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Presidential Primary Underdogs Send E-mail, Too

  |  August 10, 2007   |  Comments

Campaigns for Republican lesser-knowns sent out far fewer messages than their Democratic counterparts.

ClickZ_Campaign08_katefinal.jpgThe best-known presidential candidates -- Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Barack Obama and John McCain among them -- get most of the attention. But the fact is those who haven't made it to the top of the polls, as well as the popular yet unofficial candidates, are still campaigning. And, of course, they're sending out e-mail to supporters and campaign watchers.

With help from e-mail tracking firm Email Data Source, ClickZ News took a look at some of the Republican and Democratic primary candidate underdogs and the e-mails they've sent since the beginning of the primary campaign cycle this spring. Themes common with the more popular campaigns were evident among the lesser-knowns. They, too, had links to donate, featured or linked to video of recent appearances or events, and petitioned supporters to get their friends involved with their campaigns.

One interesting thing to note: Campaigns for Republican candidates or would-be right-leaning candidates sent out far fewer messages than their Democratic counterparts. For instance, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson and Texas Congressman Ron Paul's campaigns sent just two e-mails this year, while ex-U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich put out six e-mails to registrants of his Newt.org site. Neither Thompson nor Gingrich have declared themselves officially as primary candidates; however, much speculation abounds about each, particularly Thompson, a star of NBC's "Law & Order."

The underdog Dems on the other hand have been prolific in the e-mail arena. Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd sent 19 messages since April, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's campaign distributed 22 e-mails in that time, and Delaware Senator Joe Biden's campaign sent 32 e-mails to campaign observers since May of this year.

Each campaign, like the more prominent candidate efforts, had its own individual approach. Some jammed e-mails with a variety of issue-based ideas and commentary, and others took a more bare bones tack. Perhaps the two polar opposites in the style category were Congressman Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, both fringe Republicans. Paul's spare messages mimicked press releases; they were nearly all text, and stuck mainly with messages of momentum building. Gingrich's, on the other hand, featured lots of images, and read like dense diatribes on multiple political issues while keeping with the overriding theme of government bureaucracy.

Thompson, yet to officially throw his hat in the ring, wrote of testing the campaign waters. The would-be candidate kept with his typical casual approach, even making mention of baseball and football. Senator Dodd promoted the Democratic CNN/YouTube debate and his participation in the annual liberal blogger grassroots YearlyKos convention. Governor Richardson stuck to issues like troop redeployment in Iraq and global warming. Meanwhile, though issues were a regular focus for Senator Biden, the most recent messages from the perennial Sunday morning political talk show guest featured media alerts touting upcoming TV appearances.

Recent E-mails from
Newt Gingrich's Newt.org
Subject Sender Date Message/Issues Content Links
"Newt.org Weekly Recap" "Newt.org" 7.20 America's can-do spirit, video video, blog, podcast, multimedia links, RSS feeds, book promos, news, op-eds, store, community, newt.org
"Newt.org Weekly Recap" "Newt.org" 7.27 "phoney" war, government that works video, blog, podcast, multimedia links, rss feeds, book promos, news, op-eds, store, community, newt.org
Source: Email Data Source, 2007

Recent E-mails from
Ron Paul 2008
Subject Sender Date Message/Issues Content Links
"Press Release: Ron Paul Builds Momentum" "Ron Paul 2008" 5.8 building momentum, debate, debate polls, YouTube, press coverage RonPaul2008.com
"New Video: Enthusiasm Keeps Building" "Ron Paul 2008" 6.13 new video, building enthusiasm, press appearances, CNN debate RonPaul2008.com
Source: Email Data Source, 2007

Recent E-mails from
Friends of Fred Thompson
Subject Sender Date Message/Issues Content Links
"Where we are, and where we're going" "Fred Thompson" 7.26 testing campaign waters, announcing new weekly e-mail, new Web site donate, sign up, tell a friend, raise funds, call talk radio, write letters, ImWithFred.com
"Weekly Update 8.7.2007" "Friends of Fred Thompson" 8.7 this week's action, sign up 10 friends, baseball, football, new web site features, polling update, quotes sign up 10 friends, economy, judges, press coverage, ImWithFred.com
Source: Email Data Source, 2007

Recent E-mails from
Biden for President
Subject Sender Date Message/Issues Content Links
"MEDIA ALERT: Senator Biden on MSNBC tonight for AFL-CIO forum" "From Biden for President" 8.7 upcoming TV appearances, video of AFL-CIO forum, press coverage video of AFL-CIO forum, book promo, make a contribution, JoeBiden.com
"MEDIA ALERT: Catch Senator Biden on TV tonight" "From Biden for President" 8.8 upcoming TV appearances, AFL-CIO forum, press coverage video of AFL-CIO forum, book promo, make a contribution, JoeBiden.com
Source: Email Data Source, 2007

Recent E-mails from
Chris Dodd for President
Subject Sender Date Message/Issues Content Links
"Standing up to Partisan Media - Dodd on O'Reilly Tonight" "From Tim Tagaris, Chris Dodd for President" 8.1 support the netroots against O'Reilly, appearance on O'Reilly Factor, YearlyKos, show your support, ChrisDodd.com/oreilly
"O'Reilly ought to be honest" "Chris Dodd for President" 8.3 Iraq, constitution, global warming, YearlyKos Watch O'Reilly video
Source: Email Data Source, 2007

Recent E-mails from
Richardson for President
Subject Sender Date Message/Issues Content Links
"Ask Bill" "From Governor Bill Richardson" 7.26 CNN/YouTube debate, Ask Bill submit your question
"Join us for a Rally for Governor Richardson" "From Laura Harris, Richardson for President" 8.3 AFL-CIO debate, pre-debate tailgate at soldier's field tailgate for change, contribute now
Source: Email Data Source, 2007

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

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