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Working America’s High-Powered Field Organizing and Innovative Digital Communications Help Boost Tim Walz to Victory


Working America’s 50,000 conversations and digital outreach with persuadable voters accelerated vote gain in Minnesota

Twin Cities, MN – In concert with the larger Minnesota progressive movement, Working America, the 3-million-member community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, married high-powered field organizing and innovative digital communications to help boost Tim Walz to election victory. Working America’s field program knocked on more than 175,000 doors and held nearly 50,000 conversations with persuadable voters. Then, Working America’s digital program layered in intensive digital content to accelerate the persuasive effects with 60,000 voters reached at the doors. During the course of the campaign, Working America ran an experiment-informed-program (EIP) to identify persuadable portions of the Minnesota electorate. This program helped guide progressive targeting and increased votes gained by Working America contact.

“After the razor-edge results from the 2016 election, we knew that working-class voters would make or break this election for Tim Walz,” said Matt Morrison, executive director of Working America. “Winning the gubernatorial race required surgical precision in finding and connecting with these difference-makers.”

Working America found that many of these “difference-makers” were still undecided in several weeks leading up to the gubernatorial election and lacked specifics on each of the candidates running for governor. Josh Lewis, a Working America field director, observed, “Amid all the noise of the final weeks of campaigning, we found voters who still need to be persuaded to support the progressive candidate. By holding face-to-face conversations and sending saturation-level digital content, we were able to break through with these voters and draw connections between the issues they care about and Walz’s policy stances.”

A quarter of Minnesota working-class voters told Working America canvassers that health care was their chief concern. Working America’s field and digital programs were then able to use health care to change minds and win votes. Tim Walz won these health care voters by a 3:1 margin.

With more than 270,000 working-class members in the state’s 87 counties, Working America has been on the ground in Minnesota for over a dozen years. In that time, Working America has helped win more than 60 races and developed particular expertise mobilizing working-class voters in both the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota areas. Earlier in the year, working America conducted a Front Porch Focus Group report to understand what was animating voters and what issues were popping ahead of the 2018 elections. We found that more than 2 out of 5 voters didn’t believe any politician fights for their interests, and they didn’t have connections to formal organizations that offer them information about politics. Overcoming this type of disaffection and changing how voters perceive their own agency in relation to politics demands sustained engagement and organizing.



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