Both campaigns dropped their email volume.
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.
Donald Trump sent 6 emails on Friday, while Joe Biden sent 3.
While Trump shilled his various hats (his Freedom 2020 hat went from a run of 800 down to 200 and back up to 800, so I think his worries about it selling out and being unable to restock are false), including a NAVY Keep America Great hat (have I ever seen one in navy? Why yes, actually. Yes. On Trump’s store page. For $6 cheaper than his email is offering), Biden offered me a personalized ticket to the Democratic National Convention. Since it’s virtual, there aren’t any tickets, but for a donation of any amount, I can get one with my name on it.
I’m actually a little bit tempted. I had been planning on going to the convention this year, but coronavirus told me no, week-long trips are not a good idea for me, so I should just stay home. I was a little bummed out that I wouldn’t be going anywhere. So… maybe. I’m considering it, Biden.
But then Biden went and asked me how much I spent on my coffee or tea and can I put that toward saving Democracy instead.
I was… less than pleased about this ask. As a millennial, I’m constantly the brunt of articles telling me how I’m killing industries by not buying their stuff, and I’m constantly being told that if I just stopped my daily coffee addiction, I could afford nice things.
I spend $0.13 a day on a single mug of cinnamon tea, plus water and the electricity to heat the kettle. Stagnant wages and a rising cost of living is the reason why I can’t afford nice things. Telling me to give up my VERY CHEAP indulgence that helps me get started in the morning so other people can have my money is… not an attractive look. For millennials, it shows us how out-of-touch someone is.
Each day we make choices with our time and money to show we care and to stand up for what we believe. And when times are tough, these choices matter more than ever.
We know that now is not an easy time to donate to a political campaign, and there are so many causes that deserve your attention right now. That’s why we at Team Biden have a question for you: How much do you spend on coffee? Or tea?
We’re asking because, for about the price of a cup of coffee, we believe you can help defend our democracy.JoeBiden.com
Now, compared to Trump’s “Where were you, I needed you, I need to know I can count on you,” emails, this is relatively tame. But the implication is that if your budget is too tight to donate normally, you should to cut out your indulgence to defend democracy.
Poor people are allowed to feel like humans too. A poor person who has a cup of coffee every day should not be shamed about that cup of coffee. Even if it’s a fancy cup of coffee with Italian words in the name. Maybe this is a tale as old as time for fundraisers, but that is precisely the problem.
This wording is a slap in the face for the younger generations of Americans. And if fundraisers aren’t savvy enough to keep up with the fact that time keeps passing and younger generations don’t react the same way older generations do, then they’ll keep slapping the very people they are supposed to be engaging.
Instead of implying “give up your coffee,” Biden could have instead twisted it to “Can you find the budget for an extra cup of coffee every month? Just that $3, if pledged to us monthly, can help us have the financial security to make decisions without worrying about where the money is coming from.”
See, now he’s not telling me to give up the thing that might be the only thing that makes my day bearable (I’m lucky that it’s not, but I’ve heard from many others where it is). I don’t feel ashamed for having a cup of coffee, but I feel empowered to check my budget and see if yes, I can get $3 out of it.
Or, you know, I don’t read this email at all because I’ve been slapped in the face by political emails too frequently to care and my trust in them and the people who write them is broken.
Compared to Trump’s emails, Biden’s are gentle and kind. But compared to an email from a normal human, Biden’s emails are spineless pleas for more money. I have a hard time liking his emails at all, because he has a history of abusing my inbox. Everything he says now, I look at with a jaded and cynical mindset. They are slightly improving, but once trust is broken, it’s not an overnight fix.
It is so much easier to not break trust in the first place than it is to repair it.
Just ask Trump:
Is Trump conducting more Coronavirus tests in America than ANY OTHER Nation?
Not if you count “test amounts by million citizens”
Has he passed the biggest and most historic tax cuts? Yes, to people who don’t need the relief.
Has he completed over 250 miles of the Southern Border Wall? No. He’s repaired some, but the new stuff blew down in a strong wind.
He has appointed two Conservative Supreme Court Justices, including one alleged sexual predator who really likes beer and calendars.
Rebuilt our Nation’s military to be stronger than ever? I mean, he’s letting Russia kill our military, so…
Brought manufacturing back to America with the USMCA? Sure. Tell that to the closed factories.
Started putting America first again? In the number of deaths from COVID-19? Yes. In the level of embarrassment from other countries? Yes.
But hey. I’m still his best supporter. Look at this email, with the subject line “You deserve it.”
Poor Trump. Millions of people in America, and he has to beg people who haven’t given him anything just to fill his Donor Hall of Fame.