Friday lost us another candidate, with the dropping of Marianne Williamson. Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar were trying to raise money by explaining what they use it for, while Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren were trying to raise money because they needed money.
For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of 2 candidates for the Democratic Presidential Nomination! 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!
Pete Buttigieg cleared the crowds with a whopping 6 emails on Friday, while Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren both only sent 4. Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang sent 3 emails each, though the real shock for me was how Mike Bloomberg sent 2. That’s like… one eighth of all the emails he’s ever sent! In one day!
Yes, that was tinged with sarcasm.
The race to Iowa was on everyone’s mind as all the campaigns struggled to get their last-minute dollars in. Pete Buttigieg set a goal to get $50,000 from every state this week, and he was really struggling, if his email volume was anything to go by. In true Buttigieg fashion, though, he didn’t focus on that. Instead, he focused on how the race was too close to call at this point, with new polls showing statistical ties for first and the front-runners all jockeying for that coveted number one spot. Buttigieg peppered his emails with information, also in true Buttigieg fashion, discussing his digital media strategy and what he’s seeing on the ground in Iowa. He dropped a new infrastructure policy as well, with his friend and Mayor of Dayton, Ohio, Nan Whaley, writing an email to explain why his plan is so amazing for local government, where things actually get done.
I compared these information-stuffed donation asks to Joe Biden, who despite naming his fund the “Get Out the Caucus Fund,” didn’t really talk about getting out the caucus. He needed money to fund his fund so he can win in Iowa. There was no talk of events or training or strategy, and that’s why I was marking Biden’s emails as “fundraising” while Buttigieg’s were “campaign events.”
Amy Klobuchar also had campaign event donation asks, as she would give me her to-do list and explain that she needed to open more offices, push more ads, and have more conversations to keep her momentum up. In contrast, Elizabeth Warren was more like Biden: she needs money because the others have more money than she does, and money matters here at the end.
I get that you need money to run a campaign, but I appreciate the campaigns who put some effort into giving me at least information in exchange for my money.
Mike Bloomberg launched his first contest of his campaign: tell him why I supported him, and he’d fly me and a friend out to New York City to meet him and get to see his city with him as a guide. He’s still refusing to ask for donations. However, he sent another email explaining that Saturday, January 11, is his official “Day One” kick-off, where events all across the country will be held to celebrate his campaign getting started. He invited me to look for an event near me, but… nah. It’s cold and rainy today. I’m going to stay inside.
Tom Steyer was ecstatic. He sent me a massive 3 emails to talk about his surge in the Nevada and the South Carolina polls. He’s in mid-double digits now and is really seeing the effect that his nearly $100 million in ads is having on the hearts and minds of potential voters!
That’s not exactly how he phrased it, but he is looking forward to being on the debate stage.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders asked for another $2.70 donation, because there’s a new leader in Iowa, and his name is Bernard Sanders.
He was also offering me one last chance to get his President Sanders sticker for a donation of any amount (though most people give $10).
Andrew Yang was also asking for donations. He’s at 5% in that aforementioned poll, which got him another qualifying poll for the January debates, but it wasn’t enough to put him on the stage. However…
That… isn’t how polls and debates work. The Des Moines Register didn’t just give Yang 5% because they felt he deserved a spot on the stage. They don’t speak for who should or should not be on the stage. The moderators were invited to moderate by the DNC. They aren’t setting the debate stage or having any say in who gets to appear.
But… sure. I’ll let Yang say that to feel better about himself. He won’t be able to make a seventh debate commemorative button, after all.