There’s probably no such thing as the perfect political canvass but that won’t stop us from imagining it.
Saturday morning : 3 weeks out from the Election
Canvasser Cathy is hitting the streets for her 4th consecutive weekend and while she is still a novice, she has so far thoroughly enjoyed her first political campaign experience. Having been a lifelong friend of the candidate, Cathy knew that volunteering to help out with some canvassing would go a long way in what was predicted to be a close race.
Cathy was new to door knocking so she was paired up with a long time canvasser who knew the area very well. Wearing her most comfortable pair of shoes and ensuring her phone was charged fully, Cathy set out to meet her partner at a previously arranged location. As a very experienced canvasser, Greg told Cathy how they used to have to deal with walk lists, maps, and spreadsheets but these days, advances in technology have eradicated all that excess hassle.
This is where Cathy’s experience with smartphones complimented Greg’s great approach with potential voters. Using canvassing apps, helped the pair successfully navigate the neighborhood, keep track of their talking points and record necessary information pertaining to each voter. Like anything, the technology wasn’t without its hiccups but they decided overall it made the process much more efficient and fun.
The Campaign Manager had assigned a new street for the duo to visit today and they wanted to hit each door before 4pm due to a block party taking later on that evening. Being so in touch with the locals due to regularly holding constituency clinics was really beneficial when planning times and days to go canvassing. As they approached their first door of the afternoon, Cathy made Greg aware of the name, age and voting history of the house resident. They knocked on the door and took a step back. When the occupant opened the door, Greg introduced himself, talked about the candidate and offered a leaflet to them. They were greeted with enthusiasm and at the end of the chat, the house owner promised her vote to Greg and Cathy’s candidate. As a way of helping track the reception of voter, Cathy gave her a 5-star rating on her mobile app so the campaign team would know about the positive interaction.
Not all the houses they knocked on gave similar responses, of course, some people weren’t home, some just didn’t answer and some people were voting for the other candidate in the area. It was very easy to keep track of all this information through the app and it would be useful for the next lot of canvasser who visited the area.
Time wise; knocking on doors is obviously consuming. Sometimes you could get stuck talking to someone for 20 mins while others will look at you for 10 seconds before shutting the door in your face. Overall Cathy felt the many supported her candidate and what he stood for. They had mobilized far more people than during the last election cycle and many felt the focus on the grassroots engagement would pay off in the primaries.
Lastly, Cathy was delighted to be paired up with a veteran of the canvassing trade as she had gained so much insight from him on how to talk to potential voters, she felt she contributed to the team also due to her tech savvy ability and comfort with the mobile canvassing app.