A friend on Twitter tweeted about how ineffective it is to argue on social media. He’s right. Tweeting, skeeting, posting and sharing your opinion is not likley to sway voters no matter how many #hashtags you use. Is there anything a single person can do make a difference? Actually, there is.
Most people on social media are there to find support for their opinions and will dismiss others. I do it too. We all find comfort and feel successful when we get many Likes or Thumbs Up on our posts. Who wouldn’t? It’s validation of our thoughts and opinions. But, the truth is that we are preaching to the choir and shouting into the echo chamber. We are changing very vew minds or opinions with our posts.
In a presidential election year, especially THIS election year, many people (me included) feel that we have an obligation to help ensure that our candidate wins this election. What can we do to make that happen?
Battleground state or safe state
First, know if your state is a competitive battleground state, or if it is a safe Blue or Red state. If you are in a safe state (either color) do not pay any particular attention to the presidential race in your state. The outcome is essentially determined by voter registration statistics. Unless you can register tens of thousands of like-minded voters in 9 months, your state’s electoral college votes are already accounted for.
For example, I live in California. This is a VERY Democratic state. As of October 3, 2023, there are 10.3M registered Democrats and 5.3M registered Republicans. There are 4.9M voters who are listed as No Party Preference voters. California’s 54 electoral college votes will go to the Democratic nominee for President. I don’t need to lift a finger to make that happen. It just will.
Ninety minutes away from my house, however, is a battleground state: Nevada. In Nevada, there are 704K registered Democrats, 637K registered Republicans, and 760K Non-Partisan voters. The winner of Nevada’s six electoral college votes will be the candidate that wins over the most Non-Partisan voters. These voters will be courted by candidates and volunteers many times before the election on November 5, 2024.
The battleground states
The 2024 battleground states are generally acknowledged to be: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. These are the states that will likely determine the outcome of the 2024 presidential election. These are the states that need your help.
Where you come in
Just because you do not live in a battleground state does not mean you can not contribute to the battle. There are key activities the campaings will undertake in an effort to win over the critical swing voters (not an all-inclusive list):
- Voter Registration (registering new voters, or re-registering non-partisan voters)
- Canvassing (knocking on people’s doors)
- Phone/Text banking (encouraging voters to cast a ballot, especially younger voters)
- Letter/Postcard writing (encouraging voters to cast a ballot)
Voter registration is often handled by the local county Democratic Party, often with financial support from the state party. For example, to help in Nevada, I can make a donation to the Nevada State Democratic Party (there’s a friendly Donate button right on the home page). You can do the same to any of the State Democratic Party organizations in the battleground states linked above.
Canvassing is my favorite activity during camaign season. Canvassing is the single most effective way to convince voters to support your candidate. Face-to-face conversations are extremely effective, but they’re not for everyone.
California volunteers often travel to Nevada to participate in canvassing activities. Check with your local county Democratic Committee to see if they are organizing any trips to nearby battleground states.
Phone/Text banking is usually done via a comptuer based systems. Volunteers often connect to a campaign by computer and they connect with voters through a computer interface. Your participation is anonymous and your phone number will never be shown to the person you are calling/texting.
You can live in a safe state and participate in an outreach effort in a battleground state. The state or county Democratic organization, an independent organization, or a political campaign may organize these events. Contact your local Democratic Party organization to find out how you can best help in a nearby battleground state.
Letter/Postcard writing is also something that you can do remotely to benefit battleground states. This activity is very popular with people who may not be able to canvass voters, or are not comfortable with computer based applications. Old school pen and paper draws a lot of volunteers.
Again, contact your local Democratic county committee for information on where you can best participate to help nearby battleground states.
“All politics is local”
Even if you live in a safe state, there are likely areas that are NOT under the control of your preferred party. For example, I live in the largest, bluest state in the nation (California), but my own county is fiercely Red. All my elected representatives are Republicans.
I would love if Democrats in the Blue parts of my state, who are eager to work in Nevada or Arizona, volunteered time or money in my own Red county. There is plenty of work still to be done here. Unfortunately, those big-name, competitive races across the country are often too alluring for many people to pass up.
Call your county committee
Political parties in the United States are organized at the county level. Your local Democratic County Committee is the perfect place for you to start volunteering. If your county is large enough, you may be directed to one or more local clubs. At a local club, you will meet great people who are as passionate about politics as you are. You will meet your local elected representatives (or protest in front of their offices!). You will learn that local races (school board, city or county council) are just as important as the presidential race. In fact, they may be MORE important since actions taken locally affect your life every single day.
Volunteering with your county oarganization or local club is a very rewarding experience. I encourage you to get in touch with them today, so you can help ensure that your preferred presidential candidate wins office on November 5, 2024.