There was a time where the process of canvassing meant allocating large amounts of campaign funds towards train rides, supplies for volunteers and so on. Today though, technology and organizations such as NGP VAN have brought the cost dramatically down and the results dramatically up. Social media targeted ads has almost entirely replaced TV ads that usually are at a very high cost and with too broad of an audience. An incredible advancement in voter reach is the implementation of phone canvassing. That’s right phone canvassing! It is an amazing tool that any volunteer can sign up for on a candidates website which then allows them to call potential voters to inform them about a particular candidate. Phone base technology keeps improving every election cycle with adds on such as automatic dialing and more precise targeting. These advancements don’t only provide volunteers with better tools, candidates themselves are using communication sources to connect with voters on a more personal level. For example, Senatorial Candidate Beto O’Rourke from Texas is taking advantage of the reach that Facebook Live offers. All his rallies, town halls and even him pumping gas are streamed live on Facebook! His exposure on this free platform has allowed him to reach many younger voters who normally do not follow political campaigns.
In addition, groups like NGP Van have created apps to further assist volunteers in collecting reliable voter data. NGP VAN is one of the largest collectors of voter databases in the country and with their new app MiniVan has helped Democratic candidates reach more potential voters than ever before. NGP VAN general manager Amanda Coulombe reports that due to the efficiency and effectiveness of this app more people have signed up during these midterms than the 2016 presidential elections. NGP VAN also states that according to current app data, these 2018 midterms are sure to favor the Democratic Party.