There are very few email days I hate as much as debate days, but today’s email flood wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared. A dozen candidates means that even when they go overboard on messages, I’m still able to stay on top of things. (Looking at you, Pete Buttigieg!)
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!
It was debate day and Pete Buttigieg was desperate for attention, sending a massive 9 emails to his donors and 8 to his non-donors. No one else even came close, with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both sending 5 emails, and Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, and Andrew Yang only sending 4.
With the debates, focus was on hitting the pre-debate goals, the during-debate fundraising, and the post-debate shows of strength. John Delaney and Deval Patrick were excited to tell me about the ads they’d be airing during the debate, while Joe Biden asked me for last minute survey responses he could go over before he walked on stage.
Despite sending ~22% of the emails on Tuesday, Buttigieg did not send any of the emails worried about being behind on a goal. Those emails belonged to Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.
Undoubtedly, Joe Biden had the most desperate ask, literally writing that he was pleading with me to donate. Amy Klobuchar was much calmer about it, pointing out that they were really close and would love to tell Klobuchar that they made their goal before she went on the debate stage. Elizabeth Warren was also fairly matter-of-fact: they had a surge in donations yesterday, but today is a new day and they needed another surge to stay on track.
While Biden was fretting the loudest, Andrew Yang was fretting the longest, with 3 of his 4 emails worried that this would be the very first fundraising goal they didn’t make.
Yang does put his fundraising goals on his website with a live tracker showing his progress. However, when I went to check this morning, the tracker was gone and there was no mention of whether or not he made it. I ended up tracking down some information on Reddit: $1.8 million was the final amount.
I guess it’s good for Yang that the media is more focused on the handshake snub that his fundraising numbers.
The debates were absolutely the talk of the night, though very few candidates actually sent emails directly referencing things they had just said on stage.
Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer both went fairly generic-energy about their emails.
What a night! I hope you had a chance to watch the debate and that I made you proud.
With two weeks until primary and caucus season, we can’t rest for a minute. Every day this team needs to keep spreading our message and bringing more supporters on board. Can I count on you to donate now?
It’s just a fact: When we’re able to get our message out there our support grows and our poll numbers go up. My staff is working their hardest to get more ads up on the air, build our on-the-ground teams and talk to as many people as possible.
But the reality is that those things cost money and we’re running out of time. Will you chip in right now so we can keep building momentum and go all the way to the White House?
Thanks for everything,Amy Klobuchar
The energy tonight was something else, friend.
This was my fourth time on the debate stage, but it was my first time as a frontrunner in the race. I’m still introducing myself to a lot of Americans, but it’s clear that the rest of the candidates now recognize me as a serious contender. Thank you for helping propel us forward during this critical period.
Every time the Democratic candidates get together to talk through the issues that our country faces, there’s a noticeable shift in urgency. And rightly so — Iowans will go to caucus in less than three weeks. We should be putting our plans through the ringer to make sure they’re what the people want and deserve.
It’s going to take a concentrated effort to defeat Donald Trump in November, but it’s what we have to do if we’re going to move forward toward a healthy future of climate justice, people-powered economic prosperity, and equity for all — if you’re ready to pitch in and help, sign up today to volunteer.
I’m the only one in the race who can use my successful business background to call Trump out on his favorite topic to boast about: how “great” he is at business. Like a lot of what he says, his claims at economic success are a load of hot air. He’s running our country just like one of his failed enterprises — and whoever ends up in the Oval Office next year will have to undo the mess he placed us in. I’m ready.
Thank you for reading, for watching, and for being a part of this team.Tom Steyer
Elizabeth Warren clearly had her electibility argument pre-planned, as the moment she stepped off stage, this email dropped into my inbox:
One of the most important issues we talked about was how we’ll beat Donald Trump. There’s a question out there: Can a woman win? Let’s tackle that question head on, Aimin:
Collectively, the men on the debate stage tonight have lost ten elections. There were only two people on this stage tonight who have won every single election that they’ve been in — and they were the women.
Since Donald Trump was elected, women candidates have outperformed men candidates in competitive races. And in 2018, we took back the House and state houses across the country, because of women candidates and women voters.
Here’s what I know: the real danger that we face as Democrats is picking a candidate who can’t pull our party together, or someone who takes big parts of the Democratic constituency for granted. We need a candidate who will excite all parts of the Democratic party, bring everyone in, and give everyone a Democrat to believe in. And I’m ready to do just that.
Hope and courage win elections. That’s how I will make you proud, every single day, as this party’s nominee — and as the first woman president of the United States.Elizabeth Warren
While Warren reiterated an earlier argument, Pete Buttigieg sent out a barely modified version of his closing statement:
If you watched the debate tonight — if you’re tuned into this primary race at all — you might feel exhausted by the spectacle of division and dysfunction.
But this is our chance. This is our moment. We have exactly one shot.
We have one shot to defeat Donald Trump, and to do it so resoundingly that we send Trumpism into the dustbin of history.
With so much on the line, we cannot take the risk of confronting this president with the same Washington mindset and political warfare that we’re used to.
If you’re sick of hearing that the economy is so great but it doesn’t match your experience at the kitchen table, join me. If you’re a person of color who has felt taken for granted and let down by the old politics, join me. And if you used to vote for the other party, but have trouble looking your kids in the eye and explaining this president, join me.
We have one shot. That’s why I’m asking you to make a contribution right now. We can turn the page. This is our chance — but only if we can summon the courage to do something different. Can you make a donation tonight to break from the past?Pete Buttigieg
Bernie Sanders also emphasized the momentous moment of the moment.
Did you watch that debate?
We have less than three weeks to go before the Iowa caucus and if you are ready to elect Bernie Sanders as the next president of the United States, we have a big question for you:
Can you make a $2.70 contribution to our campaign tonight? Use this link so we can track post-debate responses:
Four years ago, we made history. We made America believe that real change was possible.
And it all started in Iowa.
In less than three weeks, Iowa will caucus once again.
And when they do — and when we win — America will know that President Bernie Sanders is going to make sure the wealthy in this country start paying their fair share; that we are going to guarantee health care as a right for all; that we are going to prioritize the health of our planet for future generations over the profits of the fossil fuel industry.
This is our moment.
This is our time to create an America that works for all of us and not just the few.
But Bernie Sanders cannot do that alone. No one could. He needs you. He needs all of us. So if you can – especially tonight – we have a big ask:
We expect the media will be asking about our fundraising numbers soon. We’ll want to report a good number. Keep your eyes peeled for it.Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager, Bernie 2020
And Joe Biden? He wants to face Donald Trump.
That’s a wrap on the first debate of 2020.
The field is smaller, and the stakes are higher. One of us has to defeat Donald Trump in November. Period.
I hope I showed you tonight that if Donald Trump has to face me on a debate stage this year, he’s in trouble.
I hope I also showed that on day one in the White House I can command our armed forces and restore America’s place in the world so our families can feel safer and sleep soundly.
So look, I’ll wrap this up, but donations are flooding in from across the country, from all 50 states and territories. We’re having one of our best fundraising hours of the whole month. Will you join the movement with $5 right now?
With your help, tonight can send a strong message from our campaign.
And with your help, later this year I can face Donald Trump himself on the debate stage. And you and I both know he doesn’t want that to happen.
Thanks, folks. Goodnight.Joe Biden