The months leading up to polling day are the busiest, the phone never stops ringing and your team should be flooding the streets campaigning. All candidates and political campaign managers know that this is a time in which they are acutely answerable to their electorate.
Candidates must build relationships and communicate effectively in order to maximize the opportunity presented by this unique period. Research suggests that face to face canvassing is one of the most effective forms of campaigning that can be done. A report by Vincent Pons of MIT tracked the impact of the door to door canvassing on the vote share of the Presidential candidate Francois Hollande in the French Presidential election of 2012.
The sample taken covered over 17 million doorstep canvasses and found, door-to-door canvassing increased Francois Hollande’s vote share by 3.1 percentage points and 2.7 percentage points at the first and second rounds. This contributed to approximately one-fourth of Hollande’s victory margin at the second round.
Listening to voters
The problem with door to door canvassing traditionally is the complexity of translating the issue ‘heard’ on the doorsteps back to the central intelligence of the campaign office. Pen and paper records get transcribed into Excel documents and then perhaps these records are analyzed and interpreted to get a full view of the voter feedback. Whether this type of system could really be described as ‘listening’ to voters and understanding their concerns is debatable. However, campaign management has undergone the same transformation as the corporate world in recent years leading to greater software applications that help to capture and analyze this type of qualitative data in a more meaningful way.
This is where Ecanvasser comes in - By using Ecanvasser you can create a framework to ensure everything is managed efficiently which is the easiest way to ensure no voters problems fall by the wayside.
Issue tracking is about communication, or more precisely, maintaining open lines of communication between your team and voters/constituents. The various channels for this are well established for most representatives: social media, constituency clinics, public meetings, email and outreach all provide an interface for communication. All these areas are hotspots to learn more about what is bothering your voters. By using mobile technology, you can record, track and follow up on issues much quicker than through the traditional methods of pen and paper.
Speaking of traditional, in the traditional campaign model, there are a variety of channels that a candidate or campaign manager can take to address the issues that they are hearing back from the doorstep. Broad-based responses on radio and TV can outline a candidate’s stance on a topic but they can also use narrower communications like email and face to face to ensure voter’s issues are addressed. Mandates are built out of these twin processes of listening and communication back. Relationships developed in this process are also extremely valuable and can be passed into the subsequent election in the classic ‘grassroots’ support model.
In the broadest sense, democracy is about making sure the electorate are heard and their concerns are addressed, so it works in any candidate or campaign manager's favor to listen and communicate.
Listen and communicate go beyond just achieving results in the form of election wins they also strengthen democracy in a fundamental way.
If you would like to learn more about how to best conduct and analyze a door-to-door canvass contact us below:
Listening to our current users, we are aware that there can be an internal struggle of team management when it comes to organizing quickly. To get people out on doors, the back and forth over Whatsapp, Messenger, and (insert other apps here) can be endless. We aim to streamline this process for you with Ecanvasser. Now organizers can commit via the Walk app (their canvassing app!) and get notified in the run-up to the event so that they don’t forget. By building it into the door knocking process life has gotten a lot easier for campaign managers.