Jul 14, 2020


The Only Way to Change a Voter’s Mind

Edna comes to the door behind a walker, her dog barking. The dog has a sad story, she tells her unexpected visitor: it has liver problems, and she needs to put it down. She’s 86 and has a matter-of-factness about her when she talks about the dog, or how she had to quit driving recently because her “foot wouldn’t go on the pedal”—she hit a tree, the first accident she’s ever had. After a few minutes of introductory chit-chat, she sits down on the seat of her walker and listens to the man at the door. His name is Aaron Marquez, and he’s here because she is one of the most important voters in the country…

What Marquez and others in VetsForward are trying to do is often referred to “deep canvassing,” a technique pioneered by an LGBTQ advocacy group in Los Angeles, and one that has spread across the country: progressives hope it can be used to push Trump-skeptical Republicans like Edna into voting for Democrats. Unlike traditional canvassing, which often emphasizes knocking on as many doors as possible, deep canvassing means being prepared to spend 15 minutes or more with one person, trying to get them to open up…

VetsForward, headed by Aaron Marquez, is a project of Forward Majority, a Democratic super PAC launched in 2017 that focuses on flipping state legislatures in a few key states, including Arizona. It has an even more precise focus: recruiting veterans and using them as messengers for left-of-center causes, a counter to the conservative veterans given large platforms by right-wing outlets like Fox News. Sometimes this means made-to-go-viral video testimonials. On the ground in Arizona, it means going door-to-door and trying to connect with voters who don’t normally support Democrats. In this, vets have a major advantage over other canvassers: even an arch-conservative isn’t likely to slam the door in the face of a progressive in a Marine Corps hat.

Read the full story from VICE News.