GOTV is the most crucial stretch of the entire campaign – persuading voters is important, but it doesn’t matter if your own base doesn’t show up on Election Day. This year, Virginia Democrats aren’t leaving anything on the table for GOTV.
On Tuesday, October 22, actor Alec Baldwin rallied volunteers before canvassing himself for Democratic candidate Amanda Pohl (SD-11), who is facing notoriously inflammatory GOP incumbent Sen. Amanda Chase.
Outside organizations like Swing Left are bringing even more capacity to GOTV operations by organizing bus trips to connect Democrats in DC with campaigns in Virginia for the final weekend of GOTV. (Sign up here!)
GOTV is traditionally done through methods like canvassing, phone-banking, and mail, all of which are important and effective tools for turning out Democrats. But campaigns and outside organizations are also now investing in digital GOTV ads to meet more voters where they spend their time: online.
New Virginia Majority is running paid ads to boost their campaign on a platform called Cheerity, where voters can upload their photo to their page as a public commitment to vote. The platform is attempting to create positive social pressure if participants share the photo on their own social media. Almost 2,000 Virginians have uploaded photos as of October 24.
The Virginia House Democratic Caucus is also up with its own GOTV ads, encouraging Democrats to request and return their absentee ballots. The caucus is also promoting its Election Day Facebook event, which they can use to digitally organize Democratic voters. The event details are then used to feature a polling place lookup and a volunteer lead form, and voters can share the event with their friends to nudge them to vote as well.
With ample spending from Democratic party committees and outside organizations, where are Republicans? From what we’ve seen, Republican candidates are being hung out to dry, with little digital backup from their party committees or outside organizations. While some are running large digital campaigns that are mainly still focused on persuasion, we haven’t found many digital ads from Republican candidates pushing voters to turn out on November 5th.