NationBuilder's cutting edge community organizing system is taking over St. Louis - a city traditionally better known for big businesses, sports, and the blues than for high-tech - as Missouri prepares for primary elections on Tuesday.
Primaries hold special weight in the heavily Democratic city, with contested races up and down the ticket. And eight St. Louis candidates – from major federal races down to local office – are running their campaigns with NationBuilder.
As a result of controversial redistricting, Congressman Lacy Clay is in a heated re-election race against another incumbent member of Congress, Russ Carnahan. Congressman Clay’s campaign has been using NationBuilder to raise money to fight this very close race and to communicate with supporters.
After Tishaura Jones, candidate for St. Louis Treasurer, learned that access to the the Missouri Democratic Party’s voter file would cost her $2,500, she decided to look for a better alternative. “I kept saying to myself, I know there is another solution and I’m not going to rest until I find it. I was previously using Campaign Window and it was just not reliable. I knew somebody out there had a better solution.” That’s when she discovered that access to nationwide voter data is free to NationBuilder subscribers.
Tishaura is using NationBuilder to stay closely connected to every aspect of her campaign, and says she is able to use the voter file more effectively as a result. That includes splitting up the city into geographically segmented walk lists with our turf cutting tool so her volunteers can canvas more strategically. "The ability to print walk sheets and cut turf has been paramount because we are running a citywide campaign." Geotargeting and phone banking through NationBuilder allows her to microtarget based on her personal knowledge of different parts of the city and demographic data about her voters.
NationBuilder Patricia Bynes is running for Democratic township committeewoman, one of the smaller volunteer positions in St. Louis. Although she sometimes feels like the underdog compared to higher profile candidates, she says people are constantly impressed by her NationBuilder website.
"I may be just a pipsqueak next to these other guys but NationBuilder makes me look great," Bynes said. "What's critical is that you can interact and engage with people on the website. This should not be a one way conversation.”