NGP VAN Provides Digital Solutions for Democratic Political Campaigns

A comment you often hear from politicians is “Our strategy is to have a good ground game.” Every candidate wants an effective ground game and NGP VAN, and their digital tools are poised to assist Democratic candidates in developing an efficient ground game. A ground game or “canvassing,” is volunteers and sometimes the candidate himself or herself knocking on the doors of constituents to ask for their vote. Unfortunately, many campaigns are doing it wrong.

In a recent article published in the Chronicle of the Week, an independent online news forum, the author Haley Thompson indicated canvassing is becoming more difficult. The amount of dollars needed to launch and sustain an effective political campaign and the fact that voters have moved into opposite “ideological corners,” complicates canvassing as a political strategy.

Thompson shares that during the 2016 federal campaign, candidates spent a combined total of $6.4 billion and in 2017, David Broockman of Stanford and Joshua Kalla from UC Berkley conducted a study and results indicated only 1 out of every 800 voters switched their allegiance from one candidate to another. Canvassing as a political tool is not dead, but politicians and campaigns waste their time if the goal of their canvassing is to sway voters on the opposite ideological spectrum. The more effective way to conduct canvassing is to appeal on a personal level with voters of similar ideology to the candidate. NGP VAN has developed digital tools to assist candidates in preparing canvassing campaigns that are efficient and effective.

NGP VAN developed an iOS and Android compatible app called MiniVAN. This NGP VAN app is free and it reduces the effort required for active and strategic canvassing by developing lists, maps, and talking points automatically, something it would take canvass organizers considerable hours to build. MiniVAN also provides data so the canvasser can personalize their message. For example, through a feature in MiniVAN known as Distributed Canvassing, critical data about issues relevant to the voter is available. If the voter is a veteran, for example, the canvasser can share information with him or her about where the candidate stands on the issue of veteran’s affairs.

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MiniVAN with Distributed Canvassing streamlines canvassing efforts and saves campaigns countless hours in the development and analysis of data. These data tools also enable politicians to target voters with similar ideology and to personalize their message to the individual voter.


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