Want more voters?Knock on Wood – New York Daily News

With Democrats controlling the Senate and Republicans leading the House, and with many voters deeply divided between hardcore Democrats and hardcore Republicans, we can only conclude that Congress won’t do anything of great significance for the next two years.

Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle called the 2022 election one of many “50-50 years,” moving from “one slippery grip to another” and leading to “deadlock”. The New York Times recently told us why Wall Street loves this kind of policy paralysis; Elon Musk said: “Shared power can curb the worst excesses on both sides.”

Advice from Wall Street or Elon Musk should not be taken seriously. Ending the stalemate is the only way to solve the problem.

Choosing one party to run the country at the federal level is the only way to achieve real progress, and ensuring greater Democratic turnout is the best way to run this country without threatening a government shutdown and having far-right judges limit our rights.

The only way to generate new voters and what I call retiring voters — voters who are exhausted or tired of abstaining from voting — is the old-fashioned way of quitting the vote: knocking on as many doors as possible young and old and LGBTQ in the constituency Places where people of color, people of color, and naturalized citizens live have low turnout and/or high poverty rates.

Democrats must spend more time and money connecting with these voters face-to-face than just via phone calls, emails or leaflets stuck under doors. Volunteers, salaried staff and candidates must knock on doors twice or three, not once, to engage in interactive conversations with potential new and retiring voters.

Democrats used to knock on doors that way before technologists unleashed the VAN system, a privately owned voter database and web hosting provider now used by most campaigns. Created in 2010 by the merger of NGP Software and Vote Activation Networks, Van began competing with Republican Karl Rove’s 22-year-old microtargeting system that helped Republicans win elections.

In 2020, during a statewide race in Mississippi, I tested old-fashioned GOTV without a VAN in a low-turnout, high-poverty, predominantly African-American district in Washington County. Volunteers in other constituencies use VANs to direct their knocks to the homes of residents who usually always vote.

I recruited three people to help knock on doors five hours a day for three months in my adoptive jurisdiction. The four of us left materials when potential voters weren’t home, but we retraced our route and returned at a different time on another day, hoping to meet and convince them to register and/or vote.

Our Democratic nominee lost by 10 points, mostly because Donald Trump took Mississippi by leaps and bounds in 2020. But my low-turnout, high-poverty, African-American district got 35% more votes than it did in 2016. The next door constituency saw only a 25% increase in the use of Mini-VAN applications, and even less in other areas.

daily newsletter

daily newsletter

on weekdays

Catch up on the top five stories of the day every weekday afternoon.

That’s not to say VANs don’t work. Since its invention, it has received rave reviews. Democrats, even at the state and local levels, are using VAN’s microtargeting tools to win more races than ever before. Importantly, the 2018 and 2022 midterm elections drew more young people to the polls than in the past 30 years, thanks in part to VAN’s micro-targeting.

With or without a VAN, Nevada, New Hampshire and Michigan were knocking wildly in this year’s Democrat-won midterm elections. Oddly enough, New York, the stronghold of the Democratic Party, is failing miserably and desperately needs a new party chair with some old fashioned political skills and such.

The key to generating interest in registering and voting for the Democratic Party is engaging in face-to-face conversations about each potential voter’s concerns. It takes a lot of energy, time and patience, especially when they say they no longer trust anyone in the government. It’s hard work, and perhaps not the most effective way to increase turnout. But it can pay huge dividends, especially when the margins are close, because Democrats have long missed the opportunity to persuade countless Americans who agree with them on core issues to vote in larger numbers.

I hope Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia will secure the old-fashioned ballot as part of his winning strategy in December, giving Democrats 51 senators instead of 50.

But one more senator won’t break the impasse. What is dying is the long-sought notion of swing voters and compromise that we have seen very little of in the past 10 or 20 years. Trump’s re-election for the presidency will not induce bipartisanship and compromise.

Compromising for the good of the country is dead. Convincing new and retired voters to vote Democratic is as active as knocking on doors.

Hinton is the author of Penis Politics: A Memoir of Women, Men, and Power. She has served as press secretary for several Democratic politicians.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *