There’s no doubt that if it is your first (or fifth) time working for a campaign, you are walking door to door. You never realize just how different the world is until you knock on 100+ doors a day and meet more people than you could possibly remember. The door to door world is a hit or miss. Sometimes it gets too hot. Sometimes you get rejected. Sometimes a door might be slammed in your face. Sometimes you have an amazing conversation with someone you’ll probably never see again. Sometimes you’ll change someone’s mind on an issue and get a vote for the person you’re campaigning for. Whether or not you’re getting paid, it’s a unique experience, and you are slowly but surely making a difference in your community. Here are some tips and tricks to help you rock your door to door campaign.

 

1) Know what you’re talking about.

Educate yourself on local and national issues. Educate yourself on local government, the opponent, and the candidate you are supporting. If your candidate is around, ask him questions. Trust me, he will answer and then some. Talking politics is your candidate’s job. You don’t want to walk up to a house, get asked a question, and not be able to answer it. It reflects badly on the campaign, which reflects badly on the candidate. Know why your candidate is running and why he wants to get rid of his opponent. Then, translate your knowledge into a good swaying conversation.
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2) Knock firmly, but not crazily.

Don’t over-knock, three or four times is fine. I know it sounds weird, but you don’t want to annoy potential supporters by banging on their door. If there’s a car in the driveway, it’s okay to knock a few times and a little louder than normal. If there isn’t a car, don’t waste your time knocking a few times when you have other houses to get to.
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3) Move at a quick but steady pace.

You have houses to get to! Don’t wait two minutes for somebody to come to their door. Don’t wait for Mrs. Norman to get you those awesome brownies she made (also, don’t accept food or drinks from anybody if you don’t know them and don’t go inside anybody’s home). Don’t stand and talk to someone for longer than 6 minutes, whether it is a good conversation or not. If you feel like the conversation is getting too long, it probably is. A simple, “I’ve really enjoyed this conversation, but I have more houses to hit! Have a good day!” will work.
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4) Quality is better than quantity.

Moving at a quick and steady pace is great, but that doesn’t mean you should rush your potential supporters or race through the questions. Allow them time to think and give their input. The reason you get data is so your candidate can see what matters most to people and run with it. If you are rushing through your talking points, you could become an annoyance and create a hostile environment. So play it cool, and take some time to get your point across.
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5) Come up with a script.

Your boss may already have one for you, but a script very important to have. It can be very simple, starting with your name, who you are volunteering for, and some follow up questions. When you’re done with the questions, say thank you and have a good day!
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6) Sound conversational, not like a robot.

“Hi. I’m Amy. I’m a volunteer for [blank]. He’s running for [blank]. Can you answer questions for me? Thanks. The first question is [blank].” This can get old real fast. Don’t just read from your script or your phone for the questions. Look your potential supporter in the eye, be natural, and have a positive attitude.
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7) Never argue with them.

This gets you nowhere fast and is a huge waste of your time. If you can tell that someone wants to argue, say you have to leave. Don’t disagree with the potential supporter or get angry when he says something rude or illogical (it happens). Be calm, courteous, and classy and get off that porch.
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8) Remember, you are the face of a person who wants to win.

Always be on your best behavior and really talk up your candidate. Look decent when walking, but practical because of the heat. Always be kind and sociable when speaking to people while trying to sway them to vote for your candidate. You may be the first person they talk to about your candidate, so make sure it’s a great first impression.giphy (2)

Remember that this is for experience and to help a person you support win! Have fun, be kind and classy, and knock on those doors.

Amy G
CONTRIBUTOR
Amy can't wait for the day when she has a big house in Texas, 7 well-dressed kids, 3 dogs, her high school sweetheart as her husband, and a job that allows her to write to her heart's content, wear Lilly and accessorize with Kate. Sophomore at SEMO with a double major and double minor.

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