Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the state of the parties. The state of the GOP is not good.
The large-scale voter contact effort that conservatives have put at the center of their political operations in recent years is plagued with issues, according to more than a dozen people who’ve worked in GOP-aligned field operations and internal data obtained by NBC News. Those issues include fraudulent and untrustworthy data entries, akin to what occurred in Nevada, as well as allegations of lax hiring practices and a lack of accountability.
Though Democrats deal with some of the same door-knocking challenges, the party has built-in advantages for in-person canvassing, according to interviews with two Democratic canvassing veterans as well as with Republicans with similar experience. They include a more ready supply of younger volunteers, allies in organized labor offering union workers to hit the doors and a base of supporters who are more tightly concentrated in urban and dense suburban areas where canvassers can hit a lot more doors in a lot less time.
Canvassers once went around with clipboards and paper, checking off houses along the way. Now, canvassers are largely expected to tick off doors in real time via smartphone apps equipped with geotracking, a core fraud-prevention capability. Canvassing experts say there are some valid reasons to still use paper on a small scale, but those types of entries make it more difficult to ensure that a canvasser was physically knocking on a door.
A high volume of paper, these experts said, would be cause for concern — as appears to be the case last year in Georgia’s general election.
Two field staffers who worked for Georgia Victory, a ground-game operation jointly overseen by the RNC and the state Republican Party, said that as November neared, they became increasingly alarmed by the unusually high volume of paper entries. The operation used the app Campaign Sidekick, a Republican-aligned data platform that includes geotracking technology.
...In recent cycles, Republicans have become more and more dependent on paid canvassing facilitated by outside consultants. While a welcome resource, paid door-knockers, who are often flown in from out of state, are sometimes minimally vetted in order to be deployed quickly, multiple sources said. Consulting outfits may take on jobs only to subcontract them out to other firms, creating an unwieldy patchwork that’s difficult to police. Eight sources said this system may make the data that campaigns are getting about potential voters less reliable.