FROM: The DLCC
RE: 2018 Roadmap
DATE: April 2018
On Nov. 7, voters turned out in droves in a direct rebuke of state Republicans and the Trump administration. Americans from coast to coast sent a clear message that they will step up and defend Democratic values, safeguard the progress we have made, and push onward.
Since President Trump’s inauguration, Democrats have flipped 39 contested seats from red to blue.
As the major player in the state legislative space, the DLCC is proud of the successful programs, critical investments, and strategic actions that led to great victories across the country in 2017 and we are looking forward to continuing to strengthen and rebuild the Democratic party from the ground up ahead of 2018 midterms and crucial 2020 redistricting.
As we prepare for heading into the 2018 midterms, some important considerations to keep in mind:
- We enter 2018 with incredible momentum around the country – from new high-water marks in number of people running for state legislative seats, to volunteers turning out to help talk with voters about why state elections matter, to record fundraising numbers.
- Nearly 400 state senators will be elected in 2018 who will be responsible for drawing congressional maps in 2021. We are closely tracking redistricting cases and looking for opportunities where we can make a difference through litigation in states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, and North Carolina.
- We are 16 seats away from flipping 8 chambers:
- We are 1 seat away from flipping key chambers: the Colorado, Maine, and Minnesota State Senates
- We are 2 seats away in both the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates
- And we’re 3 seats away from flipping the Arizona Senate and New Hampshire Senate
- We are also targeting chambers like the Iowa House, Michigan House, Minnesota House, and Florida Senate, where we are confident we can make significant gains and could win the majority.
- We need 2 seats to break the supermajority in the Missouri Senate, and we’re 1 seat away from breaking the supermajority in the Pennsylvania Senate. Ohio and Texas are other targets where we hope to make strategic gains in 2018.
HOW WE'LL DO IT
- The DLCC will continue to partner with state caucuses and legislative leaders to recruit and train strong Democratic candidates to run in legislative districts across the country.
- As the authority on state legislative elections, the DLCC will continue to lead tables, convene established and emerging groups, and make sure progressive allies are united behind our mission to win back legislative chambers nationwide.
- The DLCC provides the comprehensive resources that state Democrats need, including unrivaled campaign expertise, connecting with our deep network of state leaders, access to data, strong field operations and training opportunities, paid communications, and whatever else it takes to win.
- The DLCC and our team of Regional Political Directors are closely monitoring developments across all 50 states and identifying opportunities in more districts than ever before. As Democrats demonstrated in the November 7, 2017 elections, all districts are in play – no matter how red Republicans may think a district is.
- With record fundraising over the last year, the DLCC plans to spend close to $25 million on political programs this cycle to help flip even more Republican-held seats and help elect more Democrats in rural, suburban, and urban districts across the nation.
WHY STATE LEGISLATURES MATTER
- State legislators are working to pass laws that are making a difference in their communities. From protecting voting rights, to expanding access to affordable health care, to fighting for equal pay and human rights for all. That’s why it’s more important now than ever that we continue working to grow our ranks at every level of government to help build the pipeline of strong Democratic candidates.
- In 2020, a new census will be done and a new process of redistricting legislative lines will begin. As many of you may know, the DLCC is working in partnership with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee to rebuild a democracy where voters pick their politicians—not the other way around.
- The DLCC is actively engaged and following developments in redistricting court cases in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, and beyond. We are working alongside local and state Democrats to lead in litigation efforts to ensure that every voter’s voice is heard, and the recent decade of Republican gerrymandering is not allowed to spread into the next decade following 2020 redistricting.
- Donald Trump and the Republican Party have strangled our nation’s capital in self-induced chaos. With federal Democrats in the minority, it is up to state Democrats to lead our nation with progressive and forward-thinking legislation representative of our American values. From gun safety legislation to protecting reproductive health care, to ensuring constitutional voting laws and equal protection under the law, state Democrats are stepping up to protect our nation’s most vulnerable constituents.
- Democrats are connecting with what matters most to voters, while Republicans are pushing Trump’s agenda and creating divides rather than proposing solutions to some of our major challenges in communities, like creating jobs, ensuring access to health care, and improving public education.
- We’ll keep working together to recruit and develop strong candidates and make sure they have all the resources they need to be successful come Election Day in 2018.
[Link to PDF here]