Send Us Your Money or the Kitten Gets It

Sign up here to get On Politics in your inbox.

Monday is a big day for the presidential campaigns — the last one of the fund-raising quarter. If you are a donor or even subscribed to any campaign email lists, you’ve been inundated with solicitations for the last 48 hours or so. Meet our goal. Save the kittens! Get this sticker or that autographed hat or, if you’re feeling lucky, enter to win a trip to the next debate, or to campaign headquarters, or even to India!

All this shameless begging, which will continue unabated for a few more hours, comes in the name of juicing fund-raising numbers the campaigns must report to the Federal Election Commission by Oct. 15. Most will announce their numbers sooner than that — expect at least a couple campaigns to release totals before you wake up on Tuesday morning. In reality, it doesn’t matter if you contribute to a campaign today or tomorrow, but in the political world, quarterly fund-raising figures are a stand-in for a campaign’s strength, especially within such a crowded field.

The emails have been coming hot and heavy. I’m not a donor to Pete Buttigieg (or to anyone else — Times reporters are not allowed), but between Saturday morning and noon Monday, I’d received 11 emails from his campaign asking for money. Over the same time period, Joe Biden has emailed 10 times, Bernie Sanders nine times, Kamala Harris three times and Elizabeth Warren once.

Here’s the thing about all these emails: Nobody likes them. They clog up inboxes. The campaigns feel dirty and desperate sending them.

And yet: They work.

“Nothing is more disappointing as a staffer when the thing that makes you feel bad is also most effective at raising money,” said Amanda Litman, who was responsible for sending 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign emails. “A deadline is compelling to people. It conveys some urgency and people like feeling like they’re contributing toward a goal.”

The campaigns plan on end-of-quarter fund-raising surges. The rule of thumb is half of the money a campaign will raise online in the quarter will come in the final week, and half of the final week’s total will come on the last day. Bad news for a campaign often means good news for online fund-raising — the Clinton campaign brought in more money online in the last week before Election Day than it did in all of 2015, Ms. Litman said.

All of this is to say, if you’re on any campaign’s email list, prepare for one last deluge of fund-raising solicitations for the next few hours — at least until midnight tonight. Then you can take a breather before smashing the delete button again; the deadline to qualify for the November presidential debate isn’t for another month at least.

We want to hear from our readers. Have a question? We’ll try to answer it. Have a comment? We’re all ears. Email us at

My colleague Sydney Ember braved the bright lights of Las Vegas and the snow in Reno this weekend to follow several candidates in Nevada. She sends this dispatch about how the impeachment news is being discussed on the campaign trail.

It’s an impeachment-free world out there. Sort of.

In Nevada this weekend, where several candidates including Joe Biden, the former vice president, and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., made campaign stops, Democratic voters rarely brought up impeachment unless prompted by a reporter. When they did discuss the topic, they were more likely to talk about how distasteful they found President Trump rather than endorse the impeachment proceedings themselves.

At an event for Mr. Biden on Friday, for instance, Norm Jolicoeur, 65, of Concord, Calif., said he thought the president’s recent actions regarding Ukraine were “atrocious.” But he was more interested in hearing Mr. Biden’s thoughts about health care and “what his first actions will be if he wins the presidency.”

In Reno on Saturday night, the Nevada State Democratic Party hosted Mr. Buttigieg and Tom Steyer, a billionaire former hedge fund investor who recently qualified for the October debate, at a “Keep Nevada Blue” dinner. Though the subject of impeachment hovered in the air, the state’s Democratic officeholders were far more focused on electing Democrats up and down the ticket than on the inquiry happening 3,000 miles across the country.

During brief addresses, Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen both highlighted issues important to Nevadans — and urged voters to oust Mr. Trump at the ballot box.

In interviews, neither senator seemed particularly anxious to talk about impeachment: Both said they wanted to hear the evidence before deciding whether to vote to impeach Mr. Trump should it get to the Senate. “I think we have to get to the bottom of it,” Ms. Cortez Masto said. “I think we have to continue that investigation to make sure we are understanding all of the facts.”

Source link