South Carolina polls are closing, and my delegate maps will be updated soon. Regardless, the candidates are focusing more on fundraising for their FEC deadline than getting out the vote in South Carolina. Only Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren are asking me to help them in the final hours before the primary.
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.
After being tied for most emails yesterday, Pete Buttigieg surged with 8 sent in a single day. He didn’t need to, though, as Joe Biden had dropped back down to 6. It would seem that email endurance is trickier than you’d think. However, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both made sure to send out 5 emails on the day before the South Carolina primary and the FEC deadline.
Because yes, the day before an FEC deadline is when fundraising goes through the roof, and all of the campaigns (except the billionaires) were focused on raising money.
Pete Buttigieg sent emails from Michael J. Fox inviting me to donate to possibly win a trip to New York to meet with him and Fox, and he also invited me, as a member of the Grassroots Fundraising Team, to try to get enough new people to donate to Buttigieg so that I could win a chance to go to a Win the Era weekend in Chicago or be invited to a video chat with Buttigieg.
Bernie Sanders was focusing on News Events, namely, the spending from other campaigns and their Super PACs. He’s lately taken aim at Elizabeth Warren.
Here comes more big money:
A super PAC for one of our opponents just rushed another $9 MILLION in advertising in Super Tuesday states with only a few days to go.
It’s concerning. And it means we must keep pace.
It would take our campaign 500,000 donations at an average of $18 to match the money this super PAC just put into this race. And as it turns out, that is exactly the goal we set ahead of tomorrow’s FEC deadline.
It’s a big goal – one that is very important to meet. The only way we’ll get there is if you can add your donation today to stand with Bernie.
Here’s the truth:
Bernie Sanders is the candidate you can trust to stick to his word and fight for us when we are in the White House.
When we say this campaign will be funded exclusively by small dollar donations, we mean it. And when we set a goal of 500,000 donations before tomorrow’s deadline, we knew it wouldn’t be easy. But we can get there if we do it together.
Reaching this goal is the ONLY way we will take on the super PACs spending obscene amounts of money to defeat us. With a fundraising deadline tomorrow and only a few days to go until Super Tuesday, we need to ask:
If enough people chip in today, we are not only going to reach this goal. We are going to win this primary and transform this country.Team Bernie
In case you had your doubts that this email was pointing directly at Warren’s new Super PAC, Sanders sent another email to clarify.
I need to be frank with you:
Elizabeth Warren’s super PAC was already spending $3 million on Super Tuesday ads.
Late last night they added $9 million more — or the equivalent of 500,000 donations to our campaign.
The super PAC is refusing to release its donors until voting has happened for more than 60% of delegates.
$12 million in ads four days before Super Tuesday may seem like a lot to overcome.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not… if enough of us chip in $2.70 before tomorrow’s FEC fundraising deadline.
Can you please contribute $2.70 to our campaign before tomorrow night’s FEC fundraising deadline? Your contribution will help fight back against dark money ads from people funding super PACs to stop us from winning.
We’re up against the billionaire class and political establishment that is willing to spend untold amounts of money to stop us. But there are so many of us in this movement that if enough of us chip in, we can win.
Thank you for all you do.Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager, Bernie 2020
Except… I have issues with the math in these emails.
Sanders started his campaign for 500,000 donations on February 25, in response to Mike Bloomberg’s promise to start a media onslaught against Sanders. He asked for either $2.70 or $5, depending on whether or not I had already given him money and what mood he was in that day. At most, this comes out to a financial goal of $2,500,000 ($5×500,000).
At no point, from February 25-27, did Sanders indicate that his 500,000 donations were being counted at an average of $18. He was very specifically indicating that all I needed to give was $2.70 or $5 for him to make his goal. Both of these amounts average out to much less than $18.
After Warren’s super PAC announced $9 million in ad spending for her, Sanders’ campaign realized that 500,000 at $18, their average donation, absolutely came out to $9 million! This fortuitous coincidence was lauded in the above email… but you notice, again, he only actually asked for $2.70. Then, in his follow-up email, he added her super PAC’s earlier $3 million spending to get a total of $12 million… and still only an ask of 500,000 donations at $2.70 each. At $2.70 per donation, Sanders would need 4,444,445 donations to hit $12 million. Heck, at $18 a donation, he’d still need 666,667 donations to keep up with the $12 million in super PAC spending on Warren’s account.
Regardless of how you cut it, Sanders isn’t doing good math.
Also, regardless of how you cut it, Warren has a super PAC dedicated to getting her elected now. She hasn’t mentioned not taking super PAC assistance since February 18, two days before it was formed.
However, Tulsi Gabbard has mentioned super PAC assistance.
This campaign cannot be bought — by special interests, the D.C. establishment elite, the corrupt military industrial complex and those who profit from it.
Right now Senator Bernie Sanders and I are the ONLY candidates not being funded by either Super PACS or enormous personal wealth. I’m humbled by your support, and how far it’s taken us.Tulsi Gabbard
This may be true for Gabbard, but it’s worth noting that Sanders has 9 dark money groups supporting him. True, none of them are dedicated specifically to getting Sanders elected like the super PACs supporting Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, or Elizabeth Warren, but if you’re going to count VoteVets and Victory Fund as Pete Buttigieg’s super PACs, then you absolutely have to count groups such as the National Nurses United and Sunrise Movement as Bernie Sanders’.
Of course, Gabbard is also the candidate literally calling to “reign in” U.S. intelligence agencies for daring to accuse Russia of helping Sanders in the election.
If you want to know what a Russian asset looks like, may I present this pro-Russia, anti-U.S. tweet as exhibit A?
Anyone casting doubt on our institutions and our intelligence agencies is advancing Russia’s goals. Period.
Mike Bloomberg invited me to keep calling his hotline to leave him messages of support he could use in his ads, while Pete Buttigieg invited me to join a virtual town hall with him hosted by Miss Black America, Ryann Richardson, and former special assistant to Obama, Reggie Love. No tickets needed, just RSVP and click the link when it was the right time.
Buttigieg also asked me to make calls for him, as did Elizabeth Warren, and Buttigieg wanted me to reach out to my personal connections to share fundraising links. Gabbard had a video she wanted me to watch in which she probably was explaining why I’d need to donate because she alone is virtuous, and everyone else just wanted money.
Joe Biden pointed out how EVERYONE emailed me in the past 48 hours, which included the day he tied with Pete Buttigieg for most emails sent.
Pete Buttigieg wrote an inspiring email to his supporters.
Amy Klobuchar pointed out that she has a secret sauce.
Bernie Sanders asked me to join a movement of real people…
…or is he just making them up? How much the same people from the same locations donated varied based on, again, whether or not I had already donated.
And Elizabeth Warren wanted to make sure I knew the stakes. She’s toned down how much she asks for from me as a non-donor. Instead of giving a range of values, now she mostly just asks for $2.
We shall wait and see how much these pushes paid off, first with South Carolina, and then with Super Tuesday next week.