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Canvassing Tech: How It’s Influencing Campaigns, and How Sole Strategies Is Cornering the Market

Canvassing Tech: How It's Influencing Campaigns, and How Sole Strategies Is Cornering the Market
Photo Courtesy: Sole Strategies

Nothing creates a connection with the voters like canvassing does. That direct ear to the hearts and minds of the people is made easy through human-to-human interactions at the doors. Canvassing also converts voters more than any other method of voter contact. No ad, email, or even phone call can persuade constituents to turn up and vote like a face-to-face conversation with a voter. That’s why it’s so important that any candidate ensures they have an effective field team. And fortunately for those running, canvassing is evolving. More and more tech is being launched into the political space, and Sole Strategies, a woman-owned, women-run, Democratic political agency, has its finger on the pulse of the power of canvassing and the tech that’s changing campaigns. 

The Traditional Canvassing Model

The old-school boots-on-the-ground campaign method of canvassing has been around for years. Longer than many of us have been alive, candidates and their teams have been knocking on doors and making their mark, with some of the earliest door hangers being from the Eisenhower administration back in 1952. In recent history, one of the most successful door-to-door campaigns was the 2008 Obama campaign, reaching millions of voters and inspiring them to elect the first black president. Before becoming a full-service political agency, Sole Strategies got its start in door-knocking operations, knowing the potential it has to win campaigns. Statistically, this direct-contact strategy converts more voters than any other method.

However, while canvassing is enormously successful, the traditional pen-and-paper model has its risks. Paper can be lost, destroyed, or forged with no real preventative measures. Political consultants lack the bandwidth to oversee a large-scale ground operation, and agencies managing and overseeing the work use extra time and resources to ensure its accuracy where that energy could be allocated elsewhere. Using canvassing technologies has changed this. It helps candidates and firms save time, helps them track their responses more efficiently, and provides an easy method of keeping precious data safe. 

The Evolution: Canvassing Tech Introduction

Over the past several years, there have been great advancements in technology that have brought canvassing into the future. Canvassing apps have begun changing how campaigns run their field teams. Instead of writing down every response received at the doors, canvassing apps allow teams to pre-program specific responses, upload lists of voter data, and track the process digitally. High-functioning canvassing apps like The Sole App, an app developed by Sole Strategies, also allow campaign managers to track teams in live time, giving teams the ability to confirm that doors are actually hit and provide a level of safety for canvassers, knowing that their campaign and leads on the ground can find them if they’re ever canvassing in a dangerous area.

Sole Strategies says that candidates should consider what functionalities a team needs when looking to use tech for campaign support. Consider what type of questions you want to ask voters and which platforms will best support your needs. But they say key features that will be important regardless of the campaign size are GPS-enabled mapping for optimized routes, real-time data collection and voter insights, and integration with campaign management software. Look for these abilities when deciding on any quality app.

How Apps Have Influenced Campaigns

Since the technology can be used for any number of different canvassing needs like GOTV canvassing, Street Canvassing, Deep Canvassing, and petitioning, canvassing apps are also saving hours of paid time on a part of the campaign that is arguably the most important. Sole Strategies says the biggest challenge with canvassing operations is ensuring the doors are getting knocked on and your staffers are actually doing their required work. This has been a problem for campaigns of all levels, leaving campaigns open for speculation, even when all the work is fully accounted for. The apps are changing this by closing loopholes, improving efficiency and accuracy, and saving money and hours for campaigns that need to spend each penny wisely in order to succeed. Sole Strategies suspects that as time goes on, campaign managers will see a dramatic drop in the number of challenges over the legitimacy of canvassing numbers, which will also increase the bandwidth of team resources.

Making personal connections to voters is one of the most effective ways to gain lasting support. Sole Strategies has perfected this strategy and encourages all candidates, whether a first-time candidate or an incumbent, to make field operations the pinnacle of their campaign. Canvassing is what converts voters. It is a tried and true method that makes voters feel seen and heard. Giving the floor to voters and assessing what it is that they really want from their leaders shows a candidate’s commitment to voters. Getting a candidate’s message heard often requires teams to cover the number of doors that need knocking. Canvassing technology allows political operatives to manage those teams and streamline the operations of the field programs so doors are hit efficiently and with precise record keeping.


Published by Khy Talara


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