Journalism in the Public Interest


Campaign Email Overload? We’ve Got a Website for That

The political conventions are upon us, and with them a new flood of campaign emails. ProPublica debuts a new campaign emails Tumblr.

Subject lines from Obama and Romney campaign emails.

This election season we've been collecting campaign emails for our Message Machine project. While we're trying to reverse engineer how these emails are targeted at voters, we also find ourselves giggling from time to time at the awkardly familiar nature of the subject lines and messages.

We're not the only ones either. This week, New York Magazine selected a few of Obama for America's emails. The New Yorker and Politico have had their fun too. And, of course, the Daily Show ran a segment about the Obama emails back in April. Romney for President sends their share of amusing subject lines, too. An Aug. 3 email was simply headlined "Ugh" and another on Aug. 12 went all caps: "COURAGEOUS REFORMER."

The political conventions will bring another flood of emails, so we're taking the moment to launch two new Tumblrs to help collect and showcase them. "Are you there dude? It's me, Obama" will feature the more amusing Democratic subject lines, and "Are you there dude? It's me, Romney" will collect the Republican ones. 

If you get emails from campaigns, and would like to find out how they are targeting you, or if you just want to help out with these new Tumblrs, forward your emails to

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Buying Your Vote

Buying Your Vote: Dark Money and Big Data

ProPublica is following the money and exploring campaign issues in the 2012 election you won't read about elsewhere.

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