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Field and Targeting
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  • Start with my story of first meeting PDW. Field the “Wellstone Way” is more than just a good way to deliver a vote – although it is very effective at that. It is about engaging politics with people who see no connection between themselves and elections – people like me – and then how to move people to become supporters, nurture and support them to become activists (those people who make phone calls even when they hate phoning – people like me) and then provide the support to create the next generation of leaders. This is why I love field!
  • Review each of these briefly. The key point is that each part of the field program addresses a different group of people and has a different role. There will be whole sessions on basebuilding, volunteer recruitment and GOTV, -- so the rest of the session will be spent focusing specifically on direct voter contact.
  • Quick slide simply to say that once we have a targeted universe (from the targeting session) direct voter contact begins with IDing voters to determine who is a supporter, who is an opponent and who is undecided – and then focuses its energy on persuading undecided voters.
  • 1 = volunteer recruitment (these are the folks who will do much of the direct voter contact) -- (tease out what is the difference between a 2 and a 1) 5 = ignore further contact (waste of resources) 2-3 = core persuasion program 4 = persuasion program based on resources, on targeting (e.g. demographic slices that might tend to more likely swing toward support) GOTV = 1s and sometimes 2s depending on resources, win number, how they are breaking, and state of the campaign (e.g. if you are desperate turn them out on a hope).
  • Voter Persuasion/Direct Voter Contact (the specifics of a voter contact program will be discussed a bit later) What is meant by direct voter contact? (e.g. we mean = delivering a message to an actual undecided or targeted voter — different than a paid ad) Key point: Repeated conversations = 5-9 times minimum. How many of you think this is too much? More is better. Note: Here is where there will be push back on contacting too much: Three responses to the “too much” argument: Never heard of a campaign losing because they contacted people too many times (but have heard of them losing for not contacting enough). The push back from voters will only happen when you’re being noticed – it is music to my ears (though this isn’t an excuse for stupidity – e.g. 6 phone calls in a week – that’s not using all of the tools) Think of learning a new language – how many times does it take before you know a word? That is when you’re trying to pay attention. Tools of voter contact: Note: we will come back to this slide and discuss each point in much further detail – it is meant simply to introduce the tools of direct voter contact. The key point here is to go back to the point that multiple contacts will be “too much” when only one tool is used and it is not used wisely. Transition to next slide: First we want to get out a few guidelines for building an effective voter contact program.
  • Top: The story goes … A campaign manager goes into a print shop and says that she wants a job done well, she needs it fast, and she doesn’t have much money. The printers says “Choose any two of the three.” This is also the ironclad rule of voter contact/persuasion. For voter persuasion the translation is: Broad (hits lots of people), Cheap (uses limited resources of time, people, money) or good (actually persuades people) – choose any two of the three. It can be Broad and Good, but it won’t be cheap (either lots of time, people, and/or money). It can be cheap and broad (but won’t be good – e.g. robo calls). It can be good and cheap but you won’t be talking to very many people. This is the key rule for building a voter contact strategy. So choose any two.
  • Note: This may be the slide you end up on. The contact rates to the right are not the focus of this slide. Participants have this info in more detail in their voter contact formula handout. The numbers are merely meant to help illustrate what you get out of each tool (think back to Broad-Cheap-Good). Voter Persuasion/Direct Voter Contact Tools Tools are listed roughly in order of personal and effectiveness – the point is not to use certain tools (each has its place and role) – but to know what the trade-offs are Go briefly through advantages/disadvantages: Go briefly through advantages/disadvantages: Door-to-door canvassing; Phones; House parties; Direct mail (introduce but do not deal with in depth for this program) E-mail; Dropping lit Go through each tool and provide examples of what specific circumstances the tool would be most effectively used – and how they might be layered (some examples are listed on the next slide) Point: Each tool has its place and its role in an effective voter contact program – building it into a program is about trying to get the more of the most effective ways of voter contact given the campaign’s resources (again refer back to Broad-Cheap-Good).
  • Examples of ways to overlay voter contact tools. These can be used – or use your own examples of layering.
  • Note: Folks have this example in their handouts. Implementing a Voter Contact Program Give example of a voter contact program. Discuss importance of repeated contacts over time (e.g. minimum of 4 - 6 field contacts every 1-3 weeks) Voter Contact Case Study: (GILBERT — 1997) City Council Race — 18,000 registered voters (75% VOTER TURNOUT); came in 2nd in primary with 25% of vote to 45% by winner; conservative district — Gilbert most progressive city councilor — nonpartisan race; won General Election by 300 votes Candidate Doorknocking (summer) Introductory Mailing (likely voters - pre-primary) Post Primary Voter Contact Program (7 weeks) ID calling (Candidate ID and Issue ID by volunteer phonebank to highly likely voters — 6000 HH) 2 Issue specific persuadable mailings to IDed undecided) Candidate call to Undecideds (1300 calls in 6 weeks) Targeted persuasion calls by issue persuaders to IDed undecided (on the issues identified) Follow-up note from candidate to all voters called Targeted doorknock of IDed undecided likely voters (when possible — ran out of time to fully implement) Lit dropped district weekend before primary Visibilities in high visibility intersections Friday through Election Day. GOTV calls and mailings to all IDed supporters and those targeted those who were undecided and contacted by Gilbert directly (mail and phone call)
  • Voter Persuasion/Direct Voter Contact (the specifics of a voter contact program will be discussed a bit later) What is meant by direct voter contact? (e.g. we mean = delivering a message to an actual undecided or targeted voter — different than a paid ad) Key point: Repeated conversations = 5-9 times minimum. How many of you think this is too much? More is better. Note: Here is where there will be push back on contacting too much: Three responses to the “too much” argument: Never heard of a campaign losing because they contacted people too many times (but have heard of them losing for not contacting enough). The push back from voters will only happen when you’re being noticed – it is music to my ears (though this isn’t an excuse for stupidity – e.g. 6 phone calls in a week – that’s not using all of the tools) Think of learning a new language – how many times does it take before you know a word? That is when you’re trying to pay attention. Tools of voter contact: Note: we will come back to this slide and discuss each point in much further detail – it is meant simply to introduce the tools of direct voter contact. The key point here is to go back to the point that multiple contacts will be “too much” when only one tool is used and it is not used wisely. Transition to next slide: First we want to get out a few guidelines for building an effective voter contact program.

Field and Targeting Field and Targeting Document Transcript

  • Field — The Wellstone Way! Building a targeted voter contact program Candidates
    • Field is direct voter contact and is an integral part of the campaign
    • Winning an election + developing leadership
    • Energizing your base as a winning strategy
    • Heavy reliance on volunteers to do the work
    Field Philosophy
  • Targeted Field Principles
    • With limited resources you can’t talk to everyone in the universe.
    • Targeting creates a much smaller universe.
    • The field can then talk to individual voters.
  • Five Key Components of the Field Electoral Base Building 1. Expanding the electorate. Voter Contact/Persuasion 4. Convincing existing electorate. Volunteer Recruitment 2. Engaging existing supporters. Visibility 3. Energizing supporters. GOTV 5. Mobilizing supporters to vote. Voter Contact/Persuasion 4. Convincing existing electorate.
  • Getting Started
  • Identifying universes Everyone Our City Ineligible voters Eligible Voters Unregistered Voters Frequent or Consistent Voters Infrequent and New Voters Opponents Supporters/Base Undecided/Swing
  • Targeting Matrix Very Strongly Vote Progressive Persuadable /Swing Voters Very Strongly Vote Conservative Always Vote ID Supporters ( Recruit Vols) Persuasion #1 Sometimes Vote GOTV Persuasion #2 Seldom or Never Vote Basebuilding #1 Basebuilding #2
    • First, determine expected turnout: Based on 3 or more similar past elections expect 66.7% turnout. = 30,000 voters
    • Then, find your Win Number
    • = 30,000 divided by 2 + 1 vote
    • Win number = 15,001
    • [add 4% cushion]
    • = 15,601 = working win number
    Let’s assume a 2-person race and 45,000 registered voters: This means your campaign needs to convince 15,601 people to vote for your candidate or issue to win. Determining your Win #
    • Look at worst races run by your party
      • Throw out the odd-balls
      • Look at all races
    • Example: (lowest races past 8 years)
      • 2006 = 36%
      • 2004 = 35%; 28% (3-way race)
      • 2000 = 33%
      • Discard odd race (28%) and average the rest = 35%
    Determining Base Vote Average Worst Progressive Vote =35% Base Progressive Vote = 35%
    • Working Win Number
    • 15,600
    • Minus Expected Base Vote
    • - 10,500 (30,000 x 35% base vote)
    • What is your Vote Deficit?
    • = 5,100
    Let’s assume a 2-person race and expected turnout of 30,000: Your campaign needs to 5,100 more people than in your base to vote for your candidate or issue to win. Determining Vote Deficit
  • Total Population (100,000) Targeting Strategy Win number = 15,601 A progressive candidate needs to find 5,100 more votes. Where? Population 18+ (65,000) Registered (45,000) Non-Registered (20,000) Voters (30,000) Non-Voters (15,000) Progressives (10,500) Conservatives (12,000) Swing or Persuadables (7,500)
  • Total Population (100,000) Targeting Strategy Win number = 15,601 A progressive candidate needs to find 5,100 more votes. Where? Population 18+ (65,000) Registered (45,000) Non-Registered (20,000) Voters (30,000) Non-Voters (15,000) Progressives (10,500) Conservatives (12,000) Swing or Persuadables (7,500)
    • The quick summary of what it will take to win.
    • Example #1: To win the campaign needs to target independent voters; plus progressive sporadic voters and register in high performance/low turnout districts + heavy Latino and Native American precincts.
    Strategy Statement
    • Geography
      • Precincts, districts, states where types of targeted voters live (e.g. high performance/low turnout = GOTV target)
      • Past election results; NCEC; and/or census data
    • Demographics
      • Key constituencies that have shown strong past support (e.g. labor)
      • Key networks (e.g. personal, institutional, issue, cultural)
    • Past voting history
      • Sporadic or consistent voters
      • Likely primary, general or new voters
      • Voter file data
    Key Targeting Tools
  • Micro-targeting
    • What it is.
      • Powerful tool commonly used by marketers
      • Segments electorate much more precisely
      • Helps predict voting behavior based on multiple factors.
  • Micro-targeting 101
    • Voter file
    2. Consumer Data 3. Large survey Statistical Analysis Correlation between data and a voting behavior Segment and/or Cluster Voters
  • Building an Effective Voter Contact Program Moving from “who” to “how”
  • Voter contact is targeted, ID’s voters, then contacts them. Direct Voter Contact ID
    • Persuasion
    • Direct conversations
    • Relevant content
    • Repeated contacts
  • Assessing the level of support of a voter is a strategic decision. Voter ID Assessment 1 = Strong Supporter 2 = Leaning toward support 3 = Undecided 4 = Leaning opposed 5 = Strongly opposed Typical 5 point scale:
    • Repeated conversations with actual voters
      • 5-9+ contacts in last 2 months
      • 3-5+ contacts in last 3 weeks
    • Voter Contact Tools
      • Door-to-door
      • House parties
      • Phones
      • Mail
      • Dropping literature
      • Robo calls
      • Internet
    Voter Persuasion Tools
  • Fast Good Cheap For field persuasion contacts: Broad Talk to large numbers of people. Cheap
    • Use limited
    • resources:
    • Time
    • People
    • Money
    Good Lasting – persuades voters.
  • Effectiveness of Contacts More Personal More Effective More Resources
    • Voter Contact Tools
      • Door-to-door
      • Personal networks (e.g. labor to labor)
      • House parties
      • Phones
      • Mail
      • Dropping literature
      • Robo calls
      • Internet
    Which groups to target for what activities? How do they work together Voter Persuasion Strategies
  • Sample ways to overlay contact tools
    • Doorknock
      • Doorknock (ID and lit piece)
      • Direct mail (mail on specific issues to 3’s)
      • Volunteer call (persuasion and re-ID)
    • Direct Mail
      • Robo call (timed for or 1-2 days before mail)
      • Direct mail (targeted on specific issues)
      • Volunteer Phone call (follow up on content of lit piece)
    • House parties
      • Lit drop (1-2 week before party in targeted neighborhood)
      • Volunteer phone call (targeted to neighborhood)
      • House party (follow up on lit piece)
    • City Council District 2
    • Registered voters: 18,000 (85.7%); estimated voter turnout = 75%
    • Households: 12,000
    • Persuadable Universe: 6000 HH (= voter file swing voters; ID 3’s)
    • Primary Day: September 8; General Election: November 3
    • Budget: about $7500
    Sample Voter Contact Program 1 3 2 5 4 7 6 8 1 3 2 4 5
    • Repeated, targeted conversations with actual voters
    • The more personal , the better
    • All about hitting your win number
    Field the Wellstone Way Recap!
    • Intensity:
      • Target: 5-9+ contacts in last 2 months.
      • Target: 3-5 contacts in last 3 weeks.