This past week has had a debate, an election, and an FEC deadline, and Pete Buttigieg still topped the email charts. Despite all of these events, the email peak is one of its lowest ever, and we lost another candidate in Tom Steyer.
For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of 1 candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, but I’ve been on 28 mailing lists! 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!
Once again, Pete Buttigieg was Mr. Emailer, sending 53 emails to his donors and 47 to his non-donors, coming in over 10 emails ahead of second place Joe Biden, who only managed 39. Both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren only sent 30 emails.
The email volume climbed to a crescendo on Saturday, with both an election day and an FEC deadline demanding attention. The debate earlier in the week barely caused a blip on the radar.
The debates were more than a blip in the topic of the week, as everyone, including Tulsi Gabbard sent me emails about the debate stage and how pleased they were with their debate performance (except for Gabbard, who emailed me to let me know how disappointed she was in everyone else’s performance). Most of the focus was on how I could help the campaigns win in South Carolina, though, which mostly revolved around giving them money.
In the end, Joe Biden won South Carolina in a landslide, with 48.4% of the vote. Bernie Sanders came in second with 19.9%, and Tom Steyer, after finishing third with 11.3%, decided to pull the plug on his campaign.
In his three runs for president, this is the first time that Biden has actually won a primary contest. Well done, Mr. Vice President.
As of the time of this writing, all of the South Carolina delegates haven’t been awarded, so here’s the popular vote chart. As you can see, South Carolina shot Biden up to first place, followed by Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg in second and third. Tom Steyer, in sixth place, dropped out: South Carolina was going to be his best state, and a third place, no-delegate performance did not bode well for the rest of his campaign. However, John Delaney did pick up some votes in South Carolina, despite no longer being in the race.
The only candidate who emailed about the South Carolina results directly was Joe Biden, who sent me 2 emails to let me know he won (and please give him $5 to carry his momentum through Super Tuesday).
Joe Biden started the week with a $1.5 million goal, but after the last debate performance, he quickly surpassed his goal and was eager to let me know. He bumped his goal up to $3.5 million and immediately started pushing for that amount instead. Elizabeth Warren, on the other hand, kept telling me how she had missed a daily goal and needed to work harder to hit her goal (which she revealed to be $29 million for the month on the last day of the month), while Bernie Sanders set a 500,000 donor goal with incredible changing math to counter all of Warren’s Super PAC spending. Pete Buttigieg had a $13 million goal by Super Tuesday, which he stressed was important but has not gone around ringing alarm bells of being behind on. Amy Klobuchar set a $2 million goal, and Tulsi Gabbard was increasingly worried about not hitting her $1 million goal.
The billionaires did not set money goals.
While asking for money directly seems to be the easiest way to get money, Pete Buttigieg and Mike Bloomberg especially put focuses on volunteering for the campaigns and sharing information about them. Buttigieg offered many virtual events for me to attend, and Bloomberg set up a phone hotline I could call or text to give him quotes for his advertisements.
The only candidates who sent me emails this past week that did not ask for anything specific were Pete Buttigieg, when he released his Asian American/Pacific Islanders policy, and Tom Steyer, when he dropped out of the race.