I was expecting a massive surge with the debate this week, but it didn’t really manifest. I was not expecting Cory Booker to drop out just before the debate. Nor was I expecting Pete Buttigieg to finally name-drop another candidate.
For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of 8 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, to no one’s surprise, outstripped his birthday years by sending 40 emails in 7 days. Amy Klobuchar was a very distant second, with barely more than half of what Buttigieg sent, at only 26 emails. Elizabeth Warren was right on Klobuchar’s heels, with 25 emails.
John Delaney, who sent the fewest emails this week, sent 1/8th of what Buttigieg sent. The difference in strategies is striking.
The January debate occurred on Tuesday, and the email volume showed it. Emails began to climb on Monday, peaked during the debate, and then started to taper off by the end of the week. After a pause for breath on Friday, they began to climb again. As of next Monday, we are officially within a fortnight of the Iowa caucus. I can only imagine the state of my inbox in this final stretch.
Debates did occupy most emails this week, though many emails also were just trying to raise money with no specific reason behind it. Weekend plans for the campaigns were also high, and everyone was focused on Iowa or New Hampshire.
Endorsements were running hot this week, with Mike Bloomberg boasting about Judge Judy and various mayors endorsing him, Michael Bennet was pleased to finally have the formal endorsement of James Carville, Bernie Sanders unveiling the endorsement of the Sunrise movement, and Pete Buttigieg dropping two Congressional endorsements from Congressman Dave Loebsack of Iowa and Congresswoman Annie Kuster of New Hampshire. Mandy Moore and Sharon Stone also wrote emails for Pete, adding their endorsements to his list, along with the Mayor of Austin, Texas. Andrew Yang picked up Dave Chappelle as an endorser and offered up a contest to his show in South Carolina.
(Pete Buttigieg’s contest was to the much less exciting Iowa Caucus [or more exciting, you’re reading a blog about political emails. That probably indicates your entertainment tastes…])
Yang was also holding a MATH class in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which is only 2.5 hours away from me. However, it’s also 2.5 hours through a winter storm, and Yang won’t be there. While I did briefly contemplate it, as it is the closest Yang has held an official event to me, I decided against it. I feel a little odd “crashing” educational events: this was meant to be training people on collecting signatures for ballot access. I’ve also avoided Warren’s training classes in Detroit, because again, it’s a training event, not a rally or fundraiser. I’m still looking for rallies or fundraisers close enough to attend for all the other candidates! You’d think Michigan would be an important state… but not until after the first four, I suppose. And Super Tuesday. And then there will only be a week…
Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang both were circulating birthday cards for me to sign, as Yang’s birthday was January 13 and Buttigieg’s is today, January 19. I found it interesting that Buttigieg began emailing me about signing his birthday card on January 2, a full 17 days before his birthday. Yang, by contrast, only hit me up a day before, on January 12. For comparison, Joe Biden emailed me about his birthday card 10 days in advance, Michael Bennet and Amy Klobuchar both gave me 1 day to sign their cards, and Elizabeth Warren only told me day-of (no, I don’t have a separate table for this, why do you ask?). I follow @BallotTracker on Twitter, and Team Pete is frequently one of the first, if not the first, to get on ballots in every state as filing opens. It doesn’t surprise me that Team Pete is also way ahead of the game when it comes to getting signatures on their boss’ birthday card.
(Birthday cards are also a great source of data. You may not want to donate to a candidate, but if you put your name and email address down, that’s how they get you. And then they’ll ask for money, and it’s for a BIRTHDAY present, of course you can give a few bucks for a birthday present…)
Other highlights of the week were Bernie Sanders being happy about everything in his campaign except the amount of Pete Buttigieg commercials airing in Iowa, and Pete Buttigieg laying out some facts on Bernie Sanders’ financial support. Joe Biden has decided the impeachment trial is already impotent and the only way to defeat Trump will be at the ballot box, while Michael Bennet shocked everyone by managing to pull off his $700,000 fundraising goal in 30 days at the last hour. Buttigieg debuted a new sticker, Yang restocked his shop, and Amy Klobuchar made my eyes burn with her design choices.
All in all, a pretty typical week.