Week 31: December 15-21

We had a debate this week, but the spike in the total volume chart is not nearly as extreme as it usually is. Fewer candidates are qualifying, and fewer candidates are hanging in the race. I think… I hesitate to say this in something that can be held against me… but I think the worst days of my inbox volume are behind me…

The spikes are growing shorter: fewer candidates means fewer emails.

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.

Joe Biden is no match for Pete Buttigieg’s enthusiasm.

With the amount of times Pete Buttigieg won “biggest amount of emails in my inbox” this week, I am not at all surprised to see him leading the pack with 32 emails over the course of just 7 days. That is more than 4 emails a day. If Buttigieg does not have an impressive haul this quarter, he really needs to rethink his email strategy. This is ridiculous.

Joe Biden was the next most prolific emailer with a mere 28 emails in a week. Julian Castro just barely managed to snatch a third place victory from Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang, sending 23 emails to their measly 22.

This is about what I expected.

Surprisingly, the third President of the United States to get impeached took up barely any emails from Presidential candidates. Their focus was on the Thursday debate, and Thursday’s email counts showed it. By Saturday, the emails were starting to drop back to expected numbers.

Also completely expected.

There is an upcoming FEC deadline with quite a few holiday breaks immediately before it, so I’m not at all surprised to see Fundraising so high. Candidates were pulling out all the stops to get me to donate to them, and by stops, I mean stickers.

Pete Buttigieg’s sticker was the only one that was dancing.

One thing I am not liking very much is how much Tom Steyer is marketing on Trump’s impeachment. He has done multiple things lately where he doesn’t make it very clear that by participating, you are donating to his campaign. Most notably was his KeepAmericaGreat.com site. Yes, he has all the proper disclaimers and disclosers there, but if you weren’t aware that it was a website created by a Presidential candidate, you may not have realized that by donating to a fund talking about how corrupt Trump was, you were actually being counted as a donor for the billionaire candidate on the debate stage.

Steyer got his required donors for the debate after that website was publicized on various news outlets. I’m sure there’s a connection.

With the fact that impeaching a President is genuinely serious business and a solemn day for the country because it means our system almost completely failed us, I don’t really care for any candidate using impeachment as a reason why people should donate to them. I do appreciate the Senators pointing out what their job is under the Constitution and how they will uphold their oaths, but I don’t like the candidates who say that because Trump was so corrupt, I need to donate to them to restore integrity or get work done again.

In Steyer’s case, I’m a little torn. I don’t approve of the downplaying of his campaign’s hand in these things, though he’s not asking for money with this sticker, just getting you on his list. However, Steyer has been the impeachment guy for years, before he was running for President. It’s perfectly fair for him to be pleased with the outcome after years of spreading information and petitions. I just wish he’d focus on his non-profits, not on the election.

Another topic of note this week that I am not formally tracking is “Wine cave.” Of the 462 emails sent this week, 11 invoked the term “wine cave.” Bernie Sanders was the biggest offender, sending 6 emails with wine caves (3 donor and 3 non-donor), but Julian Castro and Tulsi Gabbard each sent 2 (1 to each account), and Elizabeth Warren just sent 1 to her non-donor list. Wine caves have also been brought up in so many articles covering the debate, and the Washington Post even published a piece from someone who was at the wine cave fundraiser. (Attendees included city councilmembers, college professors, former flight attendants, college students, physicians…) As someone who has been to a fancy fundraiser (and wrote about it!), the Washington Post piece rang very true.

All I can say is that if we lose the next election to Trump because the progressive wing of the party decided that a fundraiser hosted beneath an extravagant chandelier was more corrupt than the current state of the Republican party, we, as a country, deserve to collapse.

An unsurprising spread.

I fully expect to see the donation asks rise over the next ten days, but we are already at 75% money asks. Candidates have definitely been trying to get me to part with my money this holiday season.

Michael Bennet has a new $700,000 goal that he must make if he wants to be viable through the New Hampshire primary. He emailed me multiple times on Saturday to let me know that he hit his first $100,000 of that goal and was able to put forth a digital ad called “Opposite of Trump.” He was also sorry to email me so late on Saturday, but he needs the other $600,000 and he’s looking to be short of his daily goal. (Never set a daily goal.)

Tulsi Gabbard sent a few emails this week, explaining her “present” vote and asking for money. Gabbard voted “Present” during the impeachment out of protest of how partisan the vote was. At least, that’s the explanation she gave. It sounds like most of social media has called her a coward for not picking a side to come down on, and even the head of her subreddit announced they could no longer support her and switched over to Bernie Sanders. Oddly, when Gabbard asked for money, she both said she had made her mid-month goal and that meant she was… not on target for her end of month goal? I was very confused.

Amy Klobuchar was full of pep and good cheer about her debate performance. She’s very excited to be going into the end of the year with the most precious commodity in a primary: momentum.

She was also, in true Klobuchar fashion, recycling that headline. She rinses and reuses headlines until there is absolutely no flavor left in them. Remember how many weeks she was bragging about people peeking in the windows of her birthday celebration? Yeah, it’s happening again.

Andrew Yang and Julian Castro have both declared themselves to be in statistical ties with Pete Buttigieg, which goes to show how much polls can swing around and vary depending on the pollster, the location, and current events. It’s worth noting that Mike Bloomberg is also statistically tied with them.

Castro both sent a very pertinent email reminding us that Trump’s extreme acts of cruelty, such as his recent act of kicking hundreds of thousands off of the SNAP program, are usually timed specifically to distract from the corruption oozing from the White House. Currently, he’s trying to distract from the impeachment. We can’t let him.

However, for every moment of clarity Castro sends, there are about five other emails that make him sound completely inept and out of touch. On Saturday, he sent an email where he started “I can’t believe it. The DNC just announced that there will be one more debate in January before the Iowa Caucus, and once again raised the individual donor threshold.”

What did he think was going to happen? The threshold would go down? It wouldn’t budge?

If Castro didn’t have the foresight to anticipate a donor threshold increase, will he have the foresight to avoid bad decisions in the White House? Somehow, I don’t think so…

Pete Buttigieg is catching up to Amy Klobuchar

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, consider supporting me on Ko-Fi. But Their Emails! merch is also available on for purchase here!

2 thoughts on “Week 31: December 15-21

  1. The economist in me, who has done some econometrics, is curious to know if the number of emails, as seen in the first graph, follows an ARIMA or ARMA model, with determinist or stochastic trends. Seriously, I feel like I want to put these numbers into E-views and see what comes out. The graph is so beautiful, with the end of month/quarter and debates seasonality.


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