Reflections on canvassing

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I just canvassed in Iowa for a week. Here are some things I found effective at the doors. Take it all with a grain of salt, as people in other states may be different from Iowans. Mostly I just want to open up a thread where people can discuss and reflect upon their experiences canvassing. Please share your experience and advice in the comments. Together we win!

Big tips:

-Be honest, be genuine. Don't say anything you don't believe. Connect with the person you are talking to. If you are nervous, go ahead and use the script early on, but as you get comfortable, try to let conversation flow as naturally as possible.

-Show excitement. Smile and bring the energy. That shit's contagious.

-Ask a lot of questions. Listen. If they lean Biden or Buttegieg, the question "What issues do you like him on?" is good. Usually they can't name one, and if they can, well, now you segue into how Bernard is way better on that issue and has been better on it for years.

-Hammer the electability argument hard. Since Dem primary voters already like all of Bernie's ideas, playing on voters' fears about beating Trump is the establishment's only route left. We need to counter it at doorsteps.


(keep it simple!) -Hi I'm ____ with Bernie's campaign. Are you familiar with what this movement is about?

Talking points:

-We're trying to make the Democratic Party a working people's party again.

-Bernie is honest. He's courageous. He's consistent. He's trustworthy. He has been fighting for the same policies for decades, well before they were popular. We can trust him, and that's rare in a politician.

-Bernie is the only one in this primary that has never taken big money bribes and never will. Not from banks, not from pharmaceutical or insurance companies, not from the private prisons or the weapons industry, etc.

-You can tell a lot about what a person stands for by the enemies he has made, and Bernie has made all the right enemies.

-Bernie is the most electable. We have to come at Trump with an invigorated base. It's going to take a grassroots movement to unseat Trump and Bernie is the only candidate that has that. Hell, look how far I came just to talk to people like you. This is how we win! Together!

-Bernie is the most electable. He is winning over Independents more effectively than any other candidate by far. We nominated a centrist last time and lost Independents by 4%. Right now, polling has Bernie up on Trump among Independents by 12-14%.

-Bernie is the most electable. A "safe" centrist candidate has yet to win a presidential election this century (Gore, Kerry, Clinton on the Dem side; McCain and Romney on the Repub side). Maybe the "safe" choice isn't all that safe after all.

For the most part you want to keep it simple and hit the highlights (a la Bernard himself), but that last two are really good if you run into a high-information voter that is worried about electability.

Hope this helps!

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