Day 261: 2/5/20

Iowa has taken up more airtime than the State of the Union, even with Nancy Pelosi’s speech-ripping gesture. Despite that, the candidates are turning toward the CNN town halls, the debates on Friday, and New Hampshire’s vote next Tuesday.


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.

It’s a dogpile of emails.

Pete Buttigieg was still in the email lead, sending 5 emails on Wednesday, while Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren all sent 4. Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Andrew Yang sent just 3 emails each.

Yeah, I definitely need to add an “attend” category

Pete Buttigieg sent me 3 emails about his post-Iowa debrief call with supporters, which did not require any donation, just a sign up. Elizabeth Warren sent me a form to fill out if I wanted to be a Michigan delegate for her at the DNC convention in Milwaukee.

I have ended up on some Iowa-specific mailing lists in the past, but I have been discounting those emails and not including them in these charts because I am trying to report as what a standard Michigan voter would be seeing, for consistency. A standard Michigan voter wouldn’t be getting the hype for the Iowa caucuses the same way an Iowa voter would. That being said, when I end up on campaigns’ Michigan-specific mailing lists, I will be counting them because again, Michigan. Presumably, most states will be getting some form of state-specific hype as their own voting day draws closer.

Joe Biden finally acknowledged that the Iowa caucuses were not actually a good showing for him. He’s not “surging” from the caucuses. He’s not “pleased with the results.”

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. We took a gut punch in Iowa. The whole process took a gut punch. But look, this isn’t the first time in my life I’ve been knocked down.

There are an awful lot of folks out there who wrote off this campaign…They’ve been trying to do that from the moment I entered the race. Well, I’ve got news for them. I’m not going anywhere.

Folks, I’m ready to fight, but I can’t do it without you. Can you chip in just $5 of your hard-earned dollars to support me?

Joe Biden

Unfortunately for Biden, this email comes after several days of “sugarcoating” it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust people who say “I will always be completely honest and transparent with you” and then turn around and go “Okay, I haven’t actually been being that honest when I took a hit.”

As with donation goals, I have far more respect for someone who cleanly says “Hey, this wasn’t the results we wanted” instead of brushing aside a loss and pretending it didn’t happen.

This also isn’t the only time Biden came across as a little down. He sent an email about the impeachment results, trying to channel my anger at Trump’s acquittal into a donation to Amy McGrath (McConnell’s opponent) and himself.

We’re mad, but not surprised.

The Republican-controlled Senate just voted to acquit Donald Trump of both articles of impeachment.

Joe Biden has said all along that his job was to make the case that would beat Trump at the ballot box. That is more important now than it has ever been.

But we need to take it one step farther — we need to make sure we defeat Mitch McConnell and end his reign over the U.S. Senate by electing Amy McGrath.

So please, will you make a donation today to elect Joe Biden and Amy McGrath?

It’s sad that the Republican-controlled Senate voted their politics over their conscience.

And having gotten away with it once, Donald Trump will feel even more empowered to abuse his power again in pursuit of his re-election. He will do anything he can to make sure he does not have to face Joe at the ballot box next November.

But look, Mitch McConnell also doesn’t want Joe Biden to be the Democratic nominee. He knows that the best way to elect red-state Democrats like Amy is with Joe at the top of the ticket.

So folks, if you want to ruin both Donald Trump AND Mitch McConnell’s days, make a donation to Joe Biden’s and Amy McGrath’s campaigns today:

Biden for President

This email stood out to me because it is only the third campaign donation solicitation Biden has done in over 700 emails. The first two were both to Dan McCready prior to his special election in September: Biden had told McCready he’d raise $10,000 for him.

And then, after that, no other donation splits.

The timing of Biden’s ask for McGrath support is curious to me. On the one hand, Trump was acquitted and this is a good time to push for McConnell’s opponent. But there were other good times to push for her too, such as when McConnell flat out declared he wasn’t going to let the trial be fair, and Biden didn’t. The big difference I’m seeing is that Biden took, as he put it, a “gut punch,” and he’s been struggling for money. He’s already put up a new donation goal of $600,000 by New Hampshire and was pleading for me to donate before the first day was over.

Running out of money is a sure way to kill a campaign. Even if you have enthusiasm, if you don’t have the cash, you can’t keep going.

Finally, some variation!

Biden wasn’t the only one talking about impeachment. Michael Bennet called the acquittal “pitiful and disgraceful, a stain on the Senate.” Mike Bloomberg reiterated how much Trump lied. And Tom Steyer commiserated with us.

There’s only one way forward, now. 

In the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, the United States Senate has just voted to acquit him of crimes against our democracy. They chose a cover-up instead of a true trial, and in doing so, they failed us. They failed to listen to the will of the American people, failed to uphold the oath they swore to protect our Constitution, and failed to put country over party. 

When Republicans side with a corrupt, lawless president out of blind party loyalty, we show up to call them out as cowards. When Mr. Trump brags about all that he can get away with, we show up to prove him wrong. 

Like you, I’m sure, I’m outraged. I’m disappointed. I wish things had gone differently. But I urge you, hold on to this hurt and vote with it. It’s time we remind Washington, DC who they actually answer to: you and your voice. Real change happens when we come together — join me and let’s take down corruption in November.  

There is only one path forward to removing Donald Trump from office. Commit to vote, right now — this is our last chance to beat Trump. We can’t afford to miss it. 

Tom Steyer

“Hold on to this hurt,” Steyer said, and I frowned a little. On the one hand: yes, absolutely, we cannot forget that this happened. We cannot let the Republicans rest easy and think that this behavior is acceptable or American. But on the other hand, holding on to negativity is a good way to poison yourself. Taking that hurt and turning it into determination might be a better strategy.

Amy Klobuchar certainly isn’t holding on to hurt. Instead, she’s looking at New Hampshire polls, declaring herself statistically tied for second place, and charging ahead.

Help us keep going strong, donate!
Driving ahead?

Klobuchar has also set up a new goal: $250,000. It’s less than Biden’s but more than Michael Bennet’s, which is set at a must-raise $100,000.

One of these is not a fundraising goal.

Tulsi Gabbard set a goal for 50,000 people to sign her petition demanding she get a spot on the CNN town halls, but the other candidates were interested in money. Andrew Yang wanted to get 25,000 donations by midnight yesterday, while Elizabeth Warren wanted $2 million by New Hampshire (of which 208 should come from Michigan). In fact, the only candidates who didn’t set goals for themselves were the two billionaires and Pete Buttigieg.

Bernie Sanders still wants huge numbers to show the political establishment and corporate media that he has a movement capable of shocking the world, hence his donor goal, but he also got upset that Joe Biden’s Super PAC is spending $900,000 on ads for him, while Pete Buttigieg’s supportive outside group, VoteVets, is increasing their ad-buy to support Buttigieg.


That’s how much Joe Biden’s super PAC just announced they were set to spend in New Hampshire this week.


That’s how much an outside spending group is spending to support Pete Buttigieg in New Hampshire this week.


It may not seem like a lot compared to that spending, but seconds ago someone made a donation of that amount. And by the time you finish this sentence, someone else will, as well. And collectively, when tens of thousands of people add that $2.70, we are more powerful than any super PAC.

So we’ve set a NEW goal of matching the $1.6 million in outside spending trying to beat us this week by tomorrow at midnight… and we’re going to do it $2.70 at a time. So what do you say?

Can you make a $2.70 contribution to our campaign today? Help us reach our goal of matching all the outside spending trying to defeat us in New Hampshire this week.

We are going to win in New Hampshire — and we’re going to do it because people like you and many others across the country came together to make it happen.

It’s the only way.

Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager, Bernie 2020

And yet, despite all of this, there is no mention of Sanders’ own nine outside groups, most of which qualify as “dark money groups,” supporting him. Sanders clearly believes it is okay if he gets supported by outside groups, but any outside group that doesn’t support him is corrupt and bad.

At least this is evening out?

With impeachment, negativity toward Republicans finally crept up toward negativity toward Democrats. But while Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders sent 8 emails between them with some sort of criticism of the “political establishment” (I record this term as negative toward Democrats every time it shows up because it is never referencing or implying strength and good things), Joe Biden, Michael Bennet, Tom Steyer, and Mike Bloomberg only managed 6 jabs at the Republicans failing us by acquitting Trump.

Once again, need I remind you that Bernie Sanders is leading or second place in every single vote count coming out of Iowa? He should be celebrating our democracy, not grumbling about our institutions.

I’ve honestly given up on Tulsi Gabbard ever breathing anything negative toward Republicans while there are still living Democrats she can point her anger toward.

Bernie Sanders is the only front runner averaging less than 2 emails a day overall.

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