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Campaigns embrace door-knocking in final stretch

Posted at 8:22 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 20:30:25-04

LIVONIA, Michigan - To knock or not to knock. That is the question on the minds of many political campaigns as the nation heads into the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.

Door knocking has traditionally been a fall pastime in every presidential election with swarms of volunteers descending upon neighborhoods in the most competitive counties around the country.

For months, Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden blocked his supporters from going door-to-door, citing the ongoing pandemic.

Meanwhile President Donald Trump’s campaign continued to hit the pavement knocking on as many as 1 million doors per week nationwide.

That is how it appeared to be for the rest of the campaign until last weekend when the Biden campaign abruptly shifted policy and gave the green light to let volunteers start knocking on doors.

Top Democrats with the Biden campaign insist strict health guidelines will be followed.

DOES IT WORK?

For Parker Madock, a 19-year-old staffer for Trump in Michigan, door knocking has become a part of her daily routine.

“We are knocking right now the people we aren’t sure of,” Maddock said during a recent door knocking event in Livonia, a suburb of Detroit.

“Every time you talk with a voter, they are more likely to vote for your candidate,” Maddock said.

How many Biden volunteers actually door knock, after being told it was unsafe for months, is unclear.

Biden Detroit Volunteer DeLisle Horton-Willis told Scripps National Political Editor Joe St. George recently she thought the timing wasn’t quite right.

“I think it’s a little dangerous at this time,” Horton-Willis said.

Horton-Willis says she much prefers phone banking and that Michigan Democrats have been making around 10,000 phone calls each day on behalf of Biden.

“I can’t do a lot but if everybody do a little. We are good,” Horton-Willis said.

The Biden campaign has said Pennsylvania, Nevada and Michigan are expected to see the first major wave of door knocking. Trump’s campaign has said they’ll be continuing robust door-knocking operations in several swing states.