Canvas in New Hampshire or a Swing+Senate State Near You!

A great remedy for election anxiety and fear: Canvassing!
Z (12 yrs old) and I went to New Hampshire on Monday, and the Nashua office was wonderfully organized and clear. (WBUR’s poll today shows Clinton with a disturbingly slim 3 point lead). Our ride was just 40 minutes from the Boston suburbs, and it was a stunning ride through spectacular fall foliage. The day was a great way to bond with a kid who is just starting to engage with politics (Z was the most enthusiastic Bernie supporter in our house). Our three hours of canvassing was just about perfect for a 12-year-old (honestly, he was engaged and energetic for 2 hours, and then started to get bored during the 3d hour, but I think boredom isn’t such a disaster for kids). I found it helpful bringing along such a cute, friendly kid to make the homeowners comfortable and to start a conversation about basic human decency. We arrived at the Nashua campaign office, and they had folders organized for a 3-hour canvas visit to 40 homes. The field organizers did not send us to any solid Trump supporters or solid Democrats. They put together a clear list from canvassing information from past elections plus a list of “Unaffiliated” (registered independents), and they mapped out the list for efficient navigation. We had conversations with about a dozen people. All but one had moved from undecided to Clinton. The exception was someone who shifted from Trump back to undecided after the NBC tape and the last debate. But many of them hadn’t thought much about the CRUCIAL Senate race that will probably decide which party controls the Senate. Talking up Maggie Hassan over Kelly Ayotte was the most important contribution of our canvassing. We talked about the open Supreme Court seat and the importance of overturning Citizens United. We talked about how Maggie Hassan was a very successful governor who kept taxes low on the middle class and working class, and also focused on the state’s opioid crisis. And we mentioned that Kelly Ayotte just answered in a debate that she thought Trump was “absolutely a good role model.” Those messages seemed to connect.
There are lots of states that will decide both the Presidency and the Senate: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Nevada, and Florida. Let’s go!!!


Author: Jed Shugerman

Legal historian at Fordham Law School, teaching Torts, Administrative Law, and Constitutional History. JD/PhD in History, Yale. Red Sox and Celtics fan, youth soccer coach. Author of "The People's Courts: Pursuing Judicial Independence in America" (2012) on the rise of judicial elections in America. I filed an amicus brief in the Emoluments litigation against Trump along with a great team of historians. I'm working on "The Rise of the Prosecutor Politicians," a history of prosecutors and political ambition (a cause of mass incarceration), and "The Imaginary Unitary Executive," on the myths and history of presidential power in America.

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