Battle for Inbox and Bucks

Comparing Email Fundraising Strategies of Donald Trump and Joe Biden in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

Authors

  • Bin Chen University of Hong Kong
  • Porismita Borah Washington State University https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1140-4233
  • Ross Dahlke Stanford University
  • Josephine Lukito The University of Texas at Austin

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51685/jqd.2024.012

Keywords:

political advertising, campaign emails, fundraising appeals, function theory, negative advertising, presidential election, donald trump, joe biden

Abstract

Despite its proven pervasiveness and effectiveness, the role of email in political campaigns has been understudied. In this article, we seek to understand the use of emails by Donald Trump's and Joe Biden's campaigns during the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Employing newly collected email data (N = 4051), we compared how the two campaign teams differ in the use of appeals in their emails, and the functions of the message (e.g., attack, acclaim). We found that, while both campaigns used emails primarily for fundraising, Trump's campaign (compared to Biden’s campaign) was more likely to use all of the four appeals we defined — material, solidarity, ideology, and issue appeals. We also found that by sending emails, Biden's campaign tends to acclaim itself more while Trump's campaign attacks opponents more.

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Published

2024-06-03

How to Cite

Chen, B., Borah, P., Dahlke, R., & Lukito, J. (2024). Battle for Inbox and Bucks: Comparing Email Fundraising Strategies of Donald Trump and Joe Biden in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media , 4. https://doi.org/10.51685/jqd.2024.012

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