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Mobilizing InclusionTransforming the Electorate through Get-Out-the-Vote Campaigns$
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Lisa Garcia Bedolla and Melissa R. Michelson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780300166781

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300166781.001.0001

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Notes from the Field: Running an Effective Mobilization Campaign

Notes from the Field: Running an Effective Mobilization Campaign

(p.128) 5 Notes from the Field: Running an Effective Mobilization Campaign
Mobilizing Inclusion

Lisa García Bedolla

Melissa R. Michelson

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the analysis of over 1,000 field reports received across the February, June, and November 2008 election cycles, reflecting more than 3,000 hours of field observations. These provide a unique insider's view of the nuts and bolts of running campaigns, the idiosyncratic nature of their implementation, and a better understanding of how organizational capacity, priorities, and tactics intersect to influence campaign effectiveness. It is shown that the California Votes Initiative (CVI) organizations faced a number of challenges: recruiting, training, and retaining experienced canvassers; supervising how canvassers delivered the organizational message; managing and collecting multiple forms of data; and responding to the many unexpected difficulties that arose during these campaigns. The canvassers braved dangerous neighborhoods, inclement weather, angry dogs, wild geese, and rude targeted voters. Yet they continued to engage in this difficult work because they were committed to increasing their community's political engagement and, by extension, expanding the American electorate.

Keywords:   mobilization campaign, California Votes Initiative, voter mobilization, canvassers, American electorate, political engagement

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