Telephone TownHalls do make a difference

February 23, 2017

Using Telephone TownHalls for Constituent Communications

In the rough-and-tumble era of Trump politics, Americans are more concerned than ever with what happens on Capitol Hill. With 24/7 communication channels easily accessible, Congress - especially vulnerable or front-line members- need to find more ways to connect with their constituents back home while handling demanding schedules. A recent Morning Consult Poll found that nearly two-thirds of American voters feel their voices are not being heard in Washington. A mere 20% felt the opposite. With the Trump administration aggressively pushing an agenda without concern for the consequences, it’s easy to understand why voters are more anxious than ever about how DC happenings will affect their lives.

The demand for increased voter contact clashes with another constituent concern: lawmakers aren’t spending enough time in Washington fighting for their district. Almost 40% of those polled by Morning Consult felt that their representatives were not spending enough time in DC. Telephone town halls are a great way to balance time working on Capitol Hill and connecting with the home front. For one CPG client elected in a deep red district, regular telephone town halls helped reach over 50,000 constituents for less than $0.10 per constituent. Even though the Representative was in DC, they were able to log over 500 hours of voter contact time per call, bridging the divide between Capitol Hill and their home district. Telephone town hall participants were 16% more likely to view the Representative as an independent voice, a trait that helped them stand out in their next election when they performed 14 points better than the Democratic brand.

Building a functional relationship with constituents in a time of political tumult is a challenging task. Voters are quick to associate a distant official with political dysfunction based on broad labels, potentially scrambling the representative’s message and drowning out their hard work on behalf of the district. Utilizing modern tools like telephone town halls ensure that Congress can focus on what needs to be done on Capitol Hill while also maintaining a close connection to their constituents.


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