Since March 4, Hope Springs from Field volunteers have been knocking on doors (as weather permitted) in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia. These all are critical states that will determine who is President and which party controls the Senate in 2025. So, not much at stake.
3,249 volunteers came out to knock on doors in their states last Saturday (and Sunday in Pennsylvania — GOTV canvassing). We continue to knock on doors with our systemic Deep Organizing, conversational approach designed to engage voters at their doors and elicit valuable information that will help Democrats during our Fall 2024 (and, in the case of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, 2023) GOTV efforts. We also feel like this approach is a great introduction to canvassing for the volunteers who have never knocked on doors before, and especially for those volunteers who initially feel intimidated by the activity. We make it easy!
Hope Springs volunteers knocked on 220,305 doors. While we have stopped canvassing in three states, GOTV in Pennsylvania really picked up our efforts numerically. Had we included the Friday, Monday and Tuesday doors, we’d have added another 50,000 to this number. For our purposes here, we don’t because we want to compare like to like each week. But those numbers do get included in our final doors count, which grassroots volunteers ambitiously set a goal of knocking 6 million doors this year (hard to see how we really make that, but it’s definitely an ambitious goal!).
Volunteers got to talk to 16,852 voters this week — about 5,000 more than we had the week before. They opened the door and at least took our lit. A very high percentage of them will respond to our query about whether they are registered to vote at this address. Anywhere between 55% to 65% of the voters we actually talk to will agree to answer questions on our Issues Survey. The peak was definitely the Saturday before the Ohio special election, but last weekend saw more voters open their door than any time prior to GOTV. Which is something!
But our number 1 piece of advise (something all our organizers are supposed to start with) when training volunteers is, Smile! When i lead trainings, i tell them to “Smile, because no one you talk to today will remember a single thing you say. But they will always remember the impression you left.” A DKos commenter told me that this was in line with Maya Angelou:
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Hope Springs from Field volunteers walk with an Issues Canvass, where we ask voters what they think and whether they had a message for their elected officials. 10,512 voters answered questions from the survey, in whole or in part.
By far, the highest response numbers always are in the second question, about what issue voters think “is most urgent” at this time (Q2). The “send a message to your Member” (Q5) is also very popular. And we are getting a lot of responses to the “Is there a single issue that will determine how you vote” question (Q7), too — something we added in 2022 because we were finding voters answering differently to the Top Issue question than to what was actually driving their vote. This is incredibly valuable information for those who do persuasion canvassing next year!
Hope Springs from Field PAC has been knocking on doors since March in a grassroots effort to prepare the 2024 Electoral Battleground in what has been called the First and Second Rounds of a traditional Five Round Canvass. We are canvassing Democrats and unaffiliated voters with a systematic approach that reminds them not only that Democrats care, but Democrats are determined to deliver the best government possible to all Americans.
Obviously, we rely on grassroots support, so if you support field/grassroots organizing, voter registration (and follow-up) and our efforts to protect our voters, we would certainly appreciate your support:
Hope Springs from Field understands that volunteer to voter personal interactions are critical. Knocking on doors has repeatedly been found to be the most successful tactic to get voters to cast a ballot and that is the goal of what we do.
We ask voters who talk to us whether they approve or disapprove of the job the president, their incumbent Senator (up for election this year), and how their governor is doing. After the primaries, we also ask about the Democratic Senate and nominees. But a very high percentage of the voters who provide responses to the Issues Survey will tell us what they think about their president, or senator or governor. But especially president. In Ohio, we ask a supplemental question related to Issue 1 about the constitutional amendment on Ohio’s ballots in November ensuring Reproductive Freedom in the state.
We took a Summer break in Arizona and resumed knocking on doors this month. 51% of the voters we talked to on Saturday had a favorable impression of President Biden. 6% of voters approved of the job Senator Sinema was doing. We also ask about the likely Democratic nominee for Senate and Ruben Gallego’s job approval was 51% this week. Gallego’s number may have topped out in May. We don’t know (yet) if Sinema will really run, but we assume she will. Arizona is a critical race for both the Presidential and the Senate next year. 53% also had a favorable impression of Governor Hobbs last week.
In Georgia, we faced the same dilemma we did in North Carolina. While there is no Senate race next year, Georgia remains a key component of our Electoral College map (North Carolina is a state that Biden lost but is targeting in 2024). And we are still finding voters who need photo IDs, and we have been putting together Photo ID days at Registrar’s Offices in the state for voters to get their free Voter IDs. But our organizers and volunteers choose to continuing canvassing efforts in Georgia.
52% of the voters we talked to approved of the job President Biden was doing. Georgia doesn’t have a Senate election this cycle, our efforts here is a pure Electoral College play. 33% approved of the job Governor Kemp was doing. When we started knocking on doors in the Atlanta metro region, Kemp’s approval increased in comparison to the results we saw last year in Georgia’s Black Belt.
We continue knocking on doors in Michigan since it has both an Open Senate seat and is a key Electoral College state in 2024. Among the voters we talked to last Saturday, 50% had a favorable opinion of President Biden. 54% had a positive view of Gov. Whitmer. As noted in an earlier diary, we continue to find voters who tell us their governor is “a star!” A slew of candidates have announced in this race, but, right now, only Elissa Slotkin has raised significant amounts of money. $28 million was raised for this seat in 2018.
In Montana, 48% of the voters we talked to last Saturday approved of the job President Biden is doing. 14% disapproved. 67% approved of the job Senator Tester is doing, while 4% disapprove. 31% approved of what Governor Gianforte is doing, while 39% disapproved. The new governor really isn’t leaving much of an impression with Montana voters — or, at least, don’t want to admit to it. An overwhelming majority of the voters we talk to in Montana are unaffiliated voters.
In Nevada, 53% of the voters Hope Springs from Field volunteers talked to approved of the job President Biden was doing while 7% disapproved. 65% had a favorable impression of the job Jacky Rosen was doing. 5% disapproved. 32% of voters approved of the job Governor Lombardo was doing and 41% disapproved. There is definitely a difference between the results we see in the Reno area than we find in the Vegas area about the governor and we were able to knock on doors in the Las Vegas area last weekend.
In Ohio, 52% of the voters we talked to on Saturday approved of the job President Biden was doing. 9% expressed disapproval. 65% approved of the job Sherrod Brown was doing; 6% disapproved. 31% approved of the job that Governor DeWine was doing and 33% disapproved. You might note that Brown got a considerable bump and DeWine took quite a dive — while we were doing a GOTV/Issues Canvass in the month leading up to the August 8th election. This was because we did (slightly) narrow our focus and include more Democrats in our canvassing universe for the special election.
We remain focused on the possibility that Ohio’s Congressional Map may be redone. “New Ohio Statehouse and U.S. Congressional maps are due this year, just like they were last year. But political scientists in the state aren’t holding out hope that major changes are coming.” “In-fighting among Republicans has made any agreement at all uncertain” but we definitely want to protect the small gains we made there last year. The Ohio Supreme Court asked attorneys on both sides of the redistricting debate to argue the impact of a North Carolina case on Ohio's map and we await their decision.
In Pennsylvania, the voters we spoke with gave Biden a 54% job approval rating; 8% disapproved. 66% of the voters we talked to approved of the job Bob Casey was doing in the Senate and only 5% disapproved. Governor Shapiro received a 54% approval rating last week. 6% disapproved. We find that Pennsylvania voters are quite consistent here. But if you noticed that Democrats didn’t receive the same kind of boost they got in Ohio before it’s special election it is because that was a statewide special and the one in Pennsylvania was only a small state house election.
50% of the voters we talked to in Wisconsin approved of the job President Biden is doing while 9% disapproved. 67% of them approved of the job Tammy Baldwin is doing in the Senate and 7% disapproved. This may have something to do with the fact that the Republicans who were being recruited to run against her have passed on the race. We are sure that her prospective opponents have polled to determine their chances and have found the results disappointing. 48% of voters approved of the job Governor Evers is doing while 12% disapproved.
If you support our grassroots efforts to register voters at their doors, strengthen voter support for Democrats, turn out voters and protect the vote, please help:
Each week, we ask voters what is the “most urgent issue facing” us today. Lots of concern about the Economy and Jobs. Reproductive Healthcare continues to motivate voters, not just on this question (Top Issue facing the nation). It dominates our “Single Issue that will determine your vote” question. Climate Change and the Heatwave are also very prominent right now.
46 people filled out new voter registration forms for their states during last weekend’s canvassing. I write forms but most often these are completed on a tablet from their state’s election administrative website. Another 295 voters updated their address, as required by HAVA. We differentiate between the two, though, because brand new voters are often ignored by campaigns and we hope to compensate for that somewhat by having volunteers send them post cards before the election and they are also getting robocalls thanking them for registering. You can see that the number of voters registered is not a function of the number of volunteers present or doors knocked. Clearly, they help, but there’s no guarantee that more doors equals more voters registered. Even though registering voters is a primary rationale behind early canvassing, it is not the only one. Just wanted to point that out.
We collected 596 Constituent Service Request Forms last week. In general, we send these to Democratic elected officials responsible for the requested functions, but if the appropriate office is held by a Republican, we still send it along. For Democrats, though, we encourage them to reach out immediately to the voter who filled out the CSR and let them know they are working on the issue. This credit-taking is enormously valuable to the Democratic office-holder.
We continue to walk with Incident Reports, and we ask people who say they are concerned about the upcoming general election if they want to fill one out. Last Saturday, 13 voters filled out Incident Reports, detailing acts of voter intimidation or voter suppression they witnessed in a prior election.
We pass along Incident Reports to the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and NALEO (those that correspond to Hispanic precincts), and send copies to state Democratic Party committees. But our purpose is to combine this information with the two independent databases of voting incidents to look for patterns before the election and use that information for warning district, state and U.S. attorneys’ offices that we could see those patterns resurface on election day. We will also use it to target Election Day Protection activity.
By starting early, and aiming towards super-compliance with these really, really onerous provisions in some states, Hope Springs from Field PAC seeks to undermine that strategy, while informing voters about the new laws and regulations aimed at them. There’s a lot of work to be done, but fortunately, the three states that are making it most difficult are also states in which you can knock on doors at least 10 months out of the year. And, with your help, we will be there, getting our people to super-comply with these restrictive provisions.
I am aware of the volume of data presented in this post. But it is the result of the data we collect at the door, to be entered in VAN and accessible by all Democratic candidates who utilize VAN this Fall. The focus on the “horse-race” aspect of this data is unintentional, because the data is what the it is. It is useful for Democratic candidates and provides paths to victory for data-driven candidates (which most campaigns are these days).
We really do need financial support to continue these efforts. If you are able to support our efforts to protect Democratic voters, especially in minority communities, expand the electorate, and believe in grassroots efforts to increase voter participation and election protection, please help:
If you would rather send a check, you can follow that link for our mailing address, as well. Thank you for your support. This work depends on you!