starting with the most diverse presidential field in our nation’s history, you might not see our party’s diversity reflected on that stage.
Not a single one of the candidates who have qualified for the December debate is a person of color. And that’s a shame.
These thresholds have had the effect of denying candidates of color access to the debate stage while paving the way for billionaires who are inflating their support through massive ad buys. I’m asking for your donation right now to help me qualify for the December debate by placing ads in the early states.
This race is still far from decided. No one knows who we will choose as our party’s nominee in Milwaukee next July. But it would be unacceptable if our final choices did not reflect the rich diversity of our party.
We need a debate stage that fully reflects the Democratic Party, not one limited to candidates with massive donor bases and billionaires who are able to buy their way onto the debate stage. Please donate to my campaign to help me qualify for the next debate.
Put me on that debate stage and I’ll demonstrate that I can, and I have, united moderate and progressive Democrats. I’ll demonstrate that I can, and I have, excited and engaged Black voters, the most loyal constituency of our party. And I’ll demonstrate that I am the only person in this race who can rebuild the coalition that elected President Obama that we need in order to defeat Donald Trump.
We are the party of diversity. We are the party of inclusion. Let’s start acting like it.Cory Booker
Now, I hear you saying “wait, that’s not a Castro email,” and you’re absolutely right. Here’s the Castro email.
I’ll cut straight to the chase: So far only 6 candidates currently in the race are qualified for the DNC’s December debate. But despite starting this presidential primary with the most diverse presidential field in our nation’s history, as of right now you will not see our party’s diversity reflected on that stage.
Not a single one of the candidates who have qualified for the December debate is a person of color. That is a sad referendum on the effects of the DNC qualification thresholds on this race.
It is unacceptable that we risk having more billionaires onstage at the next debate than candidates of color.
The DNC has created a system where billionaires can buy their way onto the debate stage and make it more difficult for candidates who don’t have immense personal wealth to get a fair shot.
This race is still far from decided. The last poll in Iowa showed that more than 70% of voters have not fully made up their mind about whom they will support.
No one knows who we will choose as our party’s nominee in Milwaukee next July. But the DNC is unintentionally putting its finger on the scales and favoring billionaires at the expense of candidates who reflect the rich diversity of our party.
Yesterday I was proud to take a stand in favor of making our party more representative of America. I said that the DNC needs to fundamentally reform the Presidential primary process or its leaders need to step aside so that we can put in place leaders who will.
We need a debate stage that fully reflects the Democratic Party, not one limited to candidates who have access to near limitless resources and billionaires who are able to buy their way onto the debate stage. Please donate to my campaign to help me qualify for the next debate.
Friend, if I have the honor of getting on the next debate stage I promise that I will show you that I am the candidate that can unite our party, and the candidate that can energize -and supercharge- the Obama voter coalition that did not turn out to vote in 2016 and compete all across the country. I promise to show you why I am the candidate best positioned to defeat Donald Trump on November 3, 2020.
We are the party that represents ALL of America. We are the party of inclusion. Let’s make sure to start acting like it.Julian Castro
Notice any similarities?
Yeah, me too.