Getting the Hang of Deep Canvassing

Turns out talking to people can be really hard -- especially when they hold difficult political views in a really tough political environment. It takes time to learn how to engage people to get the most out of a deep canvass. 

That's why we spend several hours training people in how to do the work and use the Changing the Conversation Together script. 

But, as always, practice makes perfect.

After three hours of learning, role playing, and asking questions, people hit the streets of swing districts ready to engage with other New Yorkers, even if they (still!) love Trump.

This may sound like a Herculean task, but it turns out that even the die-hard Republicans are ready to engage in a conversation. People of all stripes are concerned that the divisions are deep and getting deeper. When and where will it end?

That's the beauty of deep canvassing. Armed with a script and some training, you can learn to talk to anyone, confidently and openly. You can share your stories and listen to theirs. And, if all goes according to plan, you may even convince some people to vote blue in upcoming elections. After all, that's the one tool all Americans have to put the brakes on runaway president and Congress.

Now, let's get out there and explain why.

Onward and Upward!

  Adam Barbanel-Fried, CTC Director, discusses Deep Canvassing at an information session on February 15.

Adam Barbanel-Fried, CTC Director, discusses Deep Canvassing at an information session on February 15.

When you start a new project, you never know if it is going to fly. Thanks to the great response from people who are anxious to turn red votes blue, Deep Canvassing is taking off. And, it turns out, people who voted Republican are just as hungry to engage with our canvassers. 

Over the last two weeks alone, we:

  • hosted our fifth canvass for more than 30 participants
  • connected with dozens of right-leaning voters
  • raised over $9k
  • launched a data and technology team to develop a sophisticated voter targeting system

But there is so much work still to do because we are no where near close to securing a Democratic Congress in 2018. As amazing as it is, Trump's disapproval rating is only 52%, while a whopping 43% still approve of him. FORTY-THREE PERCENT!

538 Pic.png

So, what can you do to help us persuade voters to vote blue on November 6?

Join our next canvass on Sunday, March 4th in Staten Island.

Spread the word!
Are you interested in hosting a parlor meeting?

Assist behind the scenes!
We need assistance with logistics, phone calls, data entry, online research, videography, video editing, data analysis, and more!

We will use your contribution to build an army of canvassers who can help sow the seeds of civil discourse while working to flip seats.

Why We Deep Canvass

As bad as things are, the odds are still not in the Democrats' favor to flip the House of Representatives in 2018.  That's why we canvass -- to have real conversations with real people about how they can use their vote as a check on the damaging Trump agenda. Join us!

Here's New York Magazine's current prediction for how the 2018 House races will shake out.


And from the Cook Report.


We're On a Roll!

 Canvassers out for the final canvass of 2017.

Canvassers out for the final canvass of 2017.

Happy 2018! Last year, we hit the ground running and we haven't wasted amoment in the effort to Flip the House in 2018. So far, so good.

Since September, we established a partnership with Get Organized BK, formed an Organizing Team, started developing partnerships with political activists throughout the NY area, and registered as an independent expenditure committee, or PAC.

Most importantly, we organized 3 trainings for 45 volunteers over the course of 4 canvasses. 

During these canvasses, we have found that voters are open and interested in talking with us. Not every door knocked leads to a long conversation, but the conversations that do happen are often rich, meaningful, and transformative. Highlights include:

  • One canvasser spoke to a politically uninvolved Asian woman who said: “Ever since Trump was elected, I feel like it’s been open season on Asian women. People say things to me like, ‘Why don’t you learn English.’ Yet I have a PhD in English!” As she reflected on this, the volunteer moved her to commit to vote Democratic.
  • An Albanian immigrant who never voted due to political cynicism, described how much he hated Donald Trump. He then registered on the spot and said he would vote Democrat.
  • A retiree who initially said he liked Trump because of his business credentials was swayed by the canvasser's concerns about the current lack of checks and balances. The conversation ended with the voter committing to vote for a Democrat for Congress in 2018.

It's an auspicious beginning and we hope you will join us. Check out our calendar of events and sign up!

Yours in Flipping,

The CTC Team


Our First Workshop!

On November 19, we trained 25 people in deep canvassing. Then, we hit the streets to knock doors and talk with fellow Brooklynites about why it's so important to vote Democrat in the 2018 Congressional race. Politics is no longer about blue vs. red, but about using our vote to protect our democracy.

At the outset, most people said they were anxious about knocking doors and talking to Republicans. They feared that people would be mean and slam the door. But when we regrouped, people agreed that the script we designed enabled them to have meaningful exchanges and that people were more amenable to talking in a cordial way than the canvassers had anticipated.

Many canvassers walked away feeling hopeful, like maybe, just maybe, we could plant the seeds necessary to sprout a Democrat Congress in 2018.