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On the 4-hour drive back from Netroots, I had some time to think. What is my GOTV strategy going to look like for November?

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I want to quickly share 3 things I picked up at Netroots and then I'm interested in your thoughts since I have never done this before.

1. A high-level plan

In the Ohio caucus session, I spoke with a guy from Blanchester(?) who ran a GOTV campaign in his precinct. He took the map of his precinct, divided it up by streets, and recruited someone from each street to make sure the people on that street voted. I like this divide-and-conquer approach because it distributes the work and makes it easier on everyone. Also, you're more likely to know the people on your street and know how to talk to the people on it.

There are 1200 people in my district. I have the list of independents and Democrats by street. And I already know a number of people who I can recruit to help carve up the district. The first step will be to hit the streets we don't have with the core group.

At a very high level, I envision a campaign like this:

  1. Core group of people from precinct interested in GOTV: Canvases for street captains and also act as street captains.
  2. Street captains: Responsible for their street(s).
  3. Voters: Responsible for voting.

2. The ask

Anat Shenker-Osorio (and the entire panel at the Pope is Dope session) had some very interesting things to say about messaging from a behavioral psychology standpoint. One of the things that stuck with me was about how we ask people to do things.

The idea is that we should make the initial ask beyond what we really want. In other words, people are more likely to do something if you first ask them something much more difficult and then scale it back.

How might this play out when it comes to voting? Well, I think our initial ask should be beyond voting. It might be something like, can you spare 4 hours to help talk to your neighbors about voting?

If they say 'yes,' great! Sign 'em up. If they can't, no problem. You can come back with "I know that's a big ask. Everyone is busy with their family and jobs. Can you commit to voting on election day?"

3. What makes people more likely to follow through

Todd Rogers also does some interesting work in behavioral psychology. He argues that the standard voting script of asking people to vote has little effect on peoples' behavior.

His research asks the question: What would make people more likely to vote?

The three things he has found that improve voter turnout:

  1. Prompt to plan
  2. Leverage positive peer pressure
  3. Reinforce identity

Prompt to plan. This involves asking people what their plan is to vote. What time will you be voting? How do you intend to get there? Where will you be coming from? This more than doubles the effect of the best practice script. People are more likely to follow through when they're prompted to make a plan.

Leverage positive peer pressure. People are much more motivated to vote when they believe lots of other people are voting. Having neighbors talk to neighbors is one great way to use positive peer pressure. If you know everyone on your block is voting, you're much more likely to vote.

Reinforce identity  Be a voter. We think of ourselves as good citizens, as the type of people who are likely to vote. People are more likely to vote when you emphasize this voter identity than when you say "Please vote" or "We need your vote."

Here's Todd Rogers talking about this in his own words:

That is what I picked up at Netroots. But I've never done this before. Help me out.

What have you done? What works? What doesn't?

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Too harsh?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm phone banking already (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akadjian, juliesie, ParkRanger, suzq, Mopshell

    and, since CT is pretty solidly blue, might head out to Ohio to my cousins' to try to volunteer out there.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 06:45:13 AM PDT

  •  I'm phone banking and walking once or twice a week (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akadjian, ParkRanger, Mopshell

    But then I have a couple of strong organizations around me.  And there is a good database available.

    I like the idea of street captains.  It is a defined goal for a volunteer.  Canvass your neighborhood and make sure that everyone in your neighborhood you want to vote votes.  Invite them to lunch and drive them to the polls first.

    Another idea is a calling tree.  Each volunteer is responsible for identifying 20 people that they are going to make sure vote and asking those 20 people to go find their own 10 people.

    Small asks are more likely to succeed and many once started will do more.

    Have GOTV strategy potlucks or picnics where you ask people how they think we should GOTV.  If you involve people they are invested.

    If someone complains that means they want to be more involved, so indulge them.

    Forward together to higher ground.

    by NCJim on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 07:01:26 AM PDT

  •  Great info. Thanks! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm on Twitter: ThisMagicalEarth@MagicalEarth

    by ParkRanger on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 08:48:27 AM PDT

  •  my current plan is taking early action... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akadjian doing phone bank work for the combine state/local Democratic committee and our local Democratic Congressman. It's always bothered me in the past when nobody even began doing anything of significance until September, always telling us local activists that it's too early to anything before that.

    This year, thankfully, they began voter outreach efforts in June, with some of us local activists immediately taking up the call.

    We started by calling Democratic voters who were identified as those who tended to vote only occasionally (i.e. during presidential elections), asking them to commit to vote this November.

    Now, we're contact voters of all persuasions trying to convince them to support one or more specific Democratic candidates.

    Early action, in my opinion, could help Democrats significantly. If we just increase turnout by our constituencies by 5-7 percent nationally compared to 2010, it can make a huge difference.

  •  You may find Eclectablog's also Raul Grijalva (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    article of interest from the GOTV 2014 series.  Through the summer I am focusing on voter registration efforts and plan to turn our attention to boots on the ground after labor day.  Raul Grijalva will be our next guest writer discussing voter registration in the Hispanic community.  Planning on publishing this Saturday.  

    And Eclectablog will be happy to send you his "house meeting in a box" template and I imagine also answer any questions as he is very experienced in this area.

    Also NoiseofRain and Badscience had a diary in the series about a unique voter registration effort and they would be good folks to approach.

    Thank you so much for doing this!!!

  •  It was a toss up between Ohio, VA, PA and NC. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think I've decided on NC, where a friend of mine who is very active in local politics currently lives.  I've tentatively blocked out the entire last week before the election for GOTV.

    Should be good.

  •  Without knowing about Daily Kos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    without ever seeing the acronym GOTV let alone understanding what it was and how it was being implemented, I set up a blog site and wrote "A Letter To American Voters". I wanted to help and, at the time, this was the only way I knew how. There may be some elements in it though that could be helpful. I'd appreciate some feedback. (◕‿◕)

    Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

    by Mopshell on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 06:33:41 PM PDT

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