Happy holidays, everyone! Today’s post is short, but it touches on fundraising tactics for several of the candidates in the race. Joe Biden, Michael Bennet, and Pete Buttigieg all demonstrated different ways to try to wrangle money out of us.
For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of 1 candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, but I’ve been on 28 mailing lists! 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!
With 6 emails, Pete Buttigieg was once again on top of the most emails sent club. Elizabeth Warren was one behind him, with only 5, and Joe Biden and Julian Castro tied with 4 each.
The end of the year is approaching, several days of emails are not available in good taste due to holidays, and campaigns are growing panicked. Joe Biden is exceptionally bad at inspiring me to donate to him.
My name is Jordan and I work on the advertising team here at Joe Biden HQ. And let me tell you, it’s never been more important that undecided voters see our ads on TV.
With only 42 days until Iowa, the airwaves are already filled with our competitors’ ads. So if we have to cut our TV budget, it would give them a huge advantage in the final stretch.
But if we can raise $100,000 through this email, we can reach ONE MILLION households in Iowa. Chip in $5 or $25 to our advertising budget so we can make sure one million households, in critical states like Iowa, see our ads on their TV:
Our Iowa organizers say everyday that we need more ads on the air.
When voters see our message about why Joe Biden is the best candidate in the race to unite the country and beat Donald Trump, it really makes a difference. When we talk to folks in Iowa after they watch an ad, they often say they’re more likely to commit to caucus for us.
Biden’s fundraising plea talks more about what he won’t be able to do if he doesn’t hit his goal. This fundraising-by-guilt is a hallmark of his campaign. “I can’t win if you don’t give me money… you do want me to win, right?”
Michael Bennet was doing something similar, but he at least was adding the positive spin of what he would be able to do if he had the money for it.
Falling short means stretching our limited resources even further, cutting back on materials for our field organizers, and limiting how many voters our paid media program can reach.
We can launch our paid media program to get Michael’s message out to the 76% of undecided voters.
We can hire more field organizers to blanket New Hampshire and garner more support.
And when voters start to make up their minds, Michael will be where they are by hosting 50 town halls before the primary.
Even though Bennet did end with what he could do if he had the money, he did start with a hinted warning at what would happen if he didn’t get the money at all.
Pete Buttigieg cut out the negative spin completely in his fundraising emails.
You heard from our Senior Advisor, Jess O’Connell, about why it’s so critical for us to reach undecided voters at this point in the race. Really, it’s as simple as this: some people haven’t decided who they’re going to vote or caucus for yet — and we know that when people hear Pete, they like him. So we need to connect with as many undecided voters and caucusgoers as possible.
An undecided voter outreach program includes talented organizers, grassroots infrastructure, and ads — lots of ads — on cable TV, on the radio, and on the internet. That’s how we win. When we’re not spending money reaching voters, other candidates are.
Which is why we need your help. We need you to make a contribution right now to ensure we can spread our message to as many undecided voters as possible. We’re running out of time to convince these voters.Team Pete
I have to say, I’d rather give money to someone who will tell me what they can do instead of someone who focuses on what they can’t do. We’ve had enough of can’t-do attitude in government.
Elizabeth Warren did something I literally cannot remember her ever doing in an email to me before.
She appealed to my emotions.
Do you remember the first moment you felt all-in for Elizabeth? Maybe it was when you heard a speech of hers that inspired you, a selfie you took with her after a rally, or when you read a plan that covered an issue that’s close to your heart.
Today you can help give that same moment to someone else.
Because when you chip in today to the Big, Structural Change Fund, you will help provide resources to spread Elizabeth’s message — the same message that inspired you — far and wide across the country: on the airwaves, through one-on-one conversations with organizers, online, and at in-person events.Team Warren
We all like to think we’re logical beings who make important decisions based on reason and facts, but the truth is, our emotions rule our decision-making skills. People with damaged amygdalas, the part of the brain that processes emotions, struggle to actually make a decision and follow through on their plans. Emotional reasoning is much stronger than logical reasoning.
It is precisely because of this that you feel stronger about candidates who make you feel something. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are both great at stirring up strong emotions. Pete Buttigieg started his entire campaign on values and continues to maintain the emotional appeal (Imagine the first day the sun rises after this President…).
Elizabeth Warren started her campaign, and maintained it, with facts and plans.
Logically, facts and plans are the right choice. Surely, facts and plans are what voters are after, right? But ultimately, what people want is to feel safe and secure. They want a tomorrow that isn’t surprising, a tomorrow they can trust in. A candidate who can convince a voter that they’ll feel safe and secure with them in charge is a candidate who’s already halfway convinced that voter to vote for them.
That is also why so many negative attacks rely on emotions. The Buttigieg Wine Cave scandal is meant to stir up negative feelings about Buttigieg having a dinner you couldn’t afford to attend. Hammering Joe Biden on his verbal gaffes and stutters are meant to make you feel like he’s not someone you can trust to play with a full deck. Arguments that Bernie Sanders just yells at people are meant to make you feel attacked.
Emotions are stronger than logic. It’s about time that Warren starts making emotional appeals.