Door-Knocking in Election 2020

Yesterday, Lara Putnam and I published a piece in the American Prospect called “Door-Knocking in a Life-or-Death campaign.” The piece compares the very different ground games being run by the Trump and Biden campaigns during the pandemic. Although rumors were flying yesterday afternoon that the Biden campaign was going to begin canvassing as part of the final month’s GOTV plans, with today’s announcement that the Trumps have COVID, it’s unclear how the campaigns will move forward.

Whatever the campaign decides, it’s worth highlighting that our collective research over many years has found that face-to-face campaigning is much more effective when it is conducted with friends and neighbors rather than strangers who are knocking on doors (and may have parachuted into the district to do so). If you’re looking for historical evidence, I discuss the differences in the ways the George W. Bush and John Kerry Campaigns ran their respective ground games in 2004 in Activism, Inc (Stanford University Press 2006).