Last Updated: October 13, 1:02pm
Do you have Postcard Packages on the porch?
Do the packages contain your usual whole-side-blank-to-write-on magnolia postcards (except when campaign requires something else)?
Do you have Letter Packages on the porch?
Data on Effectiveness
Generally speaking, the research is quite muddled, with studies supporting multiple points of view. Based on what I've seen, I feel comfortable that when we do a mix of various letter & postcard campaigns, we reach various kinds of voters in different enough kind of ways that even if one way turns out to be less effective, we've spread the risk (a portfolio approach). Some studies are listed below.
From Postcards to Voters: "Based on turnout for the 2016 General Election, looking at so-called "hot" Democratic voters, VBM ones were 5% MORE likely to cast their ballots than non-VBM ones. Among "warm" Dems, the increase among VBM voters was 34%. Looking at just the turnout from "cold" voters, (those who had NOT voted in EITHER 2012 or 2014 General elections), VBM turnout was 174% higher than the non-VBM voters! And finally, among brand new voters with no past history, but they were registered Democrats, when they voted by mail, they were 47% more likely to do so than their non-VBM peers."
From Blue Wave Analytics, 2019: "Prior studies have found that postcards to voters have a small positive effect on voter turnout. The impact lies somewhere between purely commercial mailers and a phone call not as effective as a phone call but more effective than a commercial mailer. This small, positive effect, however, adds up when millions of postcards are written by volunteers which is what happened in the 2018 election cycle. Our study found that such postcards appear to be more effective overall with younger voters (under 45) than older voters (45+). In addition, Democratic voters residing in Red states were more positively impacted by the postcards than those in Blue states... Registered Democrats like these postcards. Only 12% indicate they would throw it away without reading. Over half would at least read/skim it before throwing it away. Close to a third would keep it and/or share it. 31% would pay more attention to the election; 22% more likely to vote; 30% more likely to vote for this candidate; 23% more likely to make sure others are registered to vote."
From VoteFwd: "In the Alabama Senate special in 2017, turnout among letter recipients was 3.9 percentage points higher vs. a control group (3.4 percentage points after controlling for age, gender, and other factors in an analysis by Analyst Institute). In a larger experiment in Ohio’s 12th district in August, we saw a 1.44 percentage point effect [analysis by Annie Wang]."
Current Campaigns on the Porch
- VA (from VoteFwd): writing to encourage voters from underrepresented communities in VA to vote in November.
- FL (from Postcards to Voters): to register all Dems in FL to vote by mail.
- OH (from Postcards To Swing States): writing to first-time voters in states with key 2022 Senate races to keep them engaged.
Feel free to reach out to me if you've come across a worthy campaign or to see what's coming up. I try to keep this list up to date to reflect what campaigns you can expect to see on the porch, but obviously I don't have an immediate-update technology between the porch & this page :)
If you're really keen on any particular campaign, shoot me an email to "reserve" it for yourself.
How are these chosen? Short answer: priority weighted by availability. When I request materials from various organizations, I use our plan for 2021 as a guide.