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View Full Version : Advice and suggestions wanted: foot canvassing versus roadside sign waving




jj111
10-12-2007, 08:59 AM
Advice and suggestions wanted: foot canvassing versus roadside sign waving

I have been doing roadside sign waving on busy streets in San Francisco for the last three days. I use a 2 ft. by 4 ft. white Ron Paul sign, sit or stand on the corner, and wave it to the cars coming, change direction of the sign when the traffic direction changes after a light change.

I find that I reach at least 2000, possibly up to 5000, impressions per man hour.

On the other hand, someone in my Meetup group is trying to promote door to door canvassing of registered Republicans. The problems I find with door to door canvassing are:
1) Lack of volunteers. We only get about 10 people to come out per weekend, and they usually spend on average only about 2 to 3 hours max.
2) Inefficiency. They are canvassing in teams of two. Going door to door in San Francisco often requires climbing up steps to reach the bell. They are going at times when most people are not home, like say noon on a Saturday. Also many people if they do answer are not the person on the voter list. And those that are, many do not want to deal with you or talk with you. So in a trial run, last week we had about 12 people spend 3 hours each, and we reached only about 25 or 30 voters from the voter list.

It seems to me that roadside sign waving is 100 times more efficient than door to door canvassing of Republicans and Independents from voter registration lists.

Our group leader is trying to encourage almost everyone in the group to focus mainly on door to door canvassing.

I personally think sign waving is a much better use of our time than door to door canvassing, at least at this time, October 2007, when we have so few volunteers.

There is not a chance in a million that by door to door canvassing we could even hope to reach even 3% of the targeted people on the voter registration list in San Francsico if we worked all the way until January. It is too slow, there are too many precincts, too many people, too many homes that have nobody home....

So I am convinced that precinct canvassing should be de-emphasized at this time, and roadside sign waving should be increased. Does anybody disagree with me? Does anybody agree with me?

Are there any groups out there that are pushing most of their volunteers to do door-to-door canvassing from voter registration lists, and is it working?

On the other hand are there other people out there that are doing a lot of roadside sign waving and is that working?

Please give me your thoughts and suggestions.

hopeforamerica
10-12-2007, 09:04 AM
We are going to start canvasing this weekend in our group. I think that name recognition is important and sign waving accomplishes that. However, nothing beats talking to people about Ron Paul. I think both activities are vital at this time.

The reason it's hard to get volunteers, is that it is out of many people's comfort zone. It is for me, big time! I'll let you know how it goes for me after this Sunday's efforts.

micahnelson
10-12-2007, 09:06 AM
I think we should be targeting events. We don't really have the man power it takes to canvas large areas.

If you are in a closed primary state, you need to concentrate on Republicans and Independents by canvasing. Attending likely republican events, religious rallies, gun shows, ... toby keith concerts? lol...

If you are in an open primary state hit places with heavy groups of people. Fairs, Halloween events... etc.

If you have 25-30 people canvasing can work, but if we aren't running a traditional campaign and in some situations we may be more effective using nontraditional means.

Sign waving is ok, but I don't think it can be more effective than face to face.

Nefertiti
10-12-2007, 09:11 AM
All I think of when I think of you with a big sign in SF is that Chinese guy in Union Square with his big sign that has been there for years!

Canvas events. Canvas events where people are waiting in line. Canvas where there are a lot of people just sitting around, like in a public park. People are more likely to take a flier from you if they aren't in a hurry to get somewhere. Or people waiting to ride the cable cars. Go down to that plaza where they set up the iceskating rink. Go to the ferry terminal while people are waiting for the ferry or the Transbay Terminal. Find out when big conventions are going to be in SF and canvas them with fliers targeted at the conference audience. Go over to Berkeley and stand on a corner on Telegraph handing out fliers. Here in Chicago events are the main way that RP has been promoted. They talked about going door to door at the Meetup the other night, but frankly I think that would work better in the suburbs than an urban area.

kylebrotherton
10-12-2007, 03:21 PM
I think we should be targeting events. We don't really have the man power it takes to canvas large areas. ...Sign waving is ok, but I don't think it can be more effective than face to face.

Canvassing is way more powerful than sign-waiving, according to the manuals I've read. Our group is focusing on local neighborhoods. It doesn't matter if you only have two people, you need to do it. Here's a few reasons why:

1. Nothing shows local support like a local supporter showing up at your door.
2. You get to put a flier in their hand, so they actually learn something about him.
3. When you check a precinct off on your list, you know each home was contacted.
4. The voters have a chance to ask questions about the candidate.
5. When you find local supporters, you can recruit them as volunteers in your group.
6. ... And you can come back to their house with a yard sign.
7. It shows that Ron Paul volunteers are normal, intelligent people.
8. They can go online immediately, and learn more about the candidate.
9. You can see their current yard signs and bumber stickers, and better target them.
10.It looks way less fringy than sign-waiving on a freeway.

wgadget
10-12-2007, 03:26 PM
Our group waves signs and passes out literature at the stop lights on boulevard-type streets (with a median strip). Seems to work well. I've noticed that if the first driver in the lineup takes literature, the others in back of them do, too. And vice versa.

One man could do it, but extra help would make the job a little easier.

katao
10-12-2007, 03:36 PM
Canvassing is way more powerful than sign-waiving, according to the manuals I've read. Our group is focusing on local neighborhoods. It doesn't matter if you only have two people, you need to do it. Here's a few reasons why:

1. Nothing shows local support like a local supporter showing up at your door.
2. You get to put a flier in their hand, so they actually learn something about him.
3. When you check a precinct off on your list, you know each home was contacted.
4. The voters have a chance to ask questions about the candidate.
5. When you find local supporters, you can recruit them as volunteers in your group.
6. ... And you can come back to their house with a yard sign.
7. It shows that Ron Paul volunteers are normal, intelligent people.
8. They can go online immediately, and learn more about the candidate.
9. You can see their current yard signs and bumber stickers, and better target them.
10.It looks way less fringy than sign-waiving on a freeway.

Very good points. When you find/convert people, don't forget to get them bumper stickers, yard signs, ask them to donate and help out!

steve005
12-17-2007, 02:53 PM
I agree, I have done both, I think going door to door should be done closer to the election, or primary, sign waving is good if you have a good visable place to stand that has a lot of traffic