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Le Taz Hot

(22,271 posts)
Sun Nov 8, 2015, 09:01 PM Nov 2015

Question for Iowans

I have a question for you Iowans;

Yesterday, we had a Phone Banking for Bernie Event at my house and we were calling Iowans. Probably about 75% to 80% of the calls went unanswered (or answering machines). Would you say that is because people are looking at their caller ID and, not recognizing the number (or being an out-of-state number) people are just not picking up? I know you guys must get inundated with calls for all the candidates and I'm sure the closer to the caucusing it gets the worse it gets but, in your opinion, is phone banking to Iowa voters effective or is it considered more along the lines of a PITA?

Thanks in advance!


14 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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(1,545 posts)
1. I don't know about Iowa, specifically
Sun Nov 8, 2015, 09:04 PM
Nov 2015

but in 2012, the contact rate on phone banks nationally during the campaign was, if I recall correctly, 13%.


(3,957 posts)
2. Oh boy....
Sun Nov 8, 2015, 09:33 PM
Nov 2015

you can't even know how sick Iowans are of these calls. It never stops from one election to the next.

Such a PITA!

Le Taz Hot

(22,271 posts)
3. So, I guess, this is what I don't understand.
Sun Nov 8, 2015, 09:54 PM
Nov 2015

On the one hand Iowans are pretty dedicated to remaining first in the nation in the primary/caucus process, yet, they (some?) consider contact with various campaigns and/or their volunteers to be a PITA. That just seems incongruent to me.

Anyway, if most Iowans feel like this I'm thinking our volunteer efforts might be better spent with other activities (which we do anyway).

Thanks for the feedback.


(62,592 posts)
4. LTH - we just got caller ID added - I live in Iowa
Sun Nov 8, 2015, 10:13 PM
Nov 2015

and if a call were IDed somehow as a polling firm or a campaign I will answer it. If it comes in as "private caller" I will no longer answer it. If it comes in as another number I do not recognize I will let it go to the answering machine and return the call if it is from a campaign or a polling company.

In the past 2 years we have been inundated with all sorts of robo calls and other tech monstrosities on the phone such that even answering the phone can put you in jeopardy. The calling phone numbers are tied to computers and change constantly so blocking numbers is nearly impossible.

Recently we have been getting bogus calls from the Des Moines area code. So yeah - will caller ID I do now screen my calls. Considering the amount of problems we had in our area from all sorts of spam callers, I suspect most everyone around here does.

We are very political and it really saddens me to do this, but got to protect my butt from unexpected problems.

Le Taz Hot

(22,271 posts)
5. Excellent!
Sun Nov 8, 2015, 10:21 PM
Nov 2015

Thanks for this. This is giving me some really good information. We're not set up to leave messages as we're using software that brings up one Iowan at a time so, there's no way to go back to a person if we leave a message and they call back. Anyway . . . one more question. Does it make you feel more favorable about a campaign/candidate if they are live callers as opposed to robo-calls?

Thanks again!



(62,592 posts)
10. I love live - robo calls get an immediate hangup most of the time from me
Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:01 AM
Nov 2015

unless it is a candidate i care about.
I am a bit unusual in taking live calls. Since I do some of this myself, I have great respect for anyone of either party who calls.
Issue calls I am a bit less forgiving on.

Since we can change parties very easily in Iowa I have frequently voted in the Repub primary to vote against our governor for life Terry Branstad. Therefore I get Republican calls. If it is live, I am very cordial to them and have actually converted a couple.

But I must say many folks out here are getting quite tired of so many calls. Many of the phone lists I have used when making calls don't get reset right and I have often found myself calling someone that has just been called in the past couple of days. When their evening is being disturbed frequently like that folks get testy.

Sending you a PM.



(11,843 posts)
11. That is one of my pet peeves, calling but not leaving a message.
Mon Nov 9, 2015, 09:32 AM
Nov 2015

If it was important enough to call me, but not important enough to bother to say why, DON"T CALL!! I daily get one or two hang up messages and a "There is no problem with your credit card...". I would almost support the NSA and Air Force joining up to locate and drone strike call centers that don't identify themselves.


(16,254 posts)
6. I think a goodly number of Iowans are still interested in the campaign and
Sun Nov 8, 2015, 10:35 PM
Nov 2015

follow the process pretty closely, however, the "process" has changed dramatically. Rather than have a year of running, the candidates now start (or hint they might start) months before usual. So, they not only call for donations, but also send out feelers to see how Iowans plan to vote. Eventually, the real campaign begins, but everyone is getting burnt out.

Also, I screen the calls with caller ID. If the number is out of state, I rarely answer as it is probably a robo call. I can't tell you how many calls I've received for walk-in bath-tubs. And, don't forget those which tell me I won $1000 in groceries. Right.

The worst time is near the end of the accounting period/quarter. The phone rings off the hook, but I'm not donating until I pick a candidate. I feel that asking for donations has gone off the pier. That problem has GOT to be resolved.


(2,142 posts)
7. I'm an Iowan.
Sun Nov 8, 2015, 11:41 PM
Nov 2015

I agree with all that's been said. I have caller ID and use it ruthlessly. If the number is not known to me, I simply do not pick up. Too many solicitations and robocalls etc. Even though I'm on the Do Not Call registry.

As another poster said, political season seems never-ending these days and I think we all get sick of it and burnt out.

Occasionally, I have answered a political survey. Sometimes I get beeped in on when I'm talking to someone else and unfortunately, I don't have caller ID call waiting so if I answer the incoming call, sometimes they can reach me.

I do appreciate a live caller vs. a robo call.

I did, in fact, receive a call a few days ago asking about supporting Bernie and I was happy to tell them that I would be.


(44,425 posts)
8. I answer lots of calls. If it says "unknown caller" and turns out to be a campaign or political
Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:11 AM
Nov 2015

organization I will make my displeasure clear about the fact they are hiding their identity.

I talk with campaigns. I talk with pollsters. I will answer a call from a number I don't know if the caller ID displays the name of a caller.

I don't like robo calls.

"On the one hand Iowans are pretty dedicated to remaining first in the nation in the primary/caucus process, yet, they (some?) consider contact with various campaigns and/or their volunteers to be a PITA. That just seems incongruent to me."

I am not sure exactly what you are insinuating here, but I will tell you that Iowans take their responsibility very seriously.


(30,906 posts)
9. I agree that Iowans take their responsibility
Mon Nov 9, 2015, 07:21 AM
Nov 2015

seriously. Many of them are well-informed.

We have farm property in Iowa, and live close to the Iowa-Illinois border. We go there often. My youngest lived there for awhile, and went to school there. She was a caucus leader during the Kerry election.

I respect the Iowa process. I do know some people get tired of the canvassing. Many areas have people at their doors repeatedly, often for the same candidates. The campaigns need to watch this more carefully. Knocking on doors is good. Registering people to vote is good. But hitting the same people over and over is not good.

Le Taz Hot

(22,271 posts)
12. Thanks for all who replied.
Mon Nov 9, 2015, 10:56 AM
Nov 2015

So, if we decide to limit our phone banking for Bernie events, is there any other way, other than door-to-door (we're 3,000 miles away), that we can effectively influence Iowans to go out and caucus for our candidate?

This important to those of us who live in primary states that are so much later in the primary season: We almost never get to vote for our chosen candidate because all is (usually) decided long before our primary ever occurs in June. We're just trying everything we know how to keep him going through the ENTIRE process so we CAN vote for him.

Thanks again for everyone who has replied to this thread.




(18,470 posts)
13. I don't answer calls if I don't know who they're from.
Tue Nov 10, 2015, 11:29 AM
Nov 2015

We get a lot of no name calls from all over the place, both on our primary line and my work landline. If I don't know who the person is we don't answer. Most of the time they don't leave a message either.

Le Taz Hot

(22,271 posts)
14. So, in your estimation,
Tue Nov 10, 2015, 12:42 PM
Nov 2015

would you say phone banking to Iowans isn't really a good use of our time? We've committed to do this twice a month but if it's ineffectual, I'm thinking our time might be better spent in other activities such as tabling and voter registration (which we do anyway).
Thanks for your response.

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