Behind the Scenes at the Most Important Election in 2021

October 13, 2021

Phonebanks are seldom referenced in news stories about campaign messaging and tactics. When done right, phonebanks can be downright boring—there is no thrill in the third or fourth call to a committed supporter who has yet to fulfill a promise to vote, reminding them of the last conversation about mail ballots and nudging them once more to do the right thing.

But the California Recall is a reminder that a good phonebank can be the difference between a tight win and a landslide.

At Chism Strategies, we’ve always said, “Pester your voters today. They will thank you at the Victory Party tomorrow.” We applied this philosophy on a massive scale to help secure a win for Governor Newsom and a boost for Democrats nationally.


  • 3 million targeted phone households
  • 25 days of calling
  • More than 2.1 million conversations and messages
  • 566,200 land line and cell phone voters committed to vote against the Recall


  • Regular call backs to supporters until the registrar confirmed these allies had voted
  • Tracking by type of voter commitment (by mail, dropbox, in person)
  • Daily file updates to the call back list to remove persons who had cast their vote


  • By Election Eve, more than 380,000 of our supporters had cast their ballots
  • 67.2% of those who committed to vote against the Recall had mailed or dropped off their ballots before polls opened on Election Day

If you’d like to see the case study — summaries of daily tracking of commitments by voter method (mail/dropbox/in person), conversion ratios, the response patterns as Election Day neared, and more — get in touch with Brad Chism. You can email Brad at or give him a call at (601) 918-4563.

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