Day 227: 1/2/20

New decade, fewer candidates! Julian Castro dropped out of the race on Thursday, but Joe Biden stepped up his email game. Campaigns are starting to report their Q4 hauls, and Marianne Williamson decided to go it alone.


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.

How can this be?

Joe Biden powered ahead of the pack, sending a massive 4 emails (and an explanation why) on Thursday, while Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren only sent 3. Pete Buttigieg fell back to a restrained 2 emails, along with Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang.

Campaign events include caucuses.

Fundraising recaps were the name of the game, with 12 of the 44 emails sent including the direct “Thank you” in a line other than the last one that I count, but many of them including “so grateful,” “thanks to you,” “you have my gratitude,” etc.


So far, 8 candidates have released their quarterly totals. Bernie Sanders blew everyone else out of the water with his $34.5 million haul. The next closest, Pete Buttigieg, was $10 million behind. Joe Biden surprised everyone with his record-breaking quarter, while Elizabeth Warren surprised everyone by being the only candidate so far to have dropped in funding. Andrew Yang and Amy Klobuchar both smashed their previous records of nearly $10 million and nearly $9 million, respectively, but they both have a lot to raise to catch up to the front runners.

I get more emails from Joe Biden about Bernie Sanders than any other candidate.

Biden has a real issue with comparing himself to Sanders. He has sent me multiple emails to talk to me about how much Sanders has raised, how much money Sanders has in the race, how dangerous it is that Sanders is outraising him without out-polling him against Trump, how anything could happen…

After Trump, Sanders is most on Biden’s mind (followed distantly by Elizabeth Warren). It’s very telling that just two days into the new decade, Biden is already talking about picking up his email pace.

Julian Castro dropped out, which is something I wasn’t fully expecting this soon (I figured we’d lose Cory Booker before Castro acknowledged he wasn’t going to win this one). However, Booker sent out an email about Castro dropping out and pointing out how the diversity of the field is shrinking. It’s become even more important than ever to get Booker back on the debate stage.

I hear some new polls are being done. Let’s hope it makes a difference.

This is much more typical.

Andrew Yang had a survey about the Yang Gang’s goals for 2020, while Pete Buttigieg’s team asked if I’d like to sign his birthday card. Julian Castro just wanted to tell me he was dropping out (but still fighting!), and Marianne Williamson…

I’m extremely grateful for the contributions that poured into the campaign over the last two days of 2019. They have enabled us to pay down an accumulating campaign debt.

We’ve had a wonderful team, and I am deeply grateful for their energy and talents. But as of today, we cannot afford a traditional campaign staff. 

I am not suspending my candidacyhowever; a campaign not having a huge war chest should not be what determines its fate. The point of my candidacy has been to tell the heart’s truth and that does not cost money. Forging a new path for campaigns is going to be necessary, if we’re ever to forge a new path for our country. 

The conversation between candidate and voter is what matters. As long as I feel a connection with voters that gets to the heart of things, bringing forth the conversation that would win the 2020 election and help transform this country, I will remain in the race.

Why? For these reasons…

Because I’m talking about the challenges and vulnerabilities of millions of American children, way beyond the ability of our government agencies to absorb or our current infrastructure to adequately respond to. 

Because I’m talking about our need to proactively wage peace and not just endlessly prepare for war. 

Because I’m talking about ways to incentivize health, not just treat sickness, and to add integrative health modalities to a universal health insurance system. 

Because I’m talking about societal wellness in all its forms, including racial and economic justice. 

Because I’m talking about the meaning of the Declaration of Independence and the corruption of our democracy over the last forty years.

Because I’m talking about the amoral economics of a corporate aristocracy. 

Because I’m talking about a World War II level mass mobilization to reverse climate change over the next seven years. 

Because we will not defeat Donald Trump with mere policy prescriptions; we will defeat him with a moral vision for the nation. 

Because I’m talking about a politics of love.

There is an inherent value in talking about those things as a presidential candidate. In my mind, the fact that they couldn’t make it into the machine of modern politics is not a reason to stop talking; if anything, it’s a reason to KEEP talking. 

And that is what I’ll do, as long as we have the resources to do it. I’m in this race if you’re in it with me. In the meantime, it’s amazing what you can do with volunteers.

Thank you for your faith in my candidacy. Your financial support is now more important than ever.

This is not an easy journey, but it’s a critically important one.

Marianne Williamson

Letting her entire staff go is a huge red flag for a campaign’s health. I’m amazed that she thinks she can run a Presidential campaign for herself entirely on her own, but I’m looking forward to seeing how she manages. At least now, I can trust that her emails are actually written by her, so I can be all judgey on her writing style.

Michael Bennet asked me to support his new The Real Deal policy plan, which overhauls… everything? I think?

Team, as we enter this election year, we have an historic opportunity to make lasting progress for families and workers across the country.

In contrast to other candidates, the comprehensive agenda we released today is progressive, fully paid for, and widely popular among the American people.

It’s The Real Deal: It will make lasting progress for you and your family. This is the political and policy blueprint that should guide our priorities for the next 20 years.

For too many decades, we have failed to invest in our country and our kids’ futures.

We have spent $5 trillion on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and another $5.6 trillion fighting wars in the Middle East. Donald Trump has made matters worse by passing a tax bill that benefited the wealthy and corporations and increased economic inequality.

Our country would look very different if we passed The Real Deal:

Every three- and four-year old would have access to preschool.

Every family with kids would receive at least $3,000 a year, paid out monthly.

40% of kids currently living in poverty no longer would be.

Every worker would have paid family and medical leave.

The 70% of Americans who graduate from high school but don’t earn a four-year degree would have the training and opportunities needed to earn a living wage.

Millions of people would have access to new jobs in clean energy and infrastructure.

11 million undocumented immigrants would have a pathway to citizenship and the chance to contribute even more meaningfully to our economy.

The Real Deal would cost about $6 trillion over the next decade—less than one-fifth of the cost of Medicare for All alone.

The policy failures of the Trump administration can’t be fixed with empty promises of free stuff.

There is a better way, team.

With The Real Deal, we can turn away from the politics of empty promises and can’t-do rhetoric. We can choose to invest in our country and our future.

We have an historic opportunity to reimagine a politics that finally makes lasting progress for you, your family, and millions of Americans. This is The Real Deal. Join us.

Michael Bennet

We’ll see if the Real Deal is enough to carry New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, John Delaney wants to send a message to the DNC that the election isn’t just about the coast, so he’s doing a bus tour across Iowa (again). Tom Steyer is still trying to get donors for the January debate stage before it’s too late. And Amy Klobuchar set a $50,000 in a day goal to start 2020 off right.

However, the biggest sign that I’m completely out of touch with popular culture is that Jonathan Van Ness invited me to hang out with him and Elizabeth Warren in Iowa if I donated for a contest… and I thought he was just the Iowa state director or something like that. Oops.

(He’s a celebrity. He’s on Queer Eye.)

Do you think Castro dropped because Buttigieg had almost caught up with him email-wise?

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