Progressive Turnout Project Kicks Off In-Person, Door-to-Door Canvassing for 2020 Election

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 25, 2020 
CONTACT: Will Mantell | [email protected] | 914.806.0081

Nation’s Largest Grassroots-Funded Democratic Voter Turnout Organization Investing $52.5M This Cycle 

Door-to-Door Canvassing in Select Metro Areas Begins Saturday in Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Wisconsin

CHICAGO — Today, Progressive Turnout Project (PTP) announced it will be the first national progressive organization to launch in-person, door-to-door canvassing for the 2020 election. Canvassing will begin Saturday, June 27, in select metro areas in Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, as part of PTP’s $52.5 million national investment in voter turnout.

PTP, the largest grassroots-funded national field organization, will knock on over 10.1 million doors and get out the vote in 17 presidential and Senate battleground states. It is primarily targeting inconsistent Democratic voters who didn’t turn out in 2016. Conversations will focus on helping voters make a plan to vote safely, including how to vote by mail.

“This is the most consequential election of our lifetimes,” said Alex Morgan, Executive Director of Progressive Turnout Project. “Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic and recent protests further prove that he is fundamentally incapable of doing his job. 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.”

“If we want to take back the White House and flip the Senate, we have to organize early and launch our programs now instead of waiting for the fall,” said Morgan. “Safety comes first, and we’re taking every precaution to protect the health of our staff and voters — including only going door-to-door once a metro area has met several public health criteria.”

“As a doctor, I appreciate that PTP hit pause during the pandemic and developed a detailed plan to canvass safely,” said Barbara Bollier, Kansas Democratic Senate candidate. “If we want to win in November, we need to start talking to voters now about what’s at stake, who’s on the ballot, and how they can vote in November. It’s so important for organizations like Progressive Turnout Project to go door-to-door and have these conversations.”

More on Progressive Turnout Project’s 2020 Field Program: 

  • PTP is launching in the following metro areas on June 27: 
    • CO: Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver
    • GA: Atlanta, Augusta, and Savannah
    • IA: Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, and Sioux City
    • KS: Kansas City and Topeka
    • ME: Augusta and Portland
    • NH: Manchester
    • NC: Charlotte
    • WI: Appleton, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, and Racine
  • PTP targets registered, inconsistent, likely Democratic voters and new voters
    • About ½ of our voters are under 35, about ½ are voters of color, and about ½ stayed home in 2016. 
  • PTP employs paid, trained canvassers who aim to have multiple, in-depth conversations with voters between June and Election Day: 
    • First conversation to develop a relationship and encourage voters to fill out a Commit to Vote Card
    • Second conversation to help voters write out a plan to vote
    • Third conversation to get out the vote 
  • PTP bases its successful model on experiments which have shown that canvassing is a great, cost-effective way to boost turnout — producing one additional vote for every 14 people reached at the cost of only $7 to $19 a vote, according to the New York Times. If Democrats had reached out to every eligible non-voter in 2016, there could have been 6.2 million more votes cast.
  • Since its inception in 2015, PTP has invested in voter turnout programs in 130 House and Senate races.

More on Progressive Turnout Project’s canvassing protocols: 

When the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out back in March, PTP adjusted its timeline and has spent 2.5 months developing a plan to launch in-person, door-to-door canvassing on a metro area-by-metro area basis. PTP’s canvassing plan aligns to CDC, state, and local health guidance and has been reviewed by an independent health expert. 

“I have reviewed Progressive Turnout Project’s door-to-door canvassing plan, and I am confident they are taking the necessary precautions to protect the health of voters and field staff,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Joseph F. John, Jr., MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA. “The plan is fully aligned to CDC, state, and local health guidance and best practices.”

On June 20, PTP launched its first field program in three metro areas in Colorado, and is launching nationally this weekend. PTP will continue to launch in-person, door-to-door canvassing in metro areas as they meet public health criteria. 

Protective measures include providing safety supplies including masks, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer for all staff members; instructing all field staff to maintain social distance (6 feet) from other people at all times, including during conversation with voters; and instructing all field staff not to enter voters’ homes or apartment buildings. 

Furthermore, PTP decides to start canvassing in a metro area based on a number of public health criteria, including: 

  • Metro area has proceeded 28 days or more without a stay-at-home order
  • Metro area has allowed personal gatherings of 10 people or more for 28 days
  • Metro area has a flat or decreasing average of cases
  • Metro area has shown the capacity to test a wide segment of the population for active Covid-19 infection
  • PTP clears the decision to start canvassing in a metro area with an infectious disease expert

PTP will also continue outreach to voters remotely through Turnout 2020, its text and phone-banking program, and will closely monitor and adhere to CDC, state, and local health guidelines. 

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Progressive Turnout Project is a grassroots-funded political action committee with a single mission: get Democrats to the polls. PTP designs, tests, and executes specialized voter-turnout programs targeting inconsistent Democratic voters in the most competitive elections across the country. In 2020, the organization will invest $52.5 million to knock on over 10.1 million doors and get out the vote in 17 presidential and Senate battleground states.

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