text of fundraising/engagement page

Beto for America
October 11, 2019


Let’s start with the good.

Last quarter, we raised $4.5 million—a million more dollars than last quarter—and we did it because of people like you. Our average contribution was $26 and 99% of our donations were below $200. They came from all 50 states, and nearly 20% of our donors gave to us for the first time this quarter. And most impressively, we did this while not fundraising during the 12 day period around the El Paso shooting because that tragedy wasn’t about our campaign, it was about our community. And in the spirit of El Paso, we’ve raised over a million dollars this quarter for causes like the El Paso Memorial Fund, the ACLU of Mississippi and down ballot candidates.

Based on Facebook’s data, we were third in the field in engagement both on a per-post basis and on a weekly basis for most of the third quarter. Internally, we’ve seen growth all over our campaign: from sign ups to our email list, volunteer hours logged, and attendees at our events. According to public polls, our favorability is going up, despite leading on an issue that some believe is “too controversial.”

Thank you for fueling our campaign—which always has been, and always will be, powered by people. Because of you, I believe we will win the Democratic nomination, defeat President Trump in 2020, and bring our country together in 2021.

But there’s a bad.

Something isn’t connecting. $4.5 million is a good chunk of change, but it’s not what we thought we’d be able to do given all of the other indicators we’re seeing. Voters like what Beto has to say. When they meet him in person, they like him even more. In fact, our modeling shows a correlation between the counties Beto visits and an increase in his favorability.

The problem? People think this is a two-person race. We’re stuck in what we’ve been calling the “Media Trap,” where the media is treating this race like it’s over, despite the fact that only 9% of voters have made up their mind. For candidates outside of those two, it’s impossible to break through, and the race has essentially been frozen in amber. People who like us—who’d vote for us, donate to us, or volunteer for us—are sitting on the sidelines because they think this race has been decided.

We see a no-bullshit path for Beto and for our people-powered campaign—and a real, serious one. More than that, though, we see that we need to bypass the media trap and we need to do it quickly. So here’s our plan to do that.

The Slingshot

We believe that we have a unique set of leading indicators that make us primed for takeoff. We have the machinery, we just need heat. Beto won the September debate and he demonstrated real leadership after the shooting in August. But the “two-person race” narrative has muted the effect of moments like—at least in the polls. So we need to get around the “Media Trap.”

And that’s where you come in. We absolutely can’t win this race without you. And because we can’t win without you, we want to lay out fully what we need from you, but also our campaign plan, because it’s your campaign plan too.

The most important thing we can do right now is to bypass the “media trap” and talk directly to voters.

So we’re creating a program called “The Slingshot”

We need about $2 million in six weeks to fund the advertising and expanded organizing programs we need to reach voters directly. And we need it quickly. Below, you can find out more about what we need, and offer to pitch in.


We’re going to take Beto’s story his vision for the country and his viability as a candidate directly to voters. And we need to meet them where they are—not only in person, but on TV, online, and yes, even in their mailboxes. We’ve been working on producing the spots already, but we don’t think we can do the work we need to do without at least $1.6 million in additional media funding.


We have an amazing set of volunteers, and if you’re reading this, you’re likely one of them—or at least, you likely should be. We have a number of programs within organizing that we’d like to execute on, but we’re short on national organizing capacity. Some of these programs include:

  • Persuasion phone calls/texts to voters we believe are on the fence about Beto
  • A national relational persuasion program (the pilot of which begins Monday)
  • A postcard program, allowing voters in Texas who know Beto to write directly to “fence-sitters” and share their stories
  • An Online Organizing Hub, so anyone can take action from anywhere
  • Bolstering our remote organizing teams, so people in our biggest volunteer states (like Texas and California) can help plug into our work.
We believe we need to hire 4-5 national organizing staff to help execute on this body of work—in addition to the tools listed above. We have great candidates in the pipeline (and if one of them is reading this, this is what you’ll be working on!) but we just need to pull the trigger. We think we could get this off the ground in days, not weeks.

All in, between tech, organizing salaries, and the tools that we’d need to develop and buy, we think we need at least $400,000 (to be able to hire quickly and account for the headcount in the budget going forward).

Then What

So, the Slingshot works. We rise in the polls. Small dollar donations pour in. Media stop saying it’s a two-person race. What now?

Well, we’d like to show you how we plan to grow, and also where those areas for growth are.

First, let’s talk about the electorate:

1. Only 9% of voters have truly made up their mind. Now, you’re probably reading that any saying “only campaigns who are toast say things like that.” But that was true for both Barack Obama and John Kerry. In competitive primaries, the winner usually breaks late. And most of the time, it’s not who you think it’ll be.

2. All indications are that there will be a record turnout in this election, bringing all kinds of people who normally sit out into the process. Those are exactly the kind of people who turned out for Beto in 2018; and we believe they’ll be with us in 2020, as long as they know this campaign is for real.
Our Coalition

We believe that the coalition that will drive us in 2020 is the same that drove Beto in 2018: Young people, Latinx voters, and importantly: independents. And let’s remember: Independents can vote in all four early primaries. These are also the voters who drive turnout waves — like the one we’re expecting this cycle.

All signs point to the 2020 primary electorate being one of the youngest and most diverse in decades; but that’s not always reflected in the voters these polls sample. Obviously, this doesn’t mean there’s 5-10 points worth of voters who are being undersampled. It does mean, however, that our movement may not be reflected as easily as it would be for others. And it means that we have to campaign differently to reach them.

Our Path: Early States+

Early states remain the priority. We’re running to win in Iowa, NH, SC, and NV. But this is a nationalized race and a massive field. The dynamics of this race are such that we believe we could finish as low as 5th in Iowa and 3rd in Nevada and still be competitive. That’s because Super Tuesday is next, and that’s where we have real, additional strength.

Super Tuesday

The obvious biggest target on Super Tuesday is Texas.

It’s Texas. Our candidate is Beto. We’ve consistently polled in second place here. In some polls, we’re winning, and it’s not even close. But we also punch above our weight in the states surrounding Texas that know Beto—Arkansas and Oklahoma especially. Combined with Texas and competitive early state showings, we believe we are an underestimated force with respect to delegates coming out of Super Tuesday.

The Way We Win:

We have a path, but that’s not a guarantee. Far from it. It’s going to be very, very difficult. In order to win, we’ll have to both accurately predict the way the electorate is moving, while persuading and mobilizing these infrequent and “turnout year” voters. This will be a challenge, but we believe that an aggressive organizing operation, built on our large (and growing) core of volunteers, can manage this work. And we will have more updates soon on that organizing plan. These voters are often the most difficult to reach using traditional methods, so we’ll have to be nimble, experiment, and throw a Hail Mary here and there.

But the first, most important resource we need is you. We need contributions, sure, but we also need your time. It’s now or never. So commit right now to the following things:

Donate $5, $10, whatever you can to help us hit our goal.

Donate Now
And sign up for a volunteer shift. We need to get the word out ASAP, and we need you to do it.

This will be hard, but we think we have a shot. And we know we’ll only make it work if you’re behind us. Let’s get after it.