[This has been a tough week. Another school shooting, this time one that effects my family. The husband of the teacher who had a heart attack was related to a close family friend of my wife and her parents, and she’s known that relative for more than 40 years. Hard to get in the mood, but:]
Last Saturday was our 12th week of canvassing in (now) seven Senate Swing States that will determine the majority in the U.S. Senate in 2023. We started canvassing (after a winter and primary furlough) in Pennsylvania last Saturday. This is our weekly canvass wrap-up reporting the numbers from our spring canvassing in Arizona, Nevada, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — all critical states that will determine the Senate majority for the next two years.
1,566 volunteers came out to knock on doors for Hope Springs from Field PAC last Saturday. They knocked on 115,579 doors, and talked to 8,851 voters.
We walk with an Issues Canvass, where we ask voters what they think and whether they had a message for their elected officials. 5,255 voters answered questions from the survey, in whole or in part. Almost everyone who responded answered at least two of the questions (‘do you have a message for your Congress critter’ and ‘what is their opinion of the job Biden is doing’). 3,080 voters told us that they have a favorable opinion of the job Biden was doing as president. 1,458 voters didn’t express an opinion of the president at this time. 717 said they had a negative impression of the job the president was doing.
Inflation remained the Top Issue from our questionnaire in Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania; the Economy/Jobs was the top issue in Florida this week and the price of Gas was the number 1 issue in Georgia and Wisconsin. We do hear a lot of comments about price increases and how it is effecting voters’ wallets. And people continue to tell us that they are glad we are asking about it. The number 2 issue was different in most states: Reproductive Rights was the second most frequent issue mentioned in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, the Economy in Wisconsin, Schools in Nevada and Florida, Fair Elections in Georgia (the weekend before the primary) and Security Issues was the second highest concern in Arizona. The number three was different in all five states last weekend. Summer Worries was third in Florida (Tourism, the economic impact on increase in gas, Disney); Jobs was third in Arizona; Reproductive Rights was third in Georgia and Nevada; Crime was third in North Carolina and Schools was third in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Given that Fair Elections was the third most mentioned concern in Georgia, it should probably surprise no one that Stacey Abrams had her highest approval number since we started including her in our Issues Survey. Now that the primary is over in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, we will include Cheri Beasley and John Fetterman, the Democratic nominees for Senate, in our surveys there.
Almost everywhere, there was an uptick in comments about the threat to Reproductive Rights, and not always in the question, What Issue is most urgent? We got abortion related comments on the question, If you could send a message to your Member of Congress as well as the ‘Anything to add’ part. And volunteers repeatedly said that there were abortion related comments that were fraught with fear and concern from the voters who voiced them. Anger, even.
Hope Springs from Field PAC is knocking on doors in a grassroots-led effort to increase awareness of the fact that Democrats care about our voters and are working to protect their rights. We are thinking about how to mitigate Voter Suppression efforts, get around them and make sure we have "super compliance," both informing and helping our voters meet the requirements and get out and vote. We are taking those efforts to the doors of the communities most effected (the intended targets or victims) of these new voter suppression laws.
Obviously, we rely on grassroots support, so if you support field/grassroots organizing and our efforts to protect our voters, we would certainly appreciate your support:
Hope Springs from Field PAC was started by former Obama Field Organizers because field was the cornerstone of our success. The approach we adopted was focused on listening, on connecting voters and their story to the candidate and our cause. Repeated face to face interactions are critical. And we are among those who believe that Democrats didn’t do as well in the 2020 Congressional races as expected because we didn’t knock on doors. We are returning to the old school basics: repeated contacts, repeated efforts to remind them of protocols, meeting them were they are. Mentoring those who need it (like first time and newly registered voters). Reminding, reminding, reminding, and then chasing down those voters whose ballots need to be cured.
Hope Springs has targeted states that have competitive Senate races in 2022 as well as districts that are remapped in ways that offer opportunities or vulnerabilities for Democrats next year. As not every state has completed their re-maps, re-districting hasn’t yet made those opportunities/needs apparent. The Senate map started out clear. That may be changing. There are places we need to defend (Georgia, Arizona and Nevada) and there are opportunities. Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are such opportunities.
We ask people who talk to us whether they approved or disapproved of the job their incumbent Senator (up for election this year) was doing. In Florida, 60% of the voters we talked to who responded had a favorable impression of President Biden but only 19% had a favorable impression of Senator Rubio. 8% had a favorable impression of Governor DeSantis last week. Remember that we are only knocking on doors of households with Democratic and Independent voters in Central Florida; we don’t include households that only have Republicans in them. 38% of Florida voters we talked to disapproved of the job Rubio has done in the Senate and more than a majority (55%) disapproved the job by DeSantis.
In Arizona, 58% of the voters we talked to responded they had a favorable impression of President Biden and 75% had a favorable impression of Senator Kelly. It is kind of interesting that Kelly is now generally polling above Biden. 26% of them had a favorable impression of their retiring Governor Doug Ducey while 32% had an unfavorable view.
In Georgia, 59% of the voters we talked to approved of the job President Biden was doing. 79% approved of the job Senator Warnock was doing. Only 15% approved of the job Governor Kemp was doing. 68% of the voters we talked to last week had a favorable impression of Stacey Abrams. The trend lines in SW Georgia are kind of interesting. Again, we are talking to households identified in the VAN model as Democratic and Independent voters. We try our best to eliminate Republican households although we do get mixed addresses, where someone is a Democrat (usually a female or younger voter) and someone is a Republican (usually male).
We recruited and trained 663 volunteers in Georgia to serve as poll watchers, outside observers and legal eagles for Tuesday’s primary at 97 sites in 15 counties. Almost all of them came from either the Black Churches we have been working with (mostly providing them with materials (like Incident Reports) or access to VAN (voter file)), or Divine Nine chapters in those counties, or somehow linked to HBCUs where we have been recruiting volunteers. All save but 7 of them were African-American since we were watching majority minority polling locations (many in counties that had a historically high rate of lynchings).
In North Carolina, 57% of the voters we talked to approved of the job President Biden was doing. 59% of the voters we talked to approved of the job Governor Cooper was doing. Since the Democratic nominee for Senate is now official, we also asked about Cheri Beasley, the former Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court. 68% of the people we talked to had a favorable impression of Justice Beasley.
In Wisconsin, in our second week of canvassing, 58% of the voters we talked to approved of the job President Biden was doing. 7% approved of the job Senator Johnson was doing. 43% approved of the job that Governor Evers was doing.
In Nevada, 59% of the voters we talked to approved of the job President Biden was doing. 41% had a favorable impression of the job Senator Cortez Masto was doing. 48% of voters approved of the job Governor Sisolak was doing.
In Pennsylvania, in our first week of canvassing, 58% of the voters we talked to approved of the job President Biden was doing. 64% had a favorable opinion of John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. 64% also had a favorable view of Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania governor.
The trend lines have really converged for President Biden’s approval ratings. Even in Georgia, which had consistently been above the other states has fallen to the norm of these 7 states.
167 people filled out new voter registration forms for their states during last weekend’s canvassing (we collected no new voter registrations in Georgia, where there was a primary) and another 418 voters updated their address, as required by HAVA. We differentiate between the two because brand new voters are often ignored by campaigns and we hope to compensate for that somewhat by having volunteers send them post cards before the election and they are also getting robocalls thanking them for registering.
We collected 282 Constituent Service Request Forms this week. In general, we send these to Democratic elected officials responsible for the requested functions, but if the appropriate office is held by a Republican, we still send it along. For Democrats, though, we encourage them to reach out immediately to the voter who filled out the CSR and let them know they are working on the issue. This credit-taking is enormously valuable to the Democratic office-holder.
We continue to walk with Incident Reports and 25 voters (most in North Carolina, that had just had an election) filled them out on last Saturday. We pass along Incident Reports to the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and NALEO (those that correspond to Hispanic precincts), and send copies to state Democratic Party committees. But our purpose is to combine this information with the two independent databases of voting incidents to look for patterns before the election and use that information for warning district, state and U.S. attorneys’ offices that we could see those patterns resurface on election day. We will also use it to target Election Day Protection activity.
By starting early, and aiming towards super-compliance with these really, really onerous provisions in some states, Hope Springs from Field PAC seeks to undermine that strategy, while informing voters about the new laws and regulations aimed at them. There’s a lot of work to be done, but fortunately, the three states that are making it most difficult are also states in which you can knock on doors at least 10 months out of the year. And, with your help, we will be there, getting our people to super-comply with these restrictive provisions.
If you are able to support our efforts to protect Democratic voters, especially in minority communities, expand the electorate, and believe in grassroots efforts to increase voter participation and election protection, please help:
Thank you for your support. This work depends on you!