Live from Atlanta Wednesday morning on The John Fredericks Show – live weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia, WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 PM) Hampton Roads, WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and Live Weekdays 6-10 am and 24/7 Stream – host Fredericks welcomed Americans for Prosperity-Georgia team members Tim Phillips in-studio and Stephen Allison on the line to reflect on door knocking experiences on the ground for Senator Perdue in north Georgia.
Fredericks: Joining us now is Steve Allison. Steve the State Director for Georgia of Americans for Prosperity and part of Tim Phillip’s grizzled veteran team. Now Steve we understand that you guys were working so hard up in north Georgia when they ran out of supplies and you had to drive and bring them up like stuff.
Allison: Right. Yeah, that is true. Thank you for having us on by the way. So I apologize I can’t be there in person. We had I think five or six of our Tennessee teams knocking in north Georgia in Catoosa County which is right near the Chattanooga line. Well the Tennessee line near Chattanooga. And they ran out of supplies yesterday so I had to run a couple of thousand door hangers up to them late yesterday.
Fredericks: Wow. So they gave out more than you guys thought they would have so you had to go and replace it. It’s like you guys could have a supply line of
provisions. You got to get provisions. It’s like you have a supply line in Georgia. You’re part of this supply list. It’s like a war going on Steve.
Tim Phillips: Stephen you were telling me that you’re literally having to run a massive coordination effort from these supply lines across Georgia is that right?
Allison: Yeah, I wish I would have majored in logistics in college because it might have been more productive at this time.
Phillips: Stephen you were telling me at the doors you’re hearing about everything under the sun. Give us a sense. You’ve talked to a lot of folks at the doors over these last week or so since we rebooted the door-to-door effort here. Give us a sense of what it’s like at the doors.
Allison: So we’re hearing a lot of different messages. Obviously a lot of positives. Obviously a lot of people that voted for Senator Perdue in the general are fired up ready to get back out. We are running into some folks who you know maybe not like all of us on this call and are involved in politics every day. They don’t know there’s a runoff.
And so our efforts are bringing that message of how important this runoff is. How necessary we need them to get back out. There’s a little frustration obviously with things that have happened in Georgia and it gives us a chance to pivot them to regardless of what happens with the presidential election here and what’s going on in the Secretary of State’s office and that their voice is indeed needed on January fifth.
So a lot of different messages out there. I can tell you we are talking to the right universe. We are talking to voters who came out in the general. We’re also talking to a lot of people who may have supported another candidate in that race and trying to tell them why we think Senator Perdue is the best choice to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate for the next six years.
Fredericks: And so the reaction of some of those that are in, because outside the b range right the ones that you have to persuade when you go into knocking on doors and they’re the persuadables. What’s their level of enthusiasm when you’re done? Like you knock on my door. You try to persuade me. Then you got to get me to go out and vote. Vote early. Vote often. I mean vote early obviously. What is their reaction?
Allison: That reaction can really be varied. You’re going to have some people that our message with senator Perdue of economic opportunity for all. Of opposing government-run health care of how Senator Perdue has supported our veterans over his first term. those are messages that can resonate
with some people and have actually turned people around at the door. so maybe you know let’s be honest, Georgia was the epicenter here.
We had a ton of money spent here. a lot of people started to tune out in October and they had made their choice. and maybe there’s some buyer’s regret out there. so we want to be able to talk to those folks about issues maybe they didn’t think about and why we think Senator Perdue is the best choice but but overall the issues run the gamut. You’re going to have some people who are just so fired up they want to go out and vote today.
So you know is we will label these folks who say yes I’m going to be there for Senator purdue and then we’re going to call them. You know first first week of early voting those people go into our database and we’re going to call them. We’re going to say hey Tim, remember we knocked on your door? Hey, we need you to get out there and vote. So it’s not just about a one-time leave a door hanger. It’s us and our grassroots capability and reaching out and reminding them of voting and reminding them until we can get them out to the polls.
Phillips: I can’t tell you how many people John have told us and me personally at the door you’re the only live human being I’ve had a conversation with about politics about this race at their doors. Literally. They’re seeing the ads but they’re not having human interaction. that’s one thing we’re working really hard to fix.
And by the way, I want you to know I am going the extra mile. I was in Valdosta on friday and Stephen tell me if you can top this for commitment level. (Allison chuckles) There was this elderly couple putting up their yard Christmas decorations. They had a huge manger scene and they were putting Santa’s sleigh on the porch up about eight feet and they were struggling to get Santa in his sleigh. And they had a stepladder.
And they were rather elderly and I’m like you know why don’t I help you with this. So I took about eight minutes away from the doors of other houses John and did a good Christmas deed in November. I won their vote by the way. But I spread Christmas cheer. I got the giant he was rather rotund Santa up in the sleigh on the stepladder. No injuries in the household nor to me.
Fredericks: Did we take a video of that?
Phillips: I wish someone had been there.
Fredericks: It would have gone viral.
Phillips: I felt like Elf. I was spreading Christmas cheer.
Fredericks: Getting votes and spreading Christmas cheer.
Phillips: I don’t know Stephen if you’ve done that yet but until you’ve helped someone put a stand-up on their display on the top of the porch I don’t know if you can top that or not Stephen. (Fredericks chuckles)
Allison: No, that one’s going to be a tough one at the top I agree with you there Tim.
Fredericks: Too much Stephen. You mentioned something earlier and I want to get Tim’s comment on it. You mentioned some people have buyer’s remorse. Can you elaborate on that Stephen?
Allison: Yeah, I think one of the things that happened in our world where we get somewhat tribalistic there are folks who maybe saw an early ad. There are folks you know in Georgia we can vote three weeks ahead. Maybe they found out something about a candidate’s position after they voted. So I know that I was talking to one of our staff members from Tennessee who said he showed up to a door and the guy said that you know he he did not vote for Senator Purdue in the general but after he had learned about a position that one of the other candidates had taken he said I have to i have to support that.
Our field staff pivoted specifically to healthcare in that instance. It was a conversation about COVID and government-run health care instead of healthcare freedom. And our staff member was able to pivot to Senator Perdue’s record on keeping free choice in health care and that spun him around right there. and that guy was like you know you bring up a good point.
I didn’t know that. I wish I would have known that in the general. and so he’s made a promise to us to go back out and support Senator Perdue in the run-off. So it’s those kinds of conversations that you can have on a variety of issues whereas Tim said, we are the only ones that are doing this. We’re the biggest team on the ground and we’re on the ground all over the state right now.
Listen to the full show here:
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Photo “Count Every Vote” by Elvert Barnes. CC BY-SA 2.0.