iPhone Revolutionizes Political Canvassing


Politicos, well at least Democrats, everywhere rejoice.

Organizing for America (OAF), the political arm of the Democratic National Committee, today announced an upgrade of its iPhone app, just in time for November’s contentious mid-term elections.

The new tool takes what was once the bain of every field workers’ existence, canvassing, or the organizing of door-to-door campaign visits, from campaign headquarters to the voters’ own pockets.

After downloading the iPhone app, campaign volunteers can quickly pull up data on voters in their area, including maps to where voters live and lists of voter contacts. They’ll also have access to breaking news alerts, talking points and interactive literature to share with voters at their doors.

Most importantly for campaigns, the new app allows volunteers to send real-time feedback and door counts directly back to campaign headquarters.

This latest merger of politics and technology shows campaigns are moving beyond just YouTube and Facebook to see social media as a way to smartly manage the flow of information so crucial to any political campaign.

The OAF hopes this new tool, which they term ‘revolutionary,’ will end the days of blurry-eyed field workers pulling all-nighters hunched over maps drawing and redrawing canvassing routes, and eliminate the long nights of interns manually entering data brought back to the campaign office by volunteers.

Interestingly, it is the Democrats who have come out charging with this new technology. They, of course, led the way in 2008 under Barack Obama’s campaign but had fallen behind Republicans in this election cycle. Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts was the first candidate to apply GPS-type technology to canvassing in his surprise win to fill the seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.).

The OAF tells Politico’s Playbook its volunteers will “begin using the tool as part of their regular canvassing efforts beginning the weekend of September 10-12.”