A political ground game matters! A ground game or political canvassing is critical for a politician seeking voters. Unfortunately, if someone were to examine the campaign spending of the majority of politicians, most of their dollars are spent on TV and radio advertising. However, in the harsh world of partisan politics, personalization of the message wins votes, and the best way to personalize a campaign is through an effective ground game or canvassing.
Haley Thompson in a recent article in the Chronicle of the Week shared that political campaigns often focus their attention on swaying a voter. The percentage of voters who are susceptible to being influenced to switch from one to another political party has decreased dramatically over the past 20 years. Voters who can be swayed, the centrist voter, has dwindled to only 39% of registered voters. In the current super-partisan political atmospheres, the best strategy is to appeal to voters with whom a politician has a similar ideology. Canvassing then becomes a way to personalize the politician’s message. A tech company, NGP VAN one of the top software providers in the country, has accepted the challenge to assist Democratic campaigns in improving canvassing efficacy.
NGP VAN has developed a digital tool that reduces the number of person-hours campaigns spends on developing an efficient ground game. The tool NGP VAN developed is an iOS and Android compatible app that streamlines the work of the canvass organizer. It used to take canvass organizers hours to build lists of potential voters, maps of canvassing areas, and a script for canvassers to use. The NGP VAN app known as MiniVAN has eliminated most of the work involved in canvassing. The NGP VAN app makes data readily available, and a feature of MiniVAN known as Distributed Canvassing provides personal data so messages can be individualized. If a canvasser knocks on the door of a supporter of unions and if the candidate supports unions, the canvasser can share with the voter where the candidate stands on that issue.
Canvassing is an “up close, and personal” way to campaign and the data provided by NGP VAN carries that personalization to another level. Having an individualized message to share with a voter is a powerful and effective campaign strategy.
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