this is information i know first hand. working assets has funded WVWV since it started in 2004. we've seen the research and the field plans grow over time.
WVWV is the only voter registration group with two cycles of replicable randomized control studies showing the impact and cost efficiency of their mail and call based voter registration and GOTV work. here are a few things you may not know about WVWV.
1) WVWV doesn't just target unmarried women. they target hispanics and african americans. so it's not surprising at all that they are targeting black voters in n.c. they've done this in partnership with organizations like the NAACP in 2004 and National Council of La Raza more recently. they use their methods and infrastructure from the unmarried women work to get minorities on the roll. for instance, field groups and funders will pay them to do mail-based voter reg on african americans who don't live in the urban core where they can be cost efficiently registered via door knocking and mass site registration (at bus stops for example). so where minority voters may be more geographically dispersed, WVWV is employed to do that registration by mail order.
2) there is always a spike in voter registration around primaries AFTER the registration deadline has passed. this is the best time to register voters. research confirms this. around primaries people are reminded that they need to register in time for the general. WVWV has done a lot of research in this area. they know when people are most likely to register. unfortunately, what makes sense in registering the largest aggregate number of voters for the general election at the lowest cost is having a confusing effect in the N.C. primary which is hotly contested and very charged.
3) WVWV has done a lot of research on how to layer communications so as to have the greatest registration rate at the lowest cost from its mail in programs. the calls increase the open rate of the envelopes with the voter registration forms. i've seen research they have done looking at volunteer calls before registration packets arrive v. robocalls. also i've seen research on the effect of who the call is from based on the gender and ethnicity of the targeted voter. are calls from a generic voter participation organization the most effective? or from an individual with a name and way of speaking that is similar to the target demographic.
4) WVWV is not a clinton-associated organization. yes john podesta is on the board, but so is mike lux and william mcnary -- both obama people.
WVWV has made big gains in turning out african american men and married hispanic women in the last two years. i think what is a general election strategy which has caused a wrinkle via misunderstanding in a primary context.