Knocking Doors and Nudging Democrats: My Experience Canvassing in Missouri for the 2022 Midterms

I am a textbook introvert who loves knocking on strangers’ doors.

Yep, you read that correctly! I'll knock on hundreds of doors and talk to dozens of complete strangers on some days. Like a classic introvert, I usually spend my weekend mornings sitting alone with a good book. Three hours later, you'll likely find me standing on a stranger's doorstep and talking to them about affordable healthcare.

My name is Jon. I’m a campaign tech fellow for Bluebonnet, and I also like to get involved in politics through door-to-door canvassing. The two goals of canvassing are usually to either: (1) persuade voters to support a candidate or (2) remind already-persuaded voters to turn out to vote in the election.

As a lifelong introvert, I could have never imagined myself in this position. I grew up in an Asian American household that seldom discussed politics, even though I've long been a voracious reader of political news. Still, campaigning never seemed like something I'd get involved in. That all changed in 2020. After a tumultuous year (to say the least) of a raging pandemic, racial turmoil, and economic malaise, I decided enough was enough. Enough of merely consuming the news. I was ready to contribute toward putting competent and compassionate leaders into office.

Fast forward to this past summer, when I canvassed throughout the St. Louis Metro Area, where I was born and raised. Most of my work involved meeting Missouri Democrats before the primary election, before shifting to more moderate voters during my few weeks in August as the campaigns geared up for the November 8th general election.

There are some common frustrations with this line of work. Most people never answer the door. Maybe they're genuinely not home. But I do get suspicious when I see cars parked on the driveway. Or when the sound of footsteps suddenly ceases the moment I ring the doorbell. You never get to talk to as many people as you'd hope.

Some might mistake you for a missionary—others for a solicitor. “No Soliciting” signs became the bane of my existence (along wit