Harris releases her Q2 numbers, Bullock releases his Q2 numbers, Williamson encourages her donors to help out Gravel, CNN will televise the lineup draw for the July debates, Biden apologizes for his remarks about segregationists, the candidates shout out the big USWNT win—and call for equal pay, Swalwell makes a big announcement, Castro makes a big announcement, and we have rumors of yet another Democratic primary candidate.


USWNT tweets


Note: This is the speaking script for the show, so the audio as delivered will different very slightly from the below. This script also does not include advertisements, which may appear at various points in the show.

Harris releases her Q2 numbers

Senator Kamala Harris released her Q2 fundraising numbers on Friday, and they were just about even with her Q1 numbers.

Harris’s campaign said she brought in $12 million dollars in Q2, which puts her at less than half the amount of the current fundraising leader, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. What’s potentially worse is that Harris actually brought in a total of over $13 million dollars in Q1—though that number DID include some funding transfers from previous campaigns. So the best way to read this fundraising performance is flat, quarter-to-quarter.

Harris’s campaign pointed out that a lot of her Q2 money came right at END of the quarter. Reading from a New York Timesarticle by Reid Epstein and Thomas Kaplan, QUOTE:

“…[Harris] collected more than $2 million [dollars] in online donations in the first 24 hours after the start of the Democratic debate on June 27[th], as well as an additional $1.2 million [dollars] online last weekend, her team said.” END QUOTE

While that does show momentum in the last days of the quarter, the campaign CANNOT be happy that it just barely pulled out a flat number in the last few days of the 91-day fundraising period. If Harris HAD NOT had such a breakout moment in that first debate, it’s likely her overall Q2 fundraising would have declinedfrom Q1 to Q2.

Reading again from the Times, QUOTE:

“The Harris campaign said Friday that she received donations from more than 279,000 people during the second quarter and raised more than $7 million [dollars] of her total online. The campaign said its average donation was $39 [dollars], lower than the $49 [dollar] average reported by the Biden campaign but higher than the $18 [dollar] average cited by the Sanders team.” END QUOTE.

So, to sum up, Harris’s numbers currently put her in fourth place at the moment for Q2, behind Buttigieg, Biden, and Sanders. There are still a few big question marks out there, mainly what did Senator Elizabeth Warren raise, but I’m guessing we’ll know that soon.

Bullock releases his Q2 numbers

And Montana Governor Steve Bullock released his Q2 numbers on Friday as well. He brought in more than $2 million dollars, despite having only entered the race on May 4th. That’s even later than Biden, so this number is pretty good, in the context of the lower-tier candidates. He didn’t provide any more info, so this segment is now over.

Williamson encourages her donors to help out Gravel

On Sunday, Marianne Williamson sent a campaign email urging her supporters to donate…to Mike Gravel. Gravel, a retired Senator from Alaska, had something in the neighborhood of 55,000 donors prior to that email, meaning he needs just 10,000 more to qualify for the July debate under the grassroots fundraising method. And he needs those donors very soon, as the window for submitting qualifying info to the DNC closes in just days.

This is the first time I’ve heard of a candidate in this cycle asking her own donors to give money to a rival candidate. And I think that’s awesome. I’m going to read a portion of the email here, QUOTE:

“During his time in [the] Senate, he garnered wide respect for his unabashed opposition to the Vietnam War and for reading the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record, risking expulsion from the Senate.

Democracy is, by definition, for the people and by the people. Democracy thrives when brave men like Mike Gravel risk their careers to do what’s just and right.

That’s why diverse and provocative voices like Gravel’s are so important to move the debates and conversation about our nation’s peace and prosperity forward.” END QUOTE.

She wrapped up the email by asking her donors to give a dollar to Gravel’s campaign. Remember, the AMOUNT of the donation doesn’t matter for the DNC’s debate counting—they just want to see an overall 65,000 donors, with at least 200 people in each of 20 states. And $1 dollar is the minimum donation.

I reached out to the Gravel campaign asking for comment, and they got back to me right away.

The campaign said that while it's too early to project the full effect of Williamson's email, they received 2,000 additional donations in the first 10 hours and expected thousands more within the next 48 hours, as a direct result of that email.

They further clarified that those Williamson-related donors are IN ADDITION to thousands more they have recently received.

While I didn’t get an explicit statement on whether Gravel had crossed the 65,000 donor threshold, the campaign is certainly very close.

CNN will televise the lineup draw for the July debates

This morning, CNN announced that it will actually TELEVISE the thing where they pick which candidates go on which nights of the July debates. Reminder, this month’s debates are July 30thand 31st, which are a Tuesday and Wednesday.

So you may recall, for the June debates, the issue of which candidates got to go on which night was determined by a lottery held at 30 Rock, which was open only to the campaigns and the DNC itself. This time will be a little bit different, and a little more Reality TV style.

On CNN, Kate Sullivan wrote, QUOTE:

“The draw to determine the lineup for each night will air live on July 18[th] in the 8 p.m. [Eastern Time] hour on CNN, said the network spokesperson, who noted additional details of the draw will be released in the coming days.” END QUOTE.

Personally, I have my fingers crossed that they put each candidate’s name on a Bingo ball and crank that thing around.

Biden apologizes for his remarks about segregationists

In a speech in South Carolina on Saturday, Joe Biden commented on his long record of public service, and apologized for his recent remarks about working with Senators James O. Eastland and Herman Talmadge. Most of the media coverage I’ve seen on this focuses exclusively on the apology, but I want to put that in context, because it come from a much longer speech. So let’s listen to two clips. This first one comes from about four minutes in. Listen in:

[BIDEN CLIP FROM WASHINGTON POST: BIDEN: I made the decision, like many of you have, to get off the sidelines, to get involved, to lead. At a distance, those decisions—to get involved, to lead—seem simple, so simple to accomplish. You make no compromises, you work only with those with whom you agree, and you live in the world you want. But the reality, as you all know, is quite different. To get things done, you have to work with people who were elected long before you. And it requires some people who you have to engage with who don’t see the world the way you see it. Some may be downright repugnant to everything you stand for. Sometimes it gets messy. But to adjust, you have to. And slowly but surely, you begin to make progress, to find common group without yielding on principle, accepting some compromise on things you don’t support, in order to get things that are really important done for your people. You work with people who may offend you. In my case, every fiber of my being was offended when I ran—I’m serious—to get things done for the greater good. You work in the work you inherit. You work in the world you’ve been given. Because otherwise, nothing gets done.]

And next up is the clip where he issues an apology. Now, I also want to point out that most media are covering just the first few sentences of this, and they don’t continue to the next part, which I think is vital to understanding Biden’s argument here. Biden is laying out a framework to defend his position in this field. He’s insulating himself here against future attacks about his record. At the same time, he’s making a logical comment on the fact that during his career, this country has changed, and so has he. This may benefit him, if the audience reaction is any guide. So listen in:

[BIDEN CLIP FROM WASHINGTON POST: BIDEN: Now, was I wrong a few weeks ago to somehow give the impression to people that I was praising those men, who I successfully opposed time and again? Yes, I was. I regret it. I’m sorry for any of the pain or misconception I may have caused anybody. [APPLAUSE] But should that misstep define 50 years of my record for fighting for civil rights and racial justice in this country? I hope not. I don’t think so. That just isn’t an honest assessment of my record, and I’m going to let my record and my character stand for itself and not be distorted or smeared. [APPLAUSE] You know, America in 2019 is a very, very different place than the 1970s. And that’s a good thing. I’ve witnessed an incredible, incredible amount of change in this nation. And I’ve worked to make that change happen. And yes, I’ve changed also. I’m not the same person that entered the Senate at age 29. I don’t pretend to have gotten everything right. I don’t pretend that none of my positions have changed. I’ve grown, and I think it’s good to be able to grow, to progress. Flawed and imperfect like everyone else, I’ve made the best decisions I could at the moment those decisions had to be made. As I look back over my career, I’m reminded of that verse from the First Corinthians. ‘For now, we see in a mirror dimly, [AUDIENCE CALLS OUT: YES, YES] but then, face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully.’ We never know enough. [APPLAUSE] We never know enough. [APPLAUSE]]

The candidates shout out the big USWNT win—and call for equal pay

On Sunday, the US Women’s National Soccer Team won its second straight World Cup and its fourth overall, defeating the Netherlands 2-nil and setting social media on fire. While this is not a sports podcast, I did notice a distinct trend: every single Democratic primary candidate tweeted in support of the team, and many of them did so in the context of the team’s campaign for equal pay with men who play the same sport.

In an article for CNN, Michelle Lou wrote, QUOTE:

“In March, 28 members of the USWNT sued the US Soccer Federation for allegedly discriminating by paying the women less than members of the men's national team “for substantially equal work and by denying them at least equal playing, training, and travel conditions; equal promotion of their games; equal support and development for their games; and other terms and conditions of employment equal to the MNT.”

The soccer federation and the plaintiffs last month tentatively agreed to mediation, which is expected to begin now that the World Cup is over.

During the celebrations Sunday, the crowd at the soccer stadium in Lyon chanted, “Equal pay” in support of the women's efforts.” END QUOTE. And one more bit from that article, QUOTE:

“The prize for the 2018 men's World Cup stood at $400 million [dollars], while female players will receive $30 million [dollars] this year.” END QUOTE.

Senator Amy Klobuchar retweeted that article and simply added the hashtag “#PayTheseWomen.” Julián Castro wrote, QUOTE: “Congratulations to @USWNTon a huge victory and a fourth championship! They’ve been leaders on and off the field, and are poised for another huge victory for #EqualPay. #OneNationOneTeam [American Flag emoji]” END QUOTE.

Senator Elizabeth wrote, QUOTE: “They bring home the ratings, the revenue, and the wins. But even if they didn’t, the players of the @USWNT deserve equal pay.” END QUOTE.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted a video showing repeated chants of “equal pay” at the game, and wrote, QUOTE: “The @USWNT fought hard and brought home yet another World Cup title, making history as back-to-back champions. This team makes our country […] proud—they shouldn't have to fight just to be paid what they deserve.” END QUOTE.

On Twitter, listener Leo wrote, QUOTE: “The only content I want from the @PrimaryRideHome this week is a list of what every candidate said about the @USWNT World Cup win...please @chrishiggins this is too difficult to compile on my own...and honestly...it's all that matters right now.” END QUOTE. Well, Leo, check the show notes, I have links to ALL THE GREAT TWEETS. All 25 Democratic candidates on my list tweeted in support of the USWNT, at least once, and often several times.

Eric Swalwell makes a big announcement

File this next story under “breaking news that hasn’t quite broken yet,” but in a tweet just a few hours ago, Politics 1 reported that Congressman Eric Swalwell, QUOTE:

“…has cancelled his [New Hampshire] campaign swing, flew home to California and will be making an announcement this afternoon related to his presidential campaign. Most believe he is withdrawing from the race ... and possibly announcing he will instead seek reelection.” END QUOTE.

Now, I checked Swalwell’s Twitter account just 15 minutes before heading into the recording booth. He had not confirmed or denied this. Instead, just moments ago, he tweeted in support of South Carolina Congressional candidate Kim Nelson. So…it’s unclear whether that means Swalwell is running for that House seat or what, but it sure LOOKS LIKE he’s about to drop out.

Whatever he’s announcing won’t come until 1pm Pacific time, which is after this podcast will likely be released, but we will follow up on whatever happens tomorrow.

Julián Castro makes a big announcement

And file this one under news that JUST broke right before I hit the Print button. Julián Castro announced that his campaign has reached 130,000 donors. This means he has qualified for the fundraising part of the September debates, though he still has some polling work to do. Fox News reporter Pat Ward broke the news, and followed up with news that Senator Cory Booker is right around 115,000 donors, so he may be next.

We have rumors of yet another Democratic primary candidate

And last up today, we have rumors that Tom Steyer, a wealthy environmentalist, and former hedge fund manager, is considering a primary run. According to a Politico story, Steyer has told various people close to him that he is indeed going to run. This comes after publicly declining to run in January.

While we don’t have an official announcement, this certainly sounds credible, so…I guess stay tuned for more on Steyer if he indeed announces a run.


Well, that is it for one more episode of the Primary Ride Home. I have been your host, Chris Higgins. You can always find me on Twitter @chrishiggins. Yeah, wow, a show with NINE stories—I think that’s a record, and I hope you enjoyed the fast pace as much I did! In yarden news, tomorrow we have some arborists coming over to climb the giant Doug Firs and take out some nasty invasive vines and stuff, so there IS a chance of chainsaw and chipper noises in the background tomorrow. I’ll see if I can get that Chainsaw Remover plug-in set up in advance, but, you know how it goes. Computers aren’t 100 percent perfect at handling power tools. As always, thanks for listening and I will talk to y’all tomorrow.