March 15, 2022
From The Real News Network

“My first experience with deep canvassing was getting deep canvassed,” recalls Ossai, 34, who first encountered the strategy as it was being deployed by the grassroots group Pennsylvania Stands Up to build support for the inclusion of undocumented immigrants in universal healthcare.

She was so swayed by her initial deep canvassing experience that she joined the Pennsylvania Stands Up campaign.

Deep canvassing contrasts sharply with traditional canvassing, which aims to boost turnout by targeting voters affiliated with an issue or party on a mass scale, and presenting facts and information to encourage them to vote; but there’s increasing evidence door-knocking alone is not an effective strategy

The job of a deep canvasser is to listen and gauge participants’ emotional response to a topic, and then methodically build lasting human and emotional connections by sharing personal anecdotes and by asking participants to do the same. In other words, canvassers talk to a participant the way they might talk to them if they weren’t part of a political campaign. When executed well, the strategy can often enable canvassers to cut through people’s entrenched biases and preconceived notions about politics and party lines.

Click here to read the full report from TRNN’s Jaisal Noor on deep canvassing in Pennsylvania.

This series was made possible with the support of the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.