The Progressive Turnout Project launched its voter turnout program Monday, and the group is vowing to make 55 million telephone calls and hand-write 500,000 letters to voters by election day. They have announced they are targeting Alabama in order to convince voters to re-elect U.S. Sen. Doug Jones.
“Donald Trump is an existential threat to this country,” said Alex Morgan, the executive director of the Progressive Turnout Project. “We need to beat him and take back the Senate, and we can’t take any vote for granted. That’s why we are talking to our target voters now, helping them step-by-step as they make a plan to vote, and following up this fall.”
This is the largest phone program of any progressive organization this cycle. PTP is encouraging voters in 18 presidential and Senate battleground states to make a plan to vote early or vote by mail, and PTP will walk voters step-by-step through the process of applying for a mail ballot in their state.
They are the nation’s largest grassroots-funded Democratic voter turnout organization with a budget of $52.5 million that they are spending in 18 states this cycle including Alabama due to the Senate race.
PTP is primarily targeting inconsistent Democratic voters who didn’t turn out in 2016 or 2018.
“Having in-depth, one-on-one conversations is the key to turning out the inconsistent voters Democrats need to win this election,” said Morgan. “And this year, it’s about more than boosting turnout — this is a massive voter education effort to fight the misinformation spread by President Trump and Republicans, and to help each and every voter make their voice heard.”
PTP projects that it could get approximately 35,000 commitments to vote in Wisconsin, 85,000 commitments to vote in Michigan, 130,000 commitments to vote in Pennsylvania and 200,000 commitments to vote in Florida. If so, that would be greater than the vote margin in each of those states in the 2016 presidential election.
PTP targets registered inconsistent, likely Democratic voters and new voters. PTP employs paid, trained staff who aim to have multiple, in-depth conversations with each voter.
In the first conversation, staff will seek to develop a relationship, get a commitment to vote and help voters make a plan to vote, including voting early or VBM. PTP then sends a “commit to vote” card to voters as a reminder.
Second and third conversations are held closer to Election Day, to follow up and help voters execute their plan to vote.
This year staff and volunteers are providing additional voter education as part of the voter contact program on phone calls, PTP staff and volunteers will walk voters through how to VBM.
While on the phone, PTP will text voters a link to sign up for VBM in their state and get them started on their application. PTP also shares vote-by-mail application links and deadlines in its handwritten letters to voters.
PTP’s staff are located in 53 metro areas across presidential and Senate battleground states. In addition to connecting with voters through phone calls and handwritten letters, local PTP staff will host virtual days of action specific to their regions, including one for National Voter Registration Day in September and a second day of action in October.
PTP has previously been active in 17 of 18 target states, and has expanded the voter contact program to include Texas, which has competitive presidential and Senate races, as well as 10 Republican-held House seats that they project that Democrats could win.
In Texas, PTP will target 65-and-older voters who are eligible for no-excuse VBM.
Since its inception in 2015, PTP has invested in voter-turnout programs in 130 House and Senate races.
Jones faces a stiff re-election challenge from former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville. Jones is the only Democrat to win a statewide race in Alabama since 2008.