Day 269: 2/13/20

With only 8 candidates left in the race, my inbox is finally starting to calm down. Mike Bloomberg let me know he was turning 78 on Valentine’s Day, while Amy Klobuchar asked me to fill out a survey and Tom Steyer wanted to talk about reparations.


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.

I wish this chart didn’t expand horizontally as it shrank vertically

Unsurprisingly, Pete Buttigieg maintains his email strength with 6 emails in a single day, followed by Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren with only 4 emails each. Bernie Sanders ended up in third place with just 3 emails sent.

Color-wise, our remaining candidates are 2 blue, 2 green, 2 purple, 1 yellow, and 1 gray. I look back on the early rainbow of candidates and marvel at how much we’ve shrunk.

Fewer emails, but the proportions still seem the same.

Mike Bloomberg sent an email to remind me that tomorrow is his birthday, and could I sign his eco-friendly e-card with a note talking about why I support him and how great a candidate he is?

This approach actually does several things. In addition to giving Bloomberg quotes from real people on why he’s the best, it also makes YOU say that you support him. People believe themselves the most, so if you hear yourself saying that you like someone, or writing reasons why someone is best… you start believing them. It’s why, if you get a call from a campaign, they’ll try to press you to at least say their candidate is in your top three, or you’re considering them. Self-reinforcement is the strongest reinforcement.

Amy Klobuchar, meanwhile, has broken out one of her focus group surveys. She is always sending me these, claiming I’ve been “specially chosen” to participate, but as both of my accounts get them before debates, after debates, after FEC deadlines, at the start of the month, etc., I highly doubt I’m all that special.

Klobuchar also asked me to sign up for her texts, which I wasn’t entirely sure how to classify, so I put that down as “volunteer.” Pete Buttigieg, on the other hand, asked me to consider housing a team member as the campaign moved into Michigan.

Tom Steyer sent me an email discussing reparations and why we need to talk about them. He included links to his various policies for dealing with racial inequality. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren sent me her video begging me to donate so she can raise $7 million in critical funds before Nevada.

Pure fundraising is up.

Joe Biden wanted to let me know that his totally and absolutely not slowing down, and in fact is having the best fundraising month EVER. He wanted to do something different, though, and he told me a story about his dad’s former boss who claimed to fight for the working people but as actually a bully.

This is a story he’s told me before.

Pete Buttigieg is doubling his infrastructure in Nevada, while Amy Klobuchar is staffing up, and they both need a lot of fundraising for that.

My concerns with the emails from yesterday both came from the left-most wing of the party. Elizabeth Warren told me a story about a woman from her selfie line.

A lot of stories came out of the New Hampshire primary the other night, but I wanted to make sure that you knew about this one.

After I shared my speech, I stuck around to meet with supporters and I took selfies with them.

One young woman who I met with told me that she was a college student with thousands of dollars in debt — and she only had $6 in her bank account.

Then she said that she still chipped in $3 to our campaign that night. Because that was how much this campaign meant to her.

I didn’t take that lightly. Every single contribution — no matter how much — means a great deal to me and, more importantly, to our movement that’s fighting for people who share stories like hers.

I’m not done fighting for working people, for students, for anybody who feels squeezed by the way our economy is set up right now — and who believes that we can make things better than they are now.

Elizabeth Warren

This story is meant to be inspiring and uplifting. This woman, with practically nothing to her name, gave Warren half of everything she had because she believed in her that much.

I read it with mild horror. What was Warren’s response? Did she offer her dinner, or to fill her gas tank? Did she make sure the woman was going to be okay and able to eat this week? She “didn’t take it lightly.” That’s nice to know! But how could she take it at all!?

And how could she hold it up as “See, this woman is so dedicated that she found a way to donate even when she had nothing. So can you!

This is my biggest hatred of the “we don’t take billionaires’ money” purity tests. You think a billionaire giving you $3 will corrupt you, but maybe taking food away from this young woman won’t corrupt you? You are somehow pure for encouraging people in massive debt to give you money, instead of asking the people with massive money to give you money?

I’m sure that donor feels important. I’m sure she feels validated and proud. But I’m also sure she’s stressing about her financial situation and not sure how she’s going to pay all her bills. So well done, Elizabeth Warren. Starve the poor to feed the millionaire’s political campaign.

And Bernie Sanders… eesh.

Stop for a second.

I want you to think about something. I mean REALLY think about what we are doing here.

We have a candidate — Bernie Sanders — entirely funded by individual donors like you at an average donation of just $18.

And that candidate — Bernie Sanders — faces relentless daily attacks on cable news, one super PAC running huge negative ad campaigns against him, and two more super PACs spending millions to beat us.

AND. YET. WE. ARE. STILL. WINNING. Emphasis on the WE, because that’s the only reason it’s possible.

But those attacks and those super PACs aren’t going to stop. No chance.

And that means we can’t either. Not with Nevada and Super Tuesday right around that corner. There is too much at stake and we are too close to winning. So today, especially today, we have to ask:

Can you make one more $2.70 contribution to our campaign today? We’ll put it right to work winning in Nevada — a very important state for us.

Never before has a successful presidential campaign been forced to take on so much of the political establishment, financial elite and corporate media… and won. But we are going to change that — and when we do, you will be a big reason it happened.

Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager, Bernie 2020

The subject to this email was “We are writing to ask for $2.70 — right now we are facing daily attacks on cable news and 3 super PACs spending to beat us, and we are STILL WINNING.”

For someone who is not actually winning (by delegate count, which is the count that matters, Sanders is in second place behind Buttigieg), shouting WE ARE STILL WINNING (all-caps = shouting in internet-speak) reminds me of no one more than Donald Trump.

“Everyone’s trying to stop us, but we’re still winning.” Is that Trump’s message, or Sanders’?

Why is it hard to tell?

So many emails.

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