Last Updated: March 30, 12:42pm
Do you have Postcard Packages on the porch?
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 Reclaim our Vote: "In 2021 in Petersburg, VA there were 6100 voters with no phone number so we post carded them and 43% of them voted. In 2020 in the Georgia primary, 3.3% of the 143,000 purged Black Georgia voters we post carded registered to vote. In 2019 in Onslow, NC, 26% of purged voters we contacted registered to vote.
From Sister District research summary 2020: "On average, industry studies estimate that turnout effects across tactics are in the range of 0.2-3.0%... Generally studies find a small, positive turnout boost from GOTV postcarding (~0.1-1.4%)... Vote Forward’s partially handwritten letters have shown small, positive boosts to turnout in the range of 0.4%-3.4%."
From Activate America & Movement Labs: "Results indicated that the postcards had a statistically significant impact on voter perception of Senator Masto. Specifically, in NV-4, multiple statistical analyses of the results provided a robust indication that the postcard had an impact (p=.02)... Results indicate that a single postcard to a voter may be most effective when it is building on an existing level of awareness..." so for lesser known officials may require multiple contacts.
From VoteForward:  "Vote Forward's efforts increased turnout by 0.8 percent, generating 126,000 votes in 2020. President Biden’s cumulative margin of victory in battleground states was just 0.3%... Generating net votes of even 0.2 percent is considered a big effect."  "According to data from the Analyst Institute, letter-writing is highly cost-effective compared with other voter contact methods... Previous campaigns have shown up to 4.2%. Presidential elections are much “nosier.” Any given message is more challenging to have break through - so we expected to see a smaller result than in a “quiet” special election. We’re still extremely pleased by the 0.8% result... According to our 2020 data, approximately 125 letters results in 1 vote... The 2020 results as well as earlier studies show that letters have, on average, a significantly greater impact on voter turnout than postcards."  "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]."
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."
Current Campaigns on the Porch
campaigns/states change approximately every week
- LA (from Field Team 6): writing to register likely Democrats in Louisiana, a Deep South state with a current Democratic but term-limited governor. The most likely Dem candidate would be the first Black statewide elected official since Reconstruction if he won.
- Coming soon
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