After months of virtual campaigning due to the coronavirus, in-person activity is slowly starting to creep back up depending on where states are with reopening, reports CBS News political unit associate producer Sarah Ewall-Wice. On Thursday, the Progressive Turnout Project, whose mission is to get Democrats to the polls, announced it will begin door-to-door canvassing in some metro areas Saturday. The PAC, which is investing more than $52 million this election cycle, will have upcoming activity in Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Colorado.
Their 2020 goal is to knock on more than 10 million doors and get out the vote in 17 states for the presidential and Senate races. According to PTP, conversations will focus on helping voters make a plan to vote safely including by mail. They’re targeting a mix of voters including those under 35, voters of color and people who stayed home in 2016. “Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic and recent protests further prove that he is fundamentally incapable of doing his job,” said Executive Director Alex Morgan in a statement. “It’s essential that we get to work now by having the kind of early, face-to-face conversations that our research shows boost Democratic turnout.”
Morgan said the group is taking precautions to protect both staff and voters. With that in mind, PTP is deciding to launch based on metro areas meeting several public health criteria including areas that proceeded at least 28 days without stay-at-home orders and gatherings of 10 people or more. Locations must also have flat or decreasing coronavirus cases, large COVID-19 testing capacity, and be cleared for canvassing with an infectious disease expert. Measures also include providing staff with masks, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer, maintaining social distancing including when talking to voters, and setting guidelines to not enter voters’ homes or apartment buildings. TPT’s effort to turn out Democrats comes soon after the RNC and Trump campaign recently resumed in-person campaigning with door knocking and in-person volunteer training sessions.