There are still undecided votes to be won for Democrats. Now is the time to make your case.
I know regular readers of Eclectablog are fully aware that Election Day is next week. A lot of you are the same people who are knocking on doors, making phone calls and doing whatever you can to help get out the vote. You’ve been following politics this entire election cycle if not every day of the year.
But a lot of folks are only now thinking about how they’ll vote on November 4th. Which means there are votes yet to be won for Democrats. And as we learned in the 2012 election, many of those votes can be won by talking to the people who know and trust you: your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.
This was reinforced for me this weekend when I was out knocking on doors for the Michigan Democratic Party. In addition to many people who told us they’re voting for Democratic candidates, we spoke to people who were still undecided. “I’m doing my homework this weekend,” they’d say. Or “I still haven’t made up my mind.”
My fabulous canvass partner, Winnie, has the perfect response: “Can I just tell you why I’m voting Democratic this year?” She’s warm and approachable and hard to say “no” to. And she just forges ahead in her friendly way, offering a quick summary of what’s important to her — the values that align with those of the Democrats she’s supporting, like equality, healthcare access and education. Then Winnie says this:
No matter which party you support, consider the fact that Republicans control every part of Michigan’s Legislature right now: the House, Senate, and offices of Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State. If nothing else, don’t you want to see more balance in our state’s leadership?
Every time Winnie says that, I can see the light of recognition in people’s eyes — the understanding that our country is built on the idea of a balance of power.
Whether you’re officially knocking on doors or just talking to people as the election approaches, you have the same opportunity to change minds. It’s really pretty simple:
Tell people why you’re voting Democratic.
There are lots of ways to do it. Inspired by the viral “Turn Out For What” video, some of my friends made short videos explaining their number-one reason for voting. I did the same in a 30-second snippet.
You don’t have to make a video. Just say what you believe in person, on social media, or over the phone. Follow the lead of my canvass partner: Be pleasant, be positive and be brief.
I get that not everyone is comfortable talking about politics with their family or neighbors. Heck, there are times when I don’t discuss politics with friends because I either know their minds are made up or I’ve learned it will just lead to an argument.
But you’ll know when you have an opening. The other day, my chiropractor asked me my opinion of Rick Snyder and Mark Schauer, Michigan’s candidates for Governor. I hesitated because, well, as nice as my chiropractor is you don’t want to tick someone off while they have your head in their hands. But then he said, “Hey, this isn’t political. I’m asking your opinion because I know you’re well-informed.” And with that, I felt really comfortable telling him why I support Mark Schauer: Because he will put the needs of Michiganders above special interests and he’s a genuinely good man who wants to do the right thing for the people he’s elected to serve. Because he’s got good ideas to make Michigan a better place to live and work.
Chris’ excellent post analyzing the Detroit Free Press “endorsement” of Rick Snyder provides some terrific points you can use to talk about Mark Schauer’s strengths.
Most people don’t have a blog to post on and that’s just fine. Person to person, what’s most powerful is speaking from the heart. Talk about the values that matter to you most. For me, it’s healthcare and equality and fair play, just to name a few.
What are your values? What’s important to you? Why are you voting Democratic on November 4th? Tell everyone who will listen. Your story could change someone’s mind.
If you want to get even more involved, it’s not too late to volunteer to help get out the vote for Michigan Democrats! CLICK HERE to sign up. And for heaven’s sake, VOTE. And make sure everyone you know does, too.
Haven’t seen the #TURNOUTFORWHAT video? Check it out. It may just motivate you even more.
Image credit: BadgeMonkey via Flickr.