ThruText helps propel a progressive
and underdog candidate to victory in Philadelphia’s District Attorney primary
Philadelphia’s Larry Krasner is not your average candidate for District Attorney. While most aspiring prosecutors promise to put more criminals behind bars, Krasner–a veteran civil rights lawyer and staunch progressive–campaigned against mass incarceration, committed to never seek the death penalty, and called out law enforcement for systematic racism.
Not surprisingly, Krasner began the race as an underdog. But on May 16, 2017, he handily beat a number of well-known and well-funded opponents to win the Democratic Primary, and peer-to-peer (P2P) texting via ThruText played an important role in his success.
ThruText was one of our campaign’s most powerful tools for finding our supporters and making sure they turned out on Election Day.
In an open primary with seven major candidates and a historically low turnout, the Krasner campaign knew that supporter identification and turnout would be crucial to their success.
“We had a big opportunity to use texting to get an edge in the campaign and engage people, especially young people,” says Sam Ghazey, an organizer with the Krasner campaign. “At the local level, there was a power to be unleashed that hadn’t been tapped into yet.
In an open primary with seven major candidates and a historically low turnout, the Krasner campaign knew that supporter identification and turnout would be crucial to their success. “We had a big opportunity to use texting to get an edge in the campaign and engage people, especially young people,” says Sam Ghazey, an organizer with the Krasner campaign. “At the local level, there was a power to be unleashed that hadn’t been tapped into yet.”
ThruText was the primary recruitment tool for the second phase of the Krasner texting program–their canvassing operation. Anyone who expressed interest in volunteering (via a ThruText or online signup) received a separate text asking them to canvass. This ensured a steady stream of volunteers for door-knocking in targeted wards.
The third phase of the Krasner P2P texting program was GOTV texts. The campaign texted all of its positive IDs, as well as several thousand other known supporters they had identified through their web site. They reached a total of 5,296 known supporters; 40 percent of people they texted responded, and 30 percent reconfirmed their support.
On Election Day, the campaign also used ThruText to check in on water, food, and supplies and ensure shift coverage for hundreds of volunteers at polling stations throughout the city. They needed to be able to quickly communicate with volunteers en masse, and texting made that possible.
Over the course of the campaign, Krasner’s texting program generated more than half of all voter engagement, outpacing traditional tools like the campaign’s distributed calling centers and paid canvassing. “I knew that people were going to turn out on Election Day,” says Ghazey. “I give ThruText a lot of the credit for that. ThruText was built by organizers for organizers. You have a visceral connection to the results being generated. You can read all the conversations, monitor them, and quickly improve. It’s intuitive and easy to use. It’s designed with an organizer’s needs in mind.”
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