The Kirsten Gillibrand presidential campaign made a plea for donations Tuesday with an email subject line reading "a bit of bad news," to the amusement of fellow 2020 contender Mike Gravel.
The New York senator is still short of the 65,000-donor threshold, one of two requirements set by the Democratic National Committee to get on the primary debate stage on June 26 and 27. Gillibrand has hit the poll limit—at least 1 percent support in three different primary or early-state polls—but little-known candidates like Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson, in addition to the frontrunners in the race, have beaten her to the 65,000 number.
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"Tiny bit of bad news today, but I think there's still time to course-correct," Gillibrand campaign manager Jess Fassler wrote to supporters. "I just took a look at where we're at with our fundraising goals for May. We needed to raise $200,000 this month to keep our campaign on track—to keep Kirsten out on the road meeting voters, hire more staff and keep our digital ads up. We're pacing a bit behind on our monthly goal, but if we hustle now, I think we can turn things around in time."
"We are definitely an underdog in this race," she added. "A bunch of other candidates have already guaranteed their spots on the debate stage with both their polling and their number of donors."
It's common for politicians to employ melodramatic language in fundraising emails to catch people's attention. Nevertheless, Gravel's staff tweeted its amusement at Gillibrand's predicament on Tuesday: "lol."
— Mike Gravel (@MikeGravel) May 14, 2019
The former Alaska senator, who turned 89 on Monday, is pitching a far-left platform and claims he is "running to win," although he initially said his intention was to influence the race but not to be the nominee.
Gillibrand complained in a recent interview about the DNC's donor threshold.
"That's an odd measurable," she told CNN. "Like, why do you make that your measurable as opposed to have you won elections before and have you ever run statewide before and how many votes have you gotten before and have you passed legislation and are you effective in your job?"
"I think it's random and inaccurate, but it's their choice," she went on. "They're the DNC, so I'll follow the rules that are given and I'll have to play by the rules. … I don't think it's a measure of success. I don't think it's a measure of electability. I don't think it's a measure of quality of candidate."