Day 226: 1/1/20

It is officially 2020, and Pete Buttigieg didn’t take a single day of rest. Joe Biden has some resolution suggestions for me, and Bernie Sanders finally rambled in the body of his email instead of the subject.


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.

I knew I’d get at least one email from Pete Buttigieg.

I don’t think anyone is surprised to see Pete Buttigieg in the email lead, sending 4 emails on the first day of 2020. Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang all sent only 2, while Mike Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Bernie Sanders, and Marianne Williamson all sent out just 1.

Recapping fundraising is still a fundraising email.

Pete Buttigieg sent the first political email of 2020, as expected: at 5:50 AM, he sent his usual quarterly recap of his fundraising. He has consistently been the first campaign to release his fundraising numbers, something campaigns have traditionally kept very close to the chest. In fact, one could make the argument that Buttigieg’s consistent releasing of big numbers so early has actually driven some campaign finance changes already: it’s January 2 and we already know a handful of the quarterly hauls from various campaigns. On April 2, we only knew Buttigieg’s.

Not only do we know his, but Buttigieg sent another email featuring the return of “Whiteboard Pete.” After his first quarter with an exploratory committee, Buttigieg sent a fundraising recap that had him out of his traditional campaign uniform and breaking down the numbers on camera. His supporters loved it. Whiteboard Pete came out again to explain the difference between straight Medicare-for-All and his Medicare-for-All-Who-Want-It. On Wednesday, he surfaced for a third time with another fundraising breakdown. The campaign, knowing how much his followers enjoy his whiteboard breakdowns, gave the email the subject “Pete is back at the whiteboard.”

A few candidates talked about New Year’s Resolutions. Tom Steyer said that his campaign was his resolution, while Elizabeth Warren sent the donor version of her “if your resolution is to elect a woman President, donate now” email. One of Buttigieg’s staffers said her 2017 resolution was to work on building the best campaign to defeat Trump, and she was sure she was doing it, while Joe Biden said that we should add a resolution to beat Donald Trump, and that we couldn’t wait until January to get started.

Gotta admit, that wording was a little off.

He also said we should skip the gym membership because door knocking is a good form of exercise, and he said that our resolution should be to improve the health of democracy this year.

While Biden was a bit manic in his zeal, Bernie Sanders sent an email that I think was supposed to fire me up, but it really only left me confused and a little concerned for his ability to see reality.

Dear Friends,

Today, I am very proud to share with you some extraordinary news: our campaign has received more than 5 million individual contributions — that is more contributions than any campaign has received at this point in a presidential election in the history of our country.

Now I want to say a few words about why this accomplishment is so extraordinary.

For far too long, the economic and political systems have been stacked against ordinary Americans. The rich get richer because they use their wealth to buy our candidates and our elections. Meanwhile, more and more working people become demoralized and choose not to participate in the political process.

What we are proving on this campaign is that one does not need to beg the wealthy and the powerful for campaign contributions in order to win elections.

We are proving that when you run a campaign that speaks directly to the needs of working people and young people, they are ready to fight with you.

We are proving that we — US — are far more powerful than the 1 percent have ever imagined.

And that is important.

Because change never happens from the top down. It always happens from the bottom up. And now is the time, more than ever before, for millions of working families — black and white, Latino, Asian and Native American, gay and straight — to come together to end the collapse of the American middle class and to make certain that our children and grandchildren are able to enjoy a quality of life and a habitable planet that brings them health, prosperity, security and joy.

That kind of campaign is also the only kind of campaign that will win in November.

Now I am proud to say that ours is the only campaign in this Democratic primary with more donations than Donald Trump.

And that is important for two reasons:

First, practically, our campaign has raised more money than any other campaign in this race and will raise more money than any campaign would against Donald Trump.

We have 5 million individual donations in a Democratic primary that hasn’t even cast its first vote yet.

Against Trump, I believe we will have 50 million individual contributions, at least. And at $27 a piece, that would be more than $1 billion. It’s absolutely obscene and outrageous that an election would cost that much money, but our campaign has proven we will be able to raise more than enough money to win.

And our donation number is important for another reason: because in order to beat Trump, we’re going to need the largest voter turnout in the history of America.

And you don’t have the largest voter turnout unless you create energy and excitement.

And you don’t create energy and excitement unless you are prepared to take on the people who own America — not just beg them for money.

We need a progressive agenda that mobilizes millions and millions of Americans behind ideas like Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage, leading the world in combating climate change and more.

Now, you know that poll after poll shows we beat Trump by wide margins.

And when you combine that with the kind of grassroots enthusiasm our campaign has demonstrated the ability to generate, we will not only win this election, but we will have the organization ready to fight to transform this country.

You may remember that when I said I was going to run for president, I said that it would take a political revolution to win.

A lot of people thought that was an acknowledgment of impossibility. It wasn’t.

It was a statement of what would be necessary to undo the damage that has been done to our country and reclaim our country from the oligarchs.

Now, speaking this way about the need to take on the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel companies, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex and virtually the entire damn one percent tends to make wealthy folks nervous.

That is fine.

They will see our numbers and will no doubt ratchet up their attacks.

But I have no doubt we will be ready.

And that we will win.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

At least the email subject was short. Still, this is one email that could have benefited from a few-sentence summary. And an editor.

On the first day of the quarter, the need isn’t there.

Andrew Yang let me know about the new ActBlue feature that allows me to become a weekly donor instead of a monthly one. Several other candidates have already alerted me to this feature. I believe Pete Buttigieg was the first, several weeks back. Yang sent an email explaining how weekly donations are the most valuable because they allow the campaign to plan their budget more confidently.

This is absolutely true. A $10 donation once a month that the campaign can count on can do more for them than maybe getting a $50 contribution once or maybe not, who knows if and when it’ll come. If it is at all possible, please sign up for reoccurring donations! Even a small reoccurring donation gives the campaign that much more peace of mind.

Imagine not knowing how much your paycheck will be, and then try to plan your bills. Now imagine knowing that your paycheck will always be at least $1,000 and probably will be more, and plan your bills.

Tom Steyer put forth a petition to put pressure on the DNC to push pollsters to release more early-state polls. As we just went through with Andrew Yang, the DNC does not have anything to do with the commissioning or conducting or release of polls. In order to maintain the trust in the independence of pollsters, the DNC shouldn’t have anything to do with them. It would have been different if Steyer was pushing for different debate criteria, but his email specifically said to pressure the DNC to release more polls.

That’s not their job. That’s never been their job.

Julian Castro, meanwhile, was pleased to have hit his fundraising goal. If I donate $10 or more, he’d send me a free Adios Trump sticker!

Someone didn’t tell his email department about his plans to drop out of the race. Castro suspended his campaign today. His farewell post will be up tomorrow.

It’s a good start to 2020.

At the time of dropping, Castro had sent more emails than Buttigieg.

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