Door to door campaigning is an essential part of every political campaign. Local campaigns realize the value of door-to-door efforts, and because they have limited funds incorporate this type of activity into their campaign plan. Larger campaign sometimes fail to realize the power of door to door campaigning, and often include it only as an afterthought or as a way to generate media publicity for a day or two. This is a mistake.
No campaign, no matter how large, should fail to utilize door-to-door campaigning. Even presidential campaigns often have a grassroots person who makes sure that local organizations are going door-to-door for the campaign. Is going door-to-door hard work? You bet. It takes lots of planning, lots of manpower, and lots of time. But the effort is well worth the reward.
Why is Door-to-Door So Important?
Door to door campaigning is so effective because it accomplishes four main campaign goals, all with minimal cost:
Door to door campaigning builds name recognition for the candidate in a way that literature drops and paid ads cannot. Personal contact with a voter, even if it is by a volunteer, builds a connection with the candidate that results is positive name identification.
A door-to-door program builds credibility in two ways. First, on the personal level, it builds credibility in the mind of the voter who is contacted because it shows that the campaign is a living, breathing organization, and that people (the volunteers) really are supporting the candidate. Second, on a larger scale, the program builds credibility by giving the impression that there is a large base of support for the candidate that is involved in a well-organized and formidable effort.
Your door-to-door campaign is more effective than any other method for encouraging people to go to the polls. While you will want to use telephones for the bulk of your turn out effort because of the time involved, going door-to-door in selected precincts can help turn out larger numbers of voters because of the personal connection it creates.
Finally, door-to-door campaigning can be an useful means of building a volunteer organization by locating interested people, as well as locating donors and precinct captains, etc.
No matter how large your campaign, don’t skimp on your door-to-door efforts, even if your canvas is entirely volunteer driven and run. Running a door-to-door canvas takes time and hard work, but you’ll be glad you made the effort when you see the results.