efficiency

Optimizing Political Canvassing

If you're trying to increase the speed of political canvasing, using a population density map is a critical early step. 

We were supporting a House Delegate candidate in Maryland's Montgomery County and she was coming toward the closing days of a political campaign and wanted to be sure they were maximizing their speed of getting house to house and covering the entire district. This is important, especially in races where you don't have any polling to tell you what the electorate thinks of your candidate or how impactful your get out the vote efforts have been. You need to know that you are being efficient between houses and across the entire population.

The method we employ to maximize the efficiency of canvassers is to do a density cluster analysis of the target voters. We wanted to identify the most dense to least dense clusters of target voters across the county so we could prioritize the highest density for canvasing, working our way to less dense regions. This has three benefits:

  1. It helps the campaign keep it's eye on the entire district and which regions have been contacted and which have not. This gets everyone on the same page as to what has been done, what we're doing and what we need to do. Almost like a Kanban board but a map. :)

  2. It minimizes the effort and time it takes to canvas the maximum number of voters.

  3. It ensures some signage coverage in the most voter concentrated areas across the entire area so that even if you don't canvas every house, you would have a minimum number of yard signs out to help build awareness and votes.

The maps:

Initial map showing just the point and their density values. The red shows us where the high density clusters are, followed by yellow then green.

Initial map showing just the point and their density values. The red shows us where the high density clusters are, followed by yellow then green.

This is a screen shot of the full scale hi-res map we delivered to the campaign. They were able to use these digitally and in print to manage field operations.

This is a screen shot of the full scale hi-res map we delivered to the campaign. They were able to use these digitally and in print to manage field operations.

This is a zoomed in shot of the high-res map. Notice the cluster count which helped with cutting turf.

This is a zoomed in shot of the high-res map. Notice the cluster count which helped with cutting turf.

We also developed an interactive web map where the campaign was able to turn on and off the points per index value as well. Hovering over individual dots shows the name, address and other voter data.

We also developed an interactive web map where the campaign was able to turn on and off the points per index value as well. Hovering over individual dots shows the name, address and other voter data.