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View Full Version : Simple guide for Precinct Captains to win their area




cswake
01-12-2008, 08:51 PM
The meet-up and I canvassed my precinct today, about 1000 residences, in 7 hours. Only one of us had done so before. The total precinct of 1500 could be covered in 16 hours, two days, with five members. IMHO, here's what all of us should be doing: (this will be revised as we hone our methodology)

1) Get a list of donors in your precinct, contact them, and offer to put a free yard sign in their yard.

To do this, contact your state coordinator listed in voters.ronpaul2008.com and ask for donors in your zip code. (From your precinct walking list of addresses, plug them into here and get the zip: http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp) With this information, contact the donors and ask them if you could put a yard sign on their lawn. (Apartments, Condos, can put on porch or doorway depending on HOA) I first contact them by email and then follow-up by phone if they don't respond in two days. (Keep a log!) Once they give you the go-ahead, you'll have visual tokens of support for Paul for the next week. I've found that when I offer free signs, the donors will ask for EXTRA stuff to hand out to friends and family. Look to my post on the second page for the email I send out.

2) After the signs have "fermented" the neighborhood, canvass your precinct with a few buddies - preferably women or older folks. (Sorry, it works!)

Canvass the following weekend(s), you will generate a lot more interest and friendly answers at the door. (KNOCKING/RINGING is best, leave a slim jim otherwise) Just find your local meetup group, schedule a date and time and you will have a few generous souls to help you. Weekends are BEST since few people seem to be in a rush, plus you can bring people their newspaper! 1-5pm seemed to be the peak time to get conversations and hand out literature. If you can afford it, DVDs are just phenomenal. I'm a fan of http://ronpaulmessage.com/ .

3) On primary day, stand outside your polling area with a large sign that says: Reasons to Vote for Ron Paul, list a few that you have found important to your precinct.

You'll need to contact ... someone about the rules of standing outside the voting area. (Distance, literature distribution, etc.) I don't know who they are. I believe you should be able to find the poll coordinator for your county and he or she could answer it.

MISCELLANEOUS:
Look to the door-to-door guides on how to approach people... this is by-far more effective than just leaving literature! We've gotten democrats to look at Paul, Huckabee supporters agreeing that Paul is more electable, and the best thing is that YOU WILL DEVELOP A REPERTOIRE with your local voters and lock-in the delegate position. Just make sure to smile, be polite, and find issues you can agree on. Once you do, hand them the slim jim and indicate the website, and let them know to research it because they might find his other positions agreeable.

Even Giuliani, McCain, etc. supporters THANKED me for taking the time. A middle school teacher said that he was going to spend more time teaching the Constitution. It just pays off!!

Far and away, the elderly are more receptive, more likely to vote, and more likely to agree that America is heading for trouble. More often than not, they are lonely, so be careful of spending too much time. I've found ten minutes to be a reasonable compromise where I don't feel like I'm being rude - I politely interject and say that I must cut the conversation short because I have so many houses to cover in the precinct.

When new members come, make sure they know all of Ron Paul's positions, even if they don't agree with them. We don't want a voter converting one of our supporters. :)

Every bit counts. One of my meetup members mentioned that I looked more approachable wearing a yellow polo rather than a black one. Choose clothing that makes you look conservative and friendly!

ItsTime
01-12-2008, 08:53 PM
Great advice.

I would like to ad bring a woman supporter with you.. I am not kidding about this..

cswake
01-12-2008, 08:55 PM
Agreed, women bring a warm face and your group will come across as friendly. (I've had someone ask me if I was going to attack them when I was by myself) Let me also add that the elderly LOVE the Ron Reagan slim jim - make sure to hand it to them with that picture showing.

ItsTime
01-12-2008, 08:57 PM
Ya never never go alone. Always bring someone. Mostly for YOUR safety


Agreed, they bring a warm face and you come across as friendly. (I've had someone ask me if I was going to attack them when I was by myself)

mmink15
01-12-2008, 09:05 PM
Great advice, how are you getting high quantities of material to hand out? Just buying them on your own? That is my biggest concern I have 2 hundred slim jims left that I've bought for myself to use and that's it at the moment.(I'm on my third training video, haven't started walking yet, plan to do initial 3-question survey for GOTV throughout upcoming week)

cswake
01-12-2008, 09:15 PM
I bought some myself, but the state coordinator has access to campaign materials that they will give to you free of charge! One approach we also used today: if you come in the morning, bring them the newspaper! They're always thankful and will give time.

Mmink15, do the signs before you even do the GOTV - I've had "non-internet" Paul supporters ecstatic to talk to me about the debates. (One guy said he *loved* Paul's electability answer in the recent SC debate) In fact, my area has no other signs BESIDES Paul signs. :)

ItsTime
01-12-2008, 09:20 PM
Put some slim jims in those news papers...

That news paper idea is one of the best ever!

mmink15
01-12-2008, 09:20 PM
Got it, I'll call the state coordinator, get the donors and signs, then let that ferment for a week. Then I begin the GOTV campaign, is that what you are talking about doing? I'm very new to this.

cswake
01-12-2008, 09:23 PM
Bingo! Maybe that should be the guide. :)

daniroyer
01-12-2008, 11:37 PM
Great advice.

I would like to ad bring a woman supporter with you.. I am not kidding about this..

I sadly agree with this.

My husband and I accidentally overlapped today. One house that told him to get lost and slammed the door in his face, spent 5 minutes talking to me and said they'd look into RP.

libertygrl
01-13-2008, 05:56 PM
I just had my first canvassing experience on Sat. I was really nervous at first, but then I settled into it and I actually had fun!

My father is my secret weapon. He's a senior citizen and people seem to be more receptive when he comes along!

Laja
01-13-2008, 06:02 PM
sweet! i'd like to keep this thread going. every piece of advice and sharing of experience is helping move closer and closer to actually signing up for Precinct Captain and getting out and canvassing. I don't know what it is, but I'm really scared to talk to people about my beliefs.

Can any of you share what's the first thing you say to someone when they open the door and maybe give a little sample conversation?

Thanks!

cswake
01-13-2008, 06:25 PM
Here is my script:

(Smile, hold slim jim out in front of you and angled toward them so they can glance at it - my favorite one is the Reagan picture with "A True Conservative. A Real Republican.")

Hi, I'm Conrad from your local voting precinct. Do you plan on voting this February 5th?

(If no, then he/she is an apathetic voter and I tell them how I am a first time voter and tell them he cured my apathy - speak the truth and know why he did)

If yes:

So, have you decided on a candidate? (If they say yes, ask if it is Paul. 99% of the time it isn't so just smile and say thanks for your time and have a good day. DO NOT push.)

It sounds like you're undecided, what issues are most important to you? (Speak to their issues, if they have none, just point them to the Ron Paul website issue page. I specifically mention that there are the videos of him speaking to the audience about the issue. If there is a window, I also try to tell them: "I support Paul because he ... ")

I hand them the slim jim and tell them to have a good day.

cswake
01-13-2008, 06:54 PM
My email for contacting donors:

Good morning, <NAME>.

I am contacting you on behalf of the Ron Paul grassroots campaign since you are identified as a donor to Ron Paul’s national campaign.

You are probably well-aware that the Georgia Republican primary is coming on February 5th, just three weeks away. We have started the local effort to get name recognition and show of support for Ron Paul in our local precincts, including billboards, TV and radio advertisements, as well as yard signs. The latter is why I contact you. With your permission, I’d like to put a free 2’ x 4’ yard sign on your front lawn that will help in our efforts for a strong showing by Congressman Paul in our local precinct.

If you do want to show your support for Congressman Paul with a yard sign, please provide me your physical address. Also, if you have any neighbors that you know to be supporters as well, feel free to give them my contact information.

Thanks!
Conrad
999-999-9999 (Mobile)I ask them for their physical address, even though I already have it, because I want to give them a few seconds to think about it just in case they do have some friends who might want one. (They can't just reply "SURE!")

Jobarra
01-13-2008, 06:56 PM
sweet! i'd like to keep this thread going. every piece of advice and sharing of experience is helping move closer and closer to actually signing up for Precinct Captain and getting out and canvassing. I don't know what it is, but I'm really scared to talk to people about my beliefs.

Can any of you share what's the first thing you say to someone when they open the door and maybe give a little sample conversation?

Thanks!
My conversations go like this. I modified the first of the three canvassing questions, but it's similar to what is in the canvassing directions:

1) Undecided
They come to the door.
Me: "Hi, my name is .... I'm a volunteer canvasser for Ron Paul for President 2008"
Them: "Okay" or nothing.
Me: "Are you going to being voting in the primaries coming up on Jan 30th?"(our county votes almost a week ahead of the state this year)
Them: "Yes"
Me:"Have you decided on a candidate yet?"
Them: "No, not really"
Me: "Have you heard of Dr. Paul before?" while handing them a slim jim, which everyone seems eager to take because they see it in my hand. It just seems to be a conditioned response to take something someone is offering you.

Depending on what they say, I go into a general overview on him if they haven't(Republican, strict constitutionalist, got into politics because he didn't like how the government was handling the economy and monetary policy, is interested in economics and monetary policy for the most part, etc.)

Me: "Are there any particular issues that you are more concerned about this year?"
I have seen one person that had specific issues and it was healthcare. For the most part, they say there aren't any issues they are strongly concerned about. I usually talk about a few of the issues and stances if they have no particular interest. I try to keep it on the economy; scaling back the federal government, he has never raised taxes, he wants to eventually get rid of the IRS, he has never voted for a balanced budget. I try to keep controversial stuff like Iraq out of the conversation unless they talk about it at which point I tell them about his policy there.

At this point, if they seem truly interested in learning about other candidates, I'll usually ask them if they want a free DVD made by the grassroots(Ron Paul Reveres DVD). I tell them it's made by the grassroots and not affiliated with the campaign.

Some people just don't seem interested one way or another and are answering the door as an annoyance to them. These I just leave the slim jim with them. I would love to give out a DVD to everyone, but my meetup paid for them and they cost 25 cents a piece I think. Still very cost efficient, but we're not exactly millionaires :D

Whenever we seem to be done talking about issues:
Me: "Thank you. Have a good day."

2) Decided
They come to the door.
Me: "Hi, my name is .... I'm a volunteer canvasser for Ron Paul for President 2008"
Them: "Okay" or nothing.
Me: "Are you going to being voting in the primaries coming up on Jan 30th?"(our county votes almost a week ahead of the state this year)
Them: "Yes"
Me:"Have you decided on a candidate yet?"
Them: "Yes"

I think the canvassing directions say at this point to leave, but I added this little bit because I'm curious but I don't want to offend them by appearing pushy:
Me: Give them a smile "I don't suppose that it's Dr. Paul?"
Them: usually a smile or laugh back "No, I'm voting for ...."
I just like to get an idea of what other candidates are being voted on in the area. If they are really friendly(and this is pushing it probably) I'll ask them why they decided on the candidate mentioned. I'm actually really curious about this after hearing someone say they were deciding between Obama and McCain at one of the first houses yesterday.

Whenever we seem to be done talking:
Me: "Thank you. Have a good day."

Laja
01-13-2008, 09:55 PM
cswake and jobarra, thanks sooooooooooo much for taking the time to share your scripts. this is absolutely so helpful. i can't thank you enough. thank you, thank you, thank you!

fireinme
01-13-2008, 10:30 PM
Thank you, I wish I could quit college and go and canvass for RP! I have so little time! I have one Huckabee supporter I am working on.

RonPaulFTFW
01-14-2008, 02:18 PM
/blimp.

smartguy911
01-14-2008, 02:24 PM
sticky this sucker

Zym
01-14-2008, 11:04 PM
Blimp, sticky this, great advice.

Jobarra
01-15-2008, 01:25 AM
Another tip that should have been common sense to me, but I learned it the hard way:

When I was getting ready to canvass, I looked at the precinct map(I believe it was a school district map that actually had the precincts on it) that a meetup member had found to actually see what my precinct map. After finding out the street borders of the precinct, I printed it out via the precinct leader precinct map tool. My precinct is almost a square divided into four even sections. I knew one section was fairly well populated as I live close by so I decided to start there. I had no idea really how much time canvassing takes, so I was thinking the one tiny neighborhood where I was starting would take maybe half a day. I found out quickly enough that canvassing does take quite a bit of time just to get between houses.

However, the other problem that I found was the neighborhood I selected had houses with large yards and rolling hills. This translated into more time between houses as well as increased fatigue. Now that I have a slice of this tiny neighborhood left to canvass, I know what I where I will go next after I finish the section up.

Here's the tip:
If you can, do a drive thru of the main populated areas of the precinct and see how the houses are set up and the layout of the terrain. In doing this, the best place to start would be a heavily populated area where houses are built close to each other on level streets. I already know of such an area that is in the same section I am working on right now. It has houses close together with hardly any space between them(I forget what this style is called) and the streets are straight and level. I'm willing to bet I will probably canvass 2 to 3 times the amount of homes in the amount of time I spent in the other neighborhood. Again, this should be common sense, but sometimes the thought can be there and you just ignore it through inexperience.

I don't think I'll get my list done before election time, so I'm trying to find the areas where I can reach the most houses in the least amount of time possible to maximize my effect. Others may want to do this just to knock out a large percentage of their precinct quickly. Either way, doing this first is easier on your body and might help it adjust to the exercise it's getting if it's not used to it like mine was :D