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New Directions in Voter Outreach: Phones and Text Communication Are Having a Moment....

The “Old School” Voter Contact Method Suddenly Becomes an Essential Campaign Tool in the Age of COVID-19

It took an epidemic, but the phone call – leavened with some new tech – is resurging as a way to campaign and win. Social distancing requirements during COVID-19 present challenges as campaigns scramble to find alternatives to in-person rallies, door-to-door canvassing and fundraising events. States are relaxing vote-by-mail requirements. Consequently, campaigns are having more success with communications through phones and peer-to-peer (P2P) texting. Of course, there are all sorts of ways to screw this up and run afoul of laws that can cost thousands in fines.

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the adoption of texting as a way to communicate with voters. I think most campaigns new to P2P will be pleasantly surprised with its effectiveness. But in order to get the most out of your program, you’ll need a plan to integrate the data into your campaign and ensure it’s not siloed off, wasting away in a digital corner. 

CERC is here to help. With 34 years of unmatched experience in telephone voter contact, we’re ready to deploy precisely-targeted voter contact campaigns.

John Nienstedt Commentary on COVID-19’s Generational Faultlines

COVID-19 is Putting Young at Odds with Elderly
Competitive Edge conducted a survey of 542 California voters to gauge their concerns and attitudes toward COVID-19. One thing was clear – Coronavirus is a universal concern. Yet beyond that, stark differences emerged between the older and younger generations. Nearly two-thirds of those older than 76 think it’s unlikely they will become infected with coronavirus, whereas fifty-seven percent of those younger than 58 think the same.
Learn more about these generational differences, and the potential reasoning behind them, in CERC President John Nienstedt’s recent editorial for the San Diego Times.
Read the Times of San Diego Article
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CERC President John Nienstedt Zoomifies the Albondigas Group of North County

John Nienstedt was delighted to address the North County San Diego Albondigas Political Society via a Zoom chat earlier this Spring at the bequest of organizer Ernie Cowan. John’s been a “meatball” since the group’s early days and Ernie has done a great job shepherding the original North County Albondigans. Over a Margarita, John shared data on the recently concluded March Primary showing the geo-based voting trends in the County’s most important races. He also talked about how California voters are reacting to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as thoughts on how the crisis will affect the coming general election. Although Zoom definitely can’t capture the full and flavorful character of a Friday Albondigas get-together, it was nonetheless a great meeting full of good cheer. Ernie was even served tacos!
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Careers in Survey Research: New Demand Generated from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Survey research is a dynamic field that cuts across a wide variety of sectors - from public opinion to political polling to public health. We were reminded of this when we came across a job listing for a Survey Statistician in the New York City Health Department. Among other duties, the successful candidate will lead the process of pulling samples for surveys about COVID-19 that cover health opinions, knowledge and attitudes as well as social determinants of health and other topics using a health panel. Part of the joy of practicing survey research is the wealth of domains to which it applies, and the world of opportunities it can open to young graduates early in their career. 
NOTE: CERC is SAFELY open for business.  We’re conducting interviews out of our El Paso office as well as having our trained interviewers work remotely from home. With people homebound and eager for interaction, there’s never been a better time to conduct survey research. 
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