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Progressive group unveils plan to increase voter turnout for Democrats in 2020


Earlier this week, a progressive group unveiled a six-month canvassing program intended to increase turnout among Democratic voters in 16 states, including Alabama. 

The Progressive Turnout Project (PTP), a grassroots-funded organization dedicated to getting Democratic voters to the polls, unveiled its comprehensive state voter profile for Alabama, one of the battleground states they are spending $45 million in for get-out-the-vote efforts. 

PTP’s six-month canvassing program, which begins in May, is intended to engage low propensity, low information Democratic voters who the party has struggled to reach in key swing states ahead of the 2020 election. 

The Alabama voter profile lays out PTP’s blueprint for Democratic turnout success in the state in 2020 by looking at the results of the two previous election cycles, including data for 2016 and 2018 overall voter turnout, measured alongside total turnout for PTP’s target pool of infrequent Democratic voters in the state. 

PTP’s data shows that 33 percent of its targeted voter pool in Alabama have not voted at all in the last three elections, totaling over 121,000 infrequent Democratic voters forgoing to participate entirely.

The PTP program aims to boost turnout by 36,837 voters, a projected number of voters based on data from 2018 programs, which created an average boost of 10.4 percent.

PTP uses predictive analytics to identify high concentrations of infrequent Democratic voters — weighing vote history, demographic information and consumer data to identify a voter’s likelihood to turnout and vote for Democrats.

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83.90 percent of PTP’s targeted voters in Alabama identify as people of color, 48.10 percent are under the age of 35, and 52.75 percent are women.

With PTP’s in-depth, canvass-focused approach, including a field office in Birmingham, they will employ eight staff to knock on 85,800 doors and engage with those low propensity and low information voters in Alabama from May until Election Day.

PTP’s executive director Alex Morgan says that the organization will be “on the ground” in Alabama early to expand the Democratic party’s base and ensure Senator Doug Jones’ reelection.

“Our unique ability to target and engage low propensity, low information voters will be pivotal to unleashing the untapped potential of the Democratic Party’s largest voting blocs, including people of color, women, and young people, that have failed to come out in full force since 2008,” Morgan said. “Doug Jones’ upset win in 2017 proved that investing in a smart, robust field program targeted at African-American voters is a winning formula in Alabama.”


Jessa Reid Bolling is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter and graduate of The University of Alabama with a B.A. in journalism and political science.

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