Canvassers Tend to Seek Out Supporters Who Are Like Themselves, and That’s Not Good for Political Participation

The data reveals that canvassers were significantly more likely to walk door to door in search of signatures in neighborhoods where the demographic characteristics of the residents were similar to their own. For example, the middle-class, white Wisconsin canvassers who gathered signatures to protest the Iraq War were more likely to
stay in predominantly white and middle class neighborhoods when they traveled door to door. Our analysis also revealed that canvassers appeared to follow a rational process in which canvassers quit or changed approaches when facing increased costs.