Door to Door
From today's St. Petersburg Times-
Wearing white leather Keds, Pinellas County School Board candidate Jennifer Crockett steps to the front of the yellow house and knocks on the door.
A man's gruff voice bellows from inside.
"Just leaving some information," Crockett replies as she wraps a flier on the door knob and strides to the next house and the next opportunity to spread her message, grass roots style.
It's another day, another door on the campaign trail.
Even in this age of 15-second TV ads and Internet organizing, the shoe leather style of campaigning, door to door, one family at a time, retains its strong appeal.
Political observers say old-fashioned canvassing has made a comeback since the 2004 presidential campaign and the massive anti-Bush effort, America Coming Together.
The popularity of door-to-door campaigning is fueled partly by studies showing voters tuning out mass mailings, negative TV ads and automated phone messages.
People prefer the personal, said Yale University professor Alan Gerber, director of the Center for the Study of American Politics.
"If you manage to get somebody, it has a huge effect," Gerber said. Candidates "do it because it works."
As the Nov. 7 general election in Florida nears, dozens of candidates can be seen hoofing it door to door in the evenings and on Saturdays.
In the 17 years I have lived in Lantana, I can only recall 3 times having a candidate or someone representing him or her knock on my door. The first 8 of those 17 years, I lived in a gated community which may have kept people away.
The door knockers were our now State Rep Shelley Vana, Someone for John Kerry and a local candidate for the school board that I have since totally forgotten their name. No visitor has come to my door since 2004. I don't live far from I-95( A mile and a half approximately), so access is not a problem.
The phone calls are picking up again and the the only commercials during the local news are totally political by now. If there's a new trend for candidates to be hoofing it, TFM has yet to see a sign of it.
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