The revived strategy in Georgia is markedly different than the Democratic Party’s approach to canvassing during the general election. While the pandemic spread across the country in the lead up to Nov. 3, Democrats steered away from in-person canvassing and relied heavily on digital field programs like phone-banking and texting to turn out their voters. Some national Democrats, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have pointed to sparse field programs in post-election analyses of why the party underperformed expectations in House and Senate races.
“The decision to stop knocking doors is one people need to grapple with and analyze,” she tweeted in the days after the election.
Evan Weber, the political director and cofounder of the Sunrise Movement, echoed Ocasio-Cortez’s analysis.
“Democrats, somewhat wisely in line with public health standards, didn’t invest heavily in field operations in the middle of a pandemic,” he told BuzzFeed News. “I think there were some decisions made by party operatives where we could’ve done some of that in a safe way; there was major field handicap that hurt Democrats of all political ideologies.”