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From someone who has knocked on literally tens of thousands of doors over the past decade in support of candidates and causes, let me tell you this:

• Canvassing is fun.
• Canvassing is not as hard as you think.
• There is no more rewarding feeling than when you connect with someone who would have not otherwise been contacted.

There are other "fringe benefits" too.

• Canvassing is good exercise.
• Canvassing precludes the need to sit at home worrying.
• You are guaranteed to have a laugh or two while on turf.
• You get to see some nice neighborhoods & pretty views
• You will meet fellow canvassers who are also cool people, maybe even (almost) as cool as you!

Finally, and maybe most importantly -

• Canvassing is patriotic

This is what Nate Silver says about knocking on doors:

For every twelve voters who you talk to at their doors, one voter goes and votes who would not otherwise have voted.
This is the final push for this election, one that could easily be called the most important in our lifetimes.

Follow below for a few tips & basics on walking precincts over the final hours of GOTV.

Less yakkin', more crackin'.

We love to talk about politics on this here blog, Facebook, in bars, etc. But then there is actual politicking with a K. Going door to door is the best way to persuade people to vote, or to reconsider who they are voting for.

Be passionate, informed, and attentive.


Most people will tell you the reason they are leaning they way they are. If you get some BS excuse for voting GOP (as most reasons are), be succinct with your reasons that the issue the mention is not as they perceive.

Remember what Stephen Colbert said:

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

Time management-

Don't spend too long talking to a supportive door. As tempting as it may be to sit and jabber about how much Romney sucks, we gotta move on quickly when we are preaching to the choir.

On the other hand...

Don't feed the trolls.

Beware of fake undecideds who are merely trying to waste your time. They are out there.

Use Discretion-

If you come across someone who seems upset, don't make things worse by trying to engage them. Most of these people are trying to throw you off your game because they are wingnut dead-enders. Tell them to have a nice night and move on.

However, if the person is merely upset due to some SuperPAC TV ad and you can assuage their erroneous angst, do your best.  

Every vote counts

I use the knock first, ring the bell 2nd method. I want the resident to come to the door. The time for being shy is over. Let them know you understand the political calls have been annoying. But it all ends as soon as they go to the polls.

Drive them if you must. Call your local voter assistance hotline if you cannot do it yourself.

Here in Milwaukee the Citizen Action # is 414-550-8280.

Maybe others can provide their local assist hotlines in the comments and I can update the diary.

I have to go back to make a 2nd pass on the 2 precincts I am walking today. But I will be back later to respond to comments.

More canvassing tips HERE and HERE

Originally posted to The Laughing Planet on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 11:21 AM PST.

Also republished by SFKossacks and Pink Clubhouse.

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