Identifying supporters and getting them to the polls are key parts of any political campaign. The pandemic, however, creates new challenges for candidates trying to convey their messages and mobilize voters.
Decades of political science research have made clear that mobilizing in person, either on the doorstep or on the phone, is the most effective way of moving voters to the polls. A well-run door-to-door campaign can be expected to increase turnout by 7 to 9 percentage points; an effective phone campaign can be expected to lead to a 3% to 5% increase in voter turnout.
However, even before the pandemic, it was getting harder and harder to reach voters in person or on the phone. When I began studying voter mobilization in 2005, it was common