A while back, Nathan Wyeth wrote a Soapbox for Grist about the crappiness of green-group canvassing operations. It kicked off quite a discussion.
If you’re interested in the subject, Dana Fisher has a good piece on it at The American Prospect:
Unfortunately, this type of outsourced politics increases the distance between members and the progressive national groups that claim to represent them – and has proven no match for the kind of political institutions on the right that are locally rooted and turn citizens into engaged activists.
In contrast to the outsourced politics of the left, political groups on the right work through pre-existing civic associations formed by churches and other locally grounded networks to create lasting connections with its political base.