There's too much at stake to sit back and wait until next year to start working on winning back the House. This summer we are challenging ourselves to go out to our Swing Districts, get started early, and step up to make a difference.
What's the Summer Challenge?
From July 29 - September 29, we will be going out into Democratic neighborhoods in our Swing Districts across the country to talk to voters and make sure they're ready to get to the polls.
Studies show that getting voters to “commit” in advance can meaningfully increase turnout (one study showed a 3.8 percentage point effect on general election turnout!). So, we'll be focused on collecting commitment cards from supporters -- and making sure they're registered to vote. We'll also be sharing updates throughout the summer challenge and giving out some fun awards to the top canvassers and leading districts. (If you missed our National Call announcing the program, you can still watch the recording on Facebook Live by clicking here.)
How it works: Five Easy Steps
Step 1: Sign up to host a canvass
Click here to create an event. If you run into trouble, take a look at our tips for setting up your event using Action Network in the Host Guide. You can also click here to search for events scheduled near you.
Step 2: Participate in an online training and review the Host Guide
Click here to read our Host Guide. It covers everything you need to know to have an awesome event.
We also have online webinars covering all the basics of the canvass program, tips for hosting your own event, and best practices for talking to voters at the doors. Click here to sign up for an upcoming webinar, or find the recording and slides from a past webinar.
Step 3: Find a target neighborhood and create walk maps
Use the box below to find recommended neighborhoods for canvassing in your Swing District. The maps pinpoint neighborhoods estimated to have a high percentage of likely Democrats and unregistered eligible voters.
Creating Walk Maps: Each canvasser pair should aim to knock 30 doors during a 2-3 hour canvass. Estimate the number of houses on a block and pick a starting address and an ending address for your canvass. Click here to read more about how to create your walk map.
Step 4: Review and print the materials for your event
Click here to check out Swing Left's new Pledge Tool. Using this web tool, you'll be asking supporters to a) sign the commit to vote pledge on your phone and b) verify that their voter registration is up-to-date. When you come across a Republican or Undecided voter, you'll ask them to share their top issues so that we can better understand our districts and better tailor our messaging next year. Confused about how to use the tool? Check out the instructions.
Before your event, we’d recommend printing:
Sign-in sheet (1 copy)
Canvass script (1 copy/ volunteer)
Attendee Guide with best practices (1 copy/volunteer)
Backup Data Entry Form (2 copies/volunteer)
Swing Left Overview Flyer to give to voters at the door (10/ volunteer)
Maps for each volunteer with assigned streets (instructions in step 3 above))
All the material you'll need during your canvass can also be found at swingleft.org/canvassing-resources.
Step 5: Get out there and HAVE FUN!
This challenge isn't just about collecting pledge cards -- it is about having fun connecting with voters and other Swing Left Volunteers! So, have a great time and share your stories with us. Share a group pic, video, or anecdote from your event on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook (or all three!). Don’t forget to include #swingleft and #summerchallenge so that Swing Left can retweet/repost!
Paid for by Swing Left, www.swingleft.org, not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.