Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

The Friday Five - February 23, 2018

The Friday Five - February 23, 2018

For the Week of 2/23/2018

Democrats in statehouses across the country are fighting to move America forward. In case you missed it, here are some statehouse highlights from this week:

1.    A blue wave? How Trump is helping Democrats win in unlikely places.

This week DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post spoke with the Washington Post about state Democrats' recent wins and building momentum. While Donald Trump is definitely a factor driving Democrats' enthusiasm, the DLCC was able to flip 37 seats from red to blue because we recruited the best candidates, worked with legislative leaders and our partners in state to set winning campaign strategies, and helped our candidates connect with voters on the local issues that matter to them. While the "Trump effect" is helping to motivate a new wave of Democrats to volunteer and run for office, the DLCC has shown it is ready and able to help our candidates cross the finish line and restore Democratic majorities in statehouses nationwide. Check out our 2018 Roadmap for more information on how the DLCC is preparing ahead of 2018 and 2020 elections!

2.    Democrats Flip Kentucky State House Seat Where Trump Won Overwhelmingly

On Tuesday, DLCC Spotlight candidate and Representative-elect Linda Belcher flipped a ruby red Kentucky state legislative seat from red to blue. It’s the 37th legislative seat to flip to Democratic control since Trump's inauguration, and the DLCC is just getting started. Belcher claimed victory in the closely watched special election for House District 49, defeating her Republican opponent with over 68% of the vote, in a district Trump carried with 72% of the vote in 2016 -- this makes it the biggest red to blue flip so far. "Flipping a seat that Trump won by such a considerable margin in 2016 shows the sea change happening across America in 2018," said DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post. The DLCC has been on a roll, crushing Republicans in legislative special elections and flipping seats in deep-red districts across the country, and we look forward to continuing to build our momentum through the 2018 midterm election. 

3.    Pennsylvania congressional map battle lands in Supreme Court

The battle for our democracy is currently playing out in court rooms and in state legislative elections across the country. Recently, Pennsylvania's highest court threw out Republicans' gerrymandered map which helped their party retain 13 of the states 18 U.S. House seats, despite a pretty evenly split electorate. Now Pennsylvania Republicans are threatening the court's judges with impeachment and are appealing the high court's decision to the United States Supreme Court, despite being rejected twice before. Pennsylvania Republicans' blatant disregard for the rule of law is just another example of Republicans desperately trying to hold on to power and their rigged maps that unconstitutionally bolster their majorities. Even President Trump is getting involved, tweeting his support for the original GOP gerrymander. The DLCC is fighting to win elections so Democrats have a seat at the table in 2020 to ensure the constitutional principle of "one person, one vote" is respected. With state Democrats continuing to trounce Republicans in special elections, Democrats are only 16 seats away from flipping eight chambers. 

4.    In Deep Red Districts, Democrats Are Running for Office in Record Numbers

Since the disapointment of the 2016 presidential election, the DLCC has been successful in channeling Democratic enthusiasm into wins at the legislative level. The DLCC has now flipped 37 seats from red to blue since Trump's inauguration, and we are just getting started. Eyeing an influx of Democrats stepping up to run to protect their communities from the Trump agenda, the DLCC is working with our national and in state partners to make sure these candidates have the support they need to run effective campaigns and run them EVERYWHERE. After Virginia Democrats ran their largest slate of candidates in years, Democrats trounced Republicans at the ballot box last November, flipping 15 seats from red to blue and putting chamber control within reach. Using lessons learned from Virginia, the DLCC is investing earlier than ever before in battleground states to ensure our legislative leaders and instate partners have the resources, capacity, and strategies in place to run record numbers of talented candidates. After seeing the DLCC's success in flipping 37 seats from red to blue, Democrats in states like Arizona, Indiana, Texas, Kentucky, and beyond are setting candidate recruitment records as talented and inspired citizens strive to become public servants. We look forward to helping state Democrats set new high watermarks nationwide in 2018 and 2020.

5.   After Trump's election and #MeToo, nearly 100 women are running for Kentucky statehouse

Since Trump's election, the DLCC has been seeing a remarkable and inspiring increase in the number of Democratic women stepping up to run for office -- and winning. Of the 37 legislative seats the DLCC has flipped from red to blue since Trump's inauguration, 24 seats were flipped by women. On the DLCC Spotlight Races page, the majority of candidates featured are women running in critical races across the country. Democratic women set records in Virginia last November, accounting for almost half of the total Democratic ticket and flipping 11 of the 15 seats flipped from red to blue. First these women marched, and now they are running and breaking records across the country. In Kentucky, almost 100 women are running for the state legislature in 2018 - up from 2016 and 2014, when fewer than 40 women filed to run. The DLCC recently announced a partnership with EMILY's List to recruit and elect more Democratic women to state legislatures. With more Democratic women stepping up to run for office to champion access to health care, equal rights, climate protection, and quality education, our women are fighting to protect their communities from the extremist right-wing agenda coming out of Washington.

- DLCC Flips 37th Seat From Red to Blue [DLCC Press Release]

- DLCC Hires New Staff Ahead of 2018 Midterms [DLCC Press Release]

- Working to take back the states with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee’s Jessica Post | Episode 109 [Resistance Dashboard]

@TheDLCC: "ICYMI DLCC is partnering with @emilyslist to elect more strong Democratic women in state legislatures across the country!"

- Who Counts? [New Republic]

"Flipping a seat that Trump won by such a considerable margin in 2016 shows the sea change happening across America in 2018. Voters are speaking up about what they want to see in their elected leaders and volunteering their time and money to change the election maps."
-- DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post

This week DLCC Spotlight candidate and Representative-elect Linda Belcher won the closely watched special election for Kentucky House District 49, garnering over 68% of the vote in a district that supported Trump with 72% of the vote in 2016. This victory marks the 37th seat to flip from red to blue since Trump's inauguration and the biggest flip from red blue so far. Republicans may try to brush this recent loss off and chalk it up to low turnout, but the truth is Democrats are motivated, the DLCC is arming our candidates with resources and winning strategies, and our candidates are connecting with voters on the local issues that matter.

2/27/18:   ELECTION DAY - Connecticut HD-120 Special Election

2/27/18:   ELECTION DAY - New Hampshire HD Belknap-03 Special Election

2/27/18:   ELECTION DAY - Kentucky HD-89 Special Election

3/6/18:   ELECTION DAY - Massachusetts SD-03 (Essex) Special Election

3/6/18:   ELECTION DAY - Oklahoma HD-51 Special Election