Day 221: 12/27/19

Elizabeth Warren stole the show on Friday with her announcement that she is not raising nearly as much money as she needs to. She wasn’t the only one crying for money, though.


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.

Here comes the flood

Joe Biden tied with Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang for 4 emails sent in a single day on Friday. Bernie Sanders only sent 3, while Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar restrained themselves to just 2 emails.

Campaign events included talking about the Iowa caucuses.

The story of the day was Elizabeth Warren and her “risky” admission: She has only raised $17 million in this fundraising quarter.

Traditionally, campaigns wait until after mandatory FEC reporting deadlines to announce how much they’ve raised. But you need to know exactly where things stand — and why it’s so important you chip in.

As of this morning, we’ve raised a little over $17 million this quarter.

That’s $3.5 million less this quarter compared to the same point last quarter. And at the current pace, we’ll end up raising around $5 million less this quarter by the time the final FEC deadline comes around on December 31. We’re behind.

It will be nearly impossible to match last quarter at this point. But we need to start closing the gap as quickly as possible.

Team Warren

Warren has set a financial goal of $20 million for Q4, which is nearly $5 million less than her Q3 haul… and Q3 is typically one of the slowest quarters for a campaign. I did wonder if Warren was having financial struggles when she bumped up her donation buttons. Kamala Harris had done the same thing long before articles about her own financial struggles started coming out. Warren added about $5 to each of her buttons a couple months ago.

This is especially bad for Warren, who had been touted as being a fundraising powerhouse. For her to have the one-two punch of a drop in the polls and a drop in fundraising, that could potentially indicate her momentum dropping off. And unlike many of the candidates who have been claiming to have momentum all year, Warren’s steady rise in polls and money has actually been momentum.

Just over a month before the Iowa caucuses is not the time to lose momentum.

Andrew Yang is also worried about his fundraising. He puts his goals publicly on his website, so everyone can see if he hits or misses a goal. It’s very handy for checking to see when his deadline has changed to.

First: We announced on Monday that we’ve set a record goal: $3 million by our FEC deadline on December 31st.

Then: We saw a big surge in donations.

Now: With just four days left until our goal and $1,756,541 left to raise, we find ourselves behind pace to hit $3 million.

Yang2020 HQ

I really don’t understand how this fundraising attempt works. We had a big surge, but it wasn’t enough! We need a BIGGER surge!

Doesn’t that mean your support isn’t as strong as you thought it was?

Yang isn’t the only one who is having bizarre fundraising asks, though it’s nothing new for Joe Biden. At 6:55 PM, he sent me this message.

It’s Katie, Joe Biden’s Finance Director.

I know I already reached out last week, but we have a rule on this campaign to never take anything for granted.

So even though we’re now already 90% of the way to our end-of-quarter goal, I need to ask you to pitch in $5 to help get us over the top. It’d mean a lot to our team.

Reaching this end-of-quarter goal means that we’re going to have every dollar in our budget filled to run a massive Get Out the Vote campaign in Iowa and keep our operations in New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina running at full speed.

I feel good about raising this final 10% to meet our full budget, but like I said, I’m not taking it for granted.

So I’ll ask one more time before I get back to work today. Can you pitch in $5 today to help us close the gap on our end-of-quarter goal.

Thanks. Knew I could count on you!

Katie Petrelius, National Finance Director, Biden for President

Not even three hours later, Biden has completely changed his tune. At 9:16 PM, he sent this email with the subject “out of options.”

Folks, we’re running out of options.

Since we’ve been emailing you all week about the importance of Tuesday’s end-of-quarter deadline, we were certain we’d be on track to hit our goal.

But sadly, we were wrong. With only 4 days left, we’re still 44,000 donations short.

Reminder: Our Q4 fundraising numbers will be made public. So if we fall short, everyone will know.

We can’t risk a humiliating setback like that days before the Iowa Caucus.

Don’t wait. Can you chip in $5 right away so we can elect Joe Biden

Joe Biden is our best chance to defeat Donald Trump.

He has the polls. He has the support. He just needs the funds to win this primary.

The stakes couldn’t be higher: we can’t let Donald Trump win another election.

So please. We’ve never needed you more. Chip in before our critical end-of-quarter deadline today:

I don’t know what happened in three hours, but the campaign went from cautiously optimistic to completely out of ideas. It does not bode well for the strength of Biden’s campaign if he can’t even hold it together for half a day.

Mostly green, who’s surprised?

Elizabeth Warren is desperate to pull in money, so she’s offering up a free sticker with donation.

Tax the Ultra Rich Sticker
This is such a boring sticker.

Her design team is really phoning it in on these free stickers. Warren has some incredible designs in her merch store. It’s really too bad that she doesn’t offer them up as donation incentives.

Amy Klobuchar sent me her last focus group survey of the year. She keeps making it out like I’ve been specially selected for this, but at the same time, I get it on every account I have with her, so… I really don’t think I’m specially selected at all.

Michael Bennet and Marianne Williamson both had new ads for me to watch. Williamson told me that an ad costs $130 in Iowa and $250 in New Hampshire.

She didn’t tell me what that was for. One airing? Multiple? One station? One day? Regardless, that price tag doesn’t look nearly hefty enough to warrant the huge “We need half a million to get our ad on the air!” deadlines every other candidate except the billionaires put forth.

Williamson also wanted to talk to me about love. She’s been sending a lot more emails recently that are just lengthy missives about her thoughts on things. That and invites to see her speaking somewhere (it’s now D.C. on January 1st), free to attend in person, but paid access via livestream.

I genuinely believe Williamson has realized as long as she doesn’t drop out, she can continue to have a taxpayer funded book tour.

Pete Buttigieg has sent more emails than Bernie Sanders

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