Canvassing is an essential part of the campaign process, but it isn’t an easy job. If you want to win, it is standard protocol that you will have to take to the streets. If you want to ensure you are properly prepared to take to the campaign trail, check out this checklist.
Canvassing is such a direct way of advertising that campaign managers would be fools to look past it. It gives you good idea on the ground of how your candidate is doing instead of relying on polls and surveys.
So what can you hope to accomplish by going out canvassing ?
Building A Relationship
For many voters, meeting someone at the doorstep might be their first introduction to a candidate. Forming a relationship with your voters is very important to anyone running for office. Firstly, it’s the least you can offer if you expect them to vote for you. A vote might be free in a literal sense but that doesn’t mean you should waste it. Having a bond with your public not only reflects well on yourself but it also reflects well on your party. A lot of people are party affiliated so if they have a positive experience with one politician, this can transfer to other candidates running in different constituencies.
Get Out The Vote
We love to canvass, love to talk about it, love to write about it, love it. Why you ask? Well, it simply is the most effective way to encourage people to get out and use their vote. Regardless of who you vote for, studies have shown that people who get visited by political campaigners are more likely to cast a vote instead of staying home.
Tracking Voter Issues
This is your opportunity to tell your local representative everything that is on your mind and you know what, they want to hear it! They are there to cater to your needs as a member of the community they represent. Many canvassers nowadays use their mobile phones to keep track of any issues that crop up on the doorstep and also to keep track of ongoing problems they are dealing with. It puts the voter's mind at ease to see that their queries are being followed up on and not just forgotten about once the election is over.
Win Over The Swing Voters
At the end of the day the canvasser is there to do a job, that is, secure a vote for his or her candidate. Most homes will be visited under the knowledge of past voting history,but there is always the undecided few. This presents a challenge for the canvasser, one they relish. They get to show you all the reasons why you should vote their way. The voter also gets a chance to question the canvassers, thus opening up a dialogue.
Building Up Your Volunteer Base
One effect of canvassing that is often overlooked and yet is very important to any political party, is growing the volunteer base for a campaign. If you are implementing a strong ground game team then you require a solid foundation of volunteers and canvassers. This opens the door for new blood to enter your political circle. Also most long term party supporters don’t get an opportunity to showcase their commitment any other time of the year other than election cycles.