Deep Canvassing and Political Persuasion in the 2020 Presidential Election


People’s Action has completed the first-ever deep canvassing political persuasion experiment this month and the results are groundbreaking.

The independent analysis of our deep canvass phone program found that it had a substantial impact on decreasing Trump’s vote margin, estimated to be 102 times more effective per person than the average presidential persuasion program.

What is Deep Canvassing?

Deep canvassing is one of the most proven and durable forms of persuasion and is far more effective than other forms of persuasion employed by traditional political campaigns. Deep canvasses are candid, two-way conversations where canvassers ask voters to share their relevant, emotionally significant experiences and reflect on them aloud.

Deep canvasses typically involve:

  • Non-judgmentally soliciting voters’ views and asking follow-up questions about voters’ experiences.
  • Sharing narratives about personal experiences with the issue that reinforce values relevant to the issue.

Key Findings

  • 4.9% impact on decreasing Trump’s vote margin with women and 8.5% with independent women.
  • 3.1% overall impact on decreasing Trump’s vote margin.
  • Impact is larger than the 2016 margin of victory in nine key battleground states including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida which would translate to 108 electoral votes.
  • Estimated 102 times more effective per person than the average presidential persuasion program, as documented by academic research and is one of the only proven field strategies to shift presidential vote choice.

An Organizing Breakthrough in an "Every-Vote-Counts" Election

"[George] Goehl says he and his state-based allies have a goal to make 350,000 phone calls between now and Election Day, with a focus on independent women voters, who showed the most movement in this most recent experiment. 'Those movement rates are so strong and the data bears it out,' he says. 'This is an every-vote-counts election, so everything we can do to help we’re going to do.'"

Read the full story at Rolling Stone.

People's Action Member Organizations and Partners That Anchored the Deep Canvass Experiment



The groundbreaking organizing work featured in To See Each Other is reaching millions of voters and reshaping politics in communities across the country–and we need you to join us.

Make Calls
Send Texts