According to NGP VAN, a lot of money was spent on campaigning for the 2016 federal elections, to the tune of $6.4 billion. This money is spent to persuade voters to vote for a candidate, although most people tend to vote strictly Republican or Democrat. Additionally, volunteers for political candidates spent hundreds of hours of time working for campaigns, including canvassing door to door.
Going door to door is the most common way that candidates reach voters. People are asked to donate to the candidate or even better donate their own time to them. Most people in the United States are now pretty used to canvassers coming to their doors and knocking on them. Because all of this costs money campaign staffers need to be careful in allocating the money they have raised so it can be used most efficiently.
NGP VAN says that canvassing has changed over the last few years, though. Using social media to a candidate’s advantage is increasingly common. Another thing that has changed is that the country is more partisan than ever, NGP VAN says. Less than 40% of voters are now considered to be centrist as more and more people vote strictly Democrat or Republican up and down their ballot. This is why some people are now wondering whether canvassing still has a place in political campaigning and what other ways can be used to convince voters to go to the polls for a candidate.
NGP VAN helps progressive candidates by offering them software tools to manage a campaign, including canvassing. These tools have been shown to be effective in getting people to get out and vote and get people to become voters in the first place. One way they do this is by providing access to information to campaign staff so they can target canvassers to those households who have shown to share an ideology with the candidate they are supporting. This increases the efficiency of canvassing, NGP VAN says, by letting canvassers focus their efforts on people who are most likely to actually vote. NGP VAN says that this leads to strategic door-knocking and thus better results.
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