Canvassing

Ever since Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com correctly predicted the last presidential election, he’s gotten a bit of a name for himself. Now he’s apparently the face of election polling. All of the activist emails that I get have been saying things like “Nate Silver says we can’t do it. He says we’re going to lose. Let’s prove Nate Silver wrong.” I’ve been getting a lot of these emails.

Then my friend got a job canvassing for Kay Hagan, incumbent senatorial candidate for North Carolina. From what I understand, the below Dilbert comic roughly represents how his job works.

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That’s not fair. He’s allowed to get help from friends as well as family. Now I’m out canvassing for Kay Hagan in Hillsborough. Not because a boss with devil horns for hair forced me to, but because I personally would rather have Kay Hagan in congress than her competitor, and I like to try and make the things I want to be be the things that are.

I’ve learned a lot in my two canvassing endeavors so far. Mostly that the people on the list to be canvassed are often people who don’t want to talk with canvassers. It’s remarkable how many people don’t answer their doors.  Once a person started to open the door and then abruptly stopped, probably noticing that we weren’t anyone she knew. My father, canvassing with me, also noticed that people often didn’t want to talk with him. There seemed to be a disproportionate number of people in the shower in the middle of the day when a canvasser was at the door.  Once a little girl at the window shouted at her mother “Mommy, I’m hiding upstairs! You can hide with me if you want!” No one answered the door.

Nevertheless, we did get some people willing to talk to us. A lot of people were more invigorated by dislike of Thom Tillis than like of Hagan, so I encouraged them to think of a vote for Hagan as a vote against Tillis. It seemed like someone here and there may have gone from not voting to voting for Hagan. I hope so.

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One thought on “Canvassing”

  1. I’m impressed that you’re doing this, Sam. I canvassed a few times but found the work unsatisfying and frustrating. Good for you for sticking with it.

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