Day 249: 1/24/20

Friday brought a lot of fours. Four contests, four campaigns sending four emails each, Phase Four, and four colors in an email from Amy Klobuchar.


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.

Four 4s

Pete Buttigieg is still holding tight to his title of “King of Emails.” Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren all sent out 4 emails each, with most of them sending an uneven number of donor and non-donor emails. Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Yang both settled into third place with 3 emails each.

Did someone say contests?

Money was still the top topic, but several candidates brought out contests to stir up some excitement.

Mike Bloomberg began with the most complex contest: tell him why you support him and you could win a trip to New York City for you and a guest! In true Bloomberg fashion, he is not accepting donations. He just wants you to tell him why you think he’s awesome.

Pete Buttigieg trotted out not one but two contests. His first was a reminder of his “trip to Iowa” contest, where the winner (and a guest) can join him for the Iowa caucuses. Today, he informed me that the Pete-Mobile, a refurbished ice cream truck they use to sell merch at their events, would be the thing picking me up from the airport if I won.

I’ve never ridden in an ice cream truck before.

In addition to his Iowa Caucus contest, Buttigieg also offered 10 signed posters of his Rules of the Road to people who donated any amount.

Still haven’t seen another candidate promoting a code of conduct

Also for the low low price of any donation, Tulsi Gabbard is offering a chance to go snowboarding with her. Well, she’ll be snowboarding. You can do whatever you want.

I know candidates are people too, and they like time off… but this seems excessive.

I have to admit, I was amused by the idea of Gabbard on a snowboard while her winner walked along beside her, trying to have a conversation while Gabbard just wanted to have some fun. That footnote just made me shake my head. Sure, Gabbard may have invited you out, but don’t get in the way of her snowboarding!

Other was Bloomberg’s contest

While not a contest, Bernie Sanders was offering his “Not Me, Us” sticker again with any donation. Andrew Yang put out some fresh t-shirts, most of which I actually liked the design for.

Invest in Women t-shirt, Humanity First t-shirt, “criminalization of -image of cannabis leaf - seems stupid and racist” t-shirt
The Humanity First one is my favorite.

A year ago, Michael Bennet had a viral moment in the Senate when he lectured Ted Cruz for his “crocodile tears.” Now, a year on, Bennet is still relishing that moment with some merch of his own.

It’s not billionaire tears, but I guess it’s similar

Pete Buttigieg sparked off a #PeteStorm with an email from his senior communications director, Lis Smith.


It’s Lis. And guess what? It’s Phase 4.

Phase 1: Introduce Pete to the world. Get people to learn how to pronounce “Boot-Edge-Edge.” Done.

Phase 2: Quietly build out our team. Focus on fundraising. Post the biggest fundraising numbers of the second quarter — even against big Washington names. Done.

Phase 3: Harness that energy and shock the political system with our grassroots organizing. Done.

Phase 4: It’s go time. It’s time to leave it all on the field. It’s time to win this for Pete. Can you contribute today to make that happen?

If you’re on Team Pete, we need you right now. Donate using this link

A year ago, I was in DC advising the launch of Pete’s exploratory committee. It was just three of us in a room preparing for Pete to announce the longest of longshot presidential campaigns.

Back then, it was unthinkable that I’d be here, ten days before the Iowa Caucuses, on a team of more than 500 people, sending an email to millions of people telling them in full honesty that WE CAN WIN THE IOWA CAUCUSES. But to do that, we need your help RIGHT NOW.

My work leading up to the Caucuses is mostly done. Throughout this campaign, Pete has talked with 280 different media outlets. He has gone EVERYWHERE. People know how to pronounce that name… finally.

The bad news (or actually probably the good news) is this: You have to close the deal. You’re our best ambassadors and biggest supporters and this race is in your hands. We need your support and your action right now. We need you to flip it to Phase 4 and make a donation right now.

Phase 4 isn’t just about getting more people to know Pete. It’s about turnout and action. It’s about getting people to commit to caucus and vote for him. It’s about getting people to join you in making a donation because we are *THIS* close.

I want you to know how much it means to me that you’re a part of this. I’m relying on you to help bring this home. I’ve got your back but I need you to have mine. That’s it. Thanks.

Lis Smith for Pete for America

I’ve been hearing a lot of whispers about Phase 4 and wondering when it would begin. It looks like that time is now.

Elizabeth Warren also tried to get me interested in the phases of her campaign, but she sent it in a very, very long email. Hers was the first email that said “This is a long email” that I went “Yeah, absolutely it is.” However, it was actually a fairly interesting read, as she broke down the different phases of the primary (early states, Super Tuesday, Post-Super-Tuesday-March States…). In the interest of sparing you the essay, I won’t include it right here, but if you want to read it, I’ve included it at the bottom of today’s BTE post, beneath the emails-to-date chart.

However, the most interesting donation ask of the day came from Amy Klobuchar. And by interesting, I mean “eye-burning.”

Klobuchar, why!?

She has to be doing this on purpose, right? She has to be experimenting with colors to be driving her supporters crazy intentionally. Right? There’s no way she looked at this email and went “Yeah, those colors look great together!”


There is so much blue.

Subject: This is a really long email (but an important read)

February marks the one-year anniversary of Elizabeth’s campaign launch in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Everything we’ve built over the past year — and everything we will continue to build in 2020 — is thanks to grassroots donors, volunteers, and supporters like you who have poured your heart into this movement.

I’ve included a short memo below sharing our roadmap to victory. But before we dive into the details, I wanted to take a moment to share a big announcement:

As of yesterday, we received our 3 millionth grassroots contribution to our campaign, making Elizabeth the fastest first-time candidate to hit this milestone. I’m deeply grateful for every supporter who chipped in to own a piece of our grassroots movement for big, structural change. Thank you.

But we’re only just getting started. Keep reading to learn more about our plan to win the nomination, defeat Donald Trump, take back the Senate, hold the House, and flip critical state legislative chambers in 2020.

One last quick and important plug: Grassroots supporters are the only people who make this plan to victory possible. If you’re ready to dream big, fight hard, and win, it’s up to you to chip in and keep growing our movement.

Thanks for everything, and hope to see you on the road. -roger

Roger Lau

Campaign Manager

Warren for President


To win the Democratic nomination, we will organize nationwide, in all 50 states, D.C., and the five territories that send delegates to the Democratic convention. Your support has made it possible to build a robust organizing program across the country, including person-to-person conversations at voters’ doors and highly-tailored phone calls, texts, digital media, and traditional media.

Our immediate goal is to secure the close to 2,000 delegates necessary to win the Democratic nomination. For the last 13 months we have built and executed our plan to win. We expect this to be a long nomination fight and have built our campaign to sustain well past Super Tuesday and stay resilient no matter what breathless media narratives come when voting begins.

But winning the nomination is not all we need to do. Our campaign, and Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy, has never been only about winning the presidency. Our dreams have to be much bigger if we’re going to make big, structural change a reality in 2021. So in 2020, we aim to:

  • Win the Democratic nomination by securing close to 2,000 delegates
  • Defeat Donald Trump soundly in the Electoral College and the popular vote
  • Take back the U.S. Senate
  • Expand the Democratic majority in the U.S. House
  • Flip control in critical state legislative chambers to fight off GOP-led state legislation, win key reforms on a state level, and set ourselves up for congressional redistricting in 2021
  • Build a movement that will apply the relentless outside pressure on Washington in 2021 to achieve the big, structural changes we need

Here’s how we’ll get there:

When Elizabeth launched her campaign a year ago, she made a decision to spend zero time with wealthy donors and instead use that time to meet with as many voters as possible. Since then, she’s traveled to 30 states and Puerto Rico, including typically red states like West Virginia and Mississippi, that often get overlooked in the Democratic primary.

As she’s traveled, Elizabeth has sparked grassroots enthusiasm across the country, in every corner of our party, jumpstarting our organization and giving us a critical advantage in building out a national campaign. Elizabeth has done public events in more states than any other presidential candidate, taken more unfiltered questions from the public and the press than any other candidate, and had more than 100,000 one-on-one conversations with Americans along the way.

Since last spring, we’ve had a robust staff footprint in the four earliest voting states, including what even rival campaigns acknowledge is the best organization on the ground, and matching or exceeding our opponents with more than 1,000 staff on the ground nationwide in 31 states and Washington, D.C.

Warren Organization Footprint: January 2020


Early States

The four early states contests are just the beginning. The following is our roadmap for building an organization that will not just win the Democratic nomination, but also take back the Senate, hold the House, and flip critical state legislative chambers as we head into 2021.


Super Tuesday States

Starting last fall, we began putting staff on the ground in critical Super Tuesday states like California and Virginia, talking with voters and building support for Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy.

Of this staff, more than 80% are directly focused on grassroots organizing, joining our growing volunteer leader groups across the country.

We know how valuable direct voter contact is, so we’ve focused on creating in-person volunteer opportunities in these critical states. We now have more than 100 field offices open across the country. To date, supporters in Super Tuesday states have taken millions of concrete actions, and each week marks a new high in the number of people organizing.

Post-Super Tuesday March States

We knew that this primary process was never going to be easy. We also know that you can’t just stand up an organization overnight or buy your way to the nomination. While billionaires may be able to buy their way into the conversation, it will be a broad, grassroots effort and organization that delivers the Democratic nomination.

That’s why, since day one, we’ve been engaging volunteers and potential supporters where they are — empowering them to start organizing well before we’ve had any staff on the ground in a given state. As staff have arrived, they’ve worked hand in hand to support our volunteers who continue to build out our organization in their state. Our campaign believes that staff exist to serve the volunteers who are the beating heart of our organization, and that everyone working together makes the difference between winning and losing.

To that end, we’ve also been building out our presence in the states that vote between Super Tuesday and the beginning of April. From Alabama to Washington State, we have several hundred organizing staffers in states that vote between Super Tuesday and the first week in April. And by mid-April, we will have organizers on the ground in the remaining states, completing the full map.

April-June States

As the primary moves towards the convention in July, we will be organizing in all 57 states and territories.

This later period includes critical states for the general election like Pennsylvania, where the organization we build during the primary process will help lift organizational efforts for the ticket up and down the ballot in November.


Primaries and caucuses through every state and territory offer a grassroots campaign like ours the chance to build capacity for the general election and beyond. There are three important ways this matters.

First: Donald Trump is in office, despite getting millions fewer votes, because of the particulars of the Electoral College. That broken, undemocratic system shouldn’t be how we pick our presidents. Elizabeth Warren intends to be the last president chosen by the Electoral College — she supports replacing it with a national popular vote and will fight to get that passed. But in 2020, our top goal is building a critical mass of support in more than enough states to foreclose any path to an Electoral College victory for Donald Trump. (That’s on top of denying him the popular vote for a second time so that when he’s defeated, he’ll join John Quincy Adams and Benjamin Harrison as a one-term president who lost the popular vote on the way in and lost it again, even more badly, on the way out.)

This means that as we build our campaign to win delegates in every state and territory to secure the Democratic nomination, we’re doing it with an eye towards sustaining it through the general election. For instance, after the very first contest, we will keep staff on the ground and offices open in Iowa. For states that will be part of Elizabeth Warren’s path to victory in the Electoral College, it’s especially critical that we don’t lose momentum or stall the infrastructure after the primary has passed when we have a chance to keep building for the even bigger contest in November.

Second: Beyond their role in the Electoral College or helping to turn out voters in the presidential battleground states, every supporter in every state and territory matters because of the critical work that must be done for the entire Democratic ticket. It doesn’t matter whether your state is “solid” red or blue for the presidential vote, or your Senate race or Congressional district is “safe” Democratic or Republican. Besides helping the top of the ticket by calling or texting or traveling to knock on doors in presidential battleground states, when Elizabeth Warren is the Democratic nominee and the leader of our party, every person who shares our hopes for the future of this country will be asked to invest their time and money in the broader Democratic ticket.

That means finding other races that aren’t quite as “safe”, or candidates with a particular story or set of plans that inspire you — and spending as much time and energy as possible making this extraordinary moment in history matter for the outcome of that race, too. This defining time in our history has inspired so many extraordinary people to run for office at every level of government. We need to have their backs. Our national organizing effort will work with state and local parties to make sure every interested volunteer has urgent, meaningful ways to help, no matter where they live.

Third: This big, broad grassroots movement will be critical to how President Elizabeth Warren gets big, structural change done once she’s elected. People across the country united around a bold, popular agenda and passionate about what they want to get done will be key to holding elected officials everywhere, no matter what party affiliation, accountable to their constituents. Elizabeth Warren aims to make Election Day in November not the end of a campaign, but rather the kickoff of an unprecedented grassroots mobilization to make our economy and our government truly work for the people.


The only way we can stop the wealthy and well-connected from buying elections is with a grassroots movement that simply says: Enough.

These are powerful interests we’re up against, and it will take every ounce of courage and persistence we have to get this done. But we know a thing or two about that. It means organizing in every community across this country, talking with our friends and neighbors about why Elizabeth Warren is the best candidate to win the Democratic nomination and the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump.

And we have no doubt whether Elizabeth can beat Trump: She’s not only undefeated in running for office, but she’s the only presidential candidate who’s beaten a Republican incumbent in the past 30 years.

I encourage you to text WIN to 24477 in order to be connected with a grassroots organizer in your part of the country as we join together to win this nomination.

Together this movement — your movement — is going to get this thing done.

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