SSN Commentary

Bridging the Political Divide With Deep Canvassing

Policy field

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University of Wisconsin-Madison

Originally published as "Bridging the Political Divide With Deep Canvassing," The Cap Times, October 29, 2020.

I'm not telling you who I’m voting for!,” exclaimed the stranger on the other end of the line. I paused to see if they would hang up. They didn’t. “That’s OK,” I said, “you don’t need to share that with me. I just want to know what issues matter most to you.” Partisan politics wasn’t the point of my call, anyway.

A few weeks before, feeling frustrated and worried as the seemingly endless (and endlessly polarized) political season dragged on, I was looking for something I could do, something other than traditional partisan “get out the vote” phone banking. I found the Wisconsin Farmers Union nonpartisan deep canvassing team, which is how I ended up on the phone with this particular stranger.