In every election, there are some voters who all of the candidate campaigns get wrong. They misjudge the issues that matter to these voters, send them a message which they don’t connect with or do not address the doubts that arise in their minds. These are the undecided voters that all the candidates seem to abandon.
Sometimes, these voters show up to vote based on other factors that they use to judge the candidates. In the worst cases, they do not vote at all.
How do you win over these undecided voters?
Through a well-planned grassroots effort.
Your grassroots strategy should take a gradual approach for the undecided voters and win their support over the course of the campaign. Here we have lined out some steps to focus your grassroots effort for undecided voters.
Draft a plan in advance
You’d need to create a campaign plan in advance to approach the undecided voter base. Figure out different messages for voters with different issues and interests. Map out the areas with undecided voters and the issues that affect these groups.
Next, you have to find volunteers who can relate to these undecided voters and have them make first contact. A good grassroots strategy is more than sending out droves of volunteers to knock on doors. You’d have to figure out the right message for each of these voters through the data available on the undecided voters.
Data to make decisions
Voter data can help you find what could get the undecided voters out to vote. Get a voter file and match it with previous election data to find clusters of similar voters. Out of these, you have to recognize the persuadable voters for your campaign based on the information available on them.
The data can help you discover which small issues or topics are of more importance for these voters. Conduct surveys and polls to record voters’ responses on important policies. The goal is to find which of these undecided voters are likely to be persuaded and then use that information in your grassroots effort.
Personalize the message
Your staff and volunteers should be able to craft the message based on the voters they approach. This means they should be able to present the campaign message keeping the voter’s perspective in mind.
This would not be easy for the new recruits with little to no campaigning experience. Hold training sessions and let experienced volunteers guide them in their initial approach. Hand them scripts to make the task easier. Train them to use the voter file for reference on the conversation and how to add to the list with new data on the voters.
Train to listen better
Grassroots is more about building a one-on-one connection with the audience. For that, you have to start a conversation with the undecided voter. The volunteer should allow the voter to present their view of the candidates and issues and then position the campaign message in relation to the voter’s views. The candidate should not seem forced upon the voter but the right choice because of how their policies relate to the issues the voter is facing.
Address their issues
With volunteers collecting relevant information on voters who are on the fence, all future contact with them should reinforce the idea that the candidate would be the right choice to better their situation. This will show the voter that you care about the problems faced by them.
The data may even show what makes the voter undecided or if they have any particular matter that they are skeptical about. The volunteer should use that information in their future correspondence with the voter.
Combine your communication channels
To get the attention of undecided voters, your grassroots effort should combine multiple communication methods to reinforce the campaign message. Set up a phonebank to reach out to the voters and keep them updated on the progress made. Have your volunteers engage voters in personal conversations over peer to peer texts. Your volunteers who go door-to-door should have the context of the last exchange made with the voter to continue the conversation. Like we stated above, a good grassroots campaign is more about listening and responding in accordance.
Help them decide
You have to get the voter to open up to the candidate and their policies. Remember that it may take a while to convince an undecided voter.
The message or the candidate should not seem forced upon them. Instead, show them that people with similar issues as they are aligned with the campaign already. Reach into their circle and build a bond with their close ones as well. Host events in their neighborhood even though they might not attend at once.
Winning over undecided voters with a grassroots effort is a slow task and requires regular planned contact. It is, however, worth it because getting undecided voters to vote for you would significantly boost your support.