Messina: Doorknocking Even More Important In Future Campaigns

Switching off the “cacaphony.”

John Moore / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said Tuesday that as airwaves and webpages are flooded by advertisements, personal interactions will be ever more important to winning campaigns.

His comments at a POLITICO Playbook Breakfast, point to a paradox of the age of big political money: the more outside groups spend, on campaigns, the less value their competing efforts have.

Messina said the campaign’s internal metrics showed that a staple of old-school campaigning — the door knock — was better at persuading voters than television or internet ads.

“People got so much of it, a simple door knock from a trusted neighbor really mattered more than anything else,” Messina said.

“Door knocking is going to be even more important in the future,” Messina added. “The diffusion of American media makes it harder to get your message out…and the Citizens United ruling created this huge cacophony of television [ads] in the final months of that campaign,” he added.

Messina said in essence a lot of what the Obama campaign’s technology team did was building “a whole bunch of things to make door knocking easier,” saying the campaign wanted to use its volunteers’ time efficiently.

Asked if this was the most expensive door-knocking campaign in history,” Messina replied simply, “Yes.”

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