Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

The Friday Five - July 20, 2018

The Friday Five - July 20, 2018

For the Week of 7/20/2018

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.    North Carolina Republicans’ Latest Judicial Power Grab May Have Backfired Spectacularly

In a desperate bid to continue undermining Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, North Carolina Republicans tried to rig the upcoming election for the state’s Supreme Court in the party’s favor. With Democrats holding a slim 4-3 majority on a court that has continuously struck down Republican attempts to weaken the governor’s powers, suppress voting rights, and pass extremist legislation, Republicans passed a bill to ensure Anita Earls, a Democratic candidate for the court challenging a Republican incumbent, would receive a less favorable placement on the ballot. Republicans were counting on this scheme to unfairly tip the scales in their favor, but it backfired when another Republican candidate jumped into the election at the last-second, creating a possibility of splitting the Republican vote and securing a 5-2 Democratic majority on the court. While the Republicans’ scheme may end up backfiring, it is crucial that we continue to elect Democrats up and down the ballot this November to hold Republicans accountable for ignoring the issues that matter in favor of unscrupulous power grabs.

2.    GOP justices weigh fate of redistricting plan

The future of Michigan’s elections is up in the air as the state’s Republican-controlled Supreme Court decides the fate of a proposal to put the creation of an independent redistricting commission on the ballot this November. In 2011, Michigan Republicans secured power by gerrymandering the current political maps in their favor. With post-2020 redistricting around the corner, it is imperative that electoral map drawing powers are entrusted to those who will not abuse it. Voting is a fundamental tenet of our democracy, and voters should be the ones choosing their representatives, not the other way around. The DLCC will continue to work with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and all of our partners to do everything we can to elect Democrats to state legislatures and ensure fairer maps across the country. Democrats must come together to thwart any efforts to diminish the power of the ballot box through rigged maps. The only way to prevent GOP gerrymandering from ever again deciding the outcome of an election is to continue flipping seats from red to blue and winning back Democratic majorities in legislatures nationwide.

3.    Arizona still has a law banning abortion on the books

Although Roe v. Wade declared abortion a constitutional right in 1973, Arizona still has laws pre-dating the case that could swiftly ban abortions if the landmark ruling is ever overturned. The pending confirmation of Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, to the Supreme Court and his likely rulings on abortion rights will give Republicans the coverage to continue their all-out war on women not only in Arizona, but across the nation. Outside of Arizona, several other Republican-controlled states already have laws in place ready to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The only way to stop state Republicans from turning back the clock on women’s basic human rights and to protect the progress we have made so far is by electing more Democrats to state legislatures. The DLCC is only three seats away from flipping the Arizona Senate to Democratic control this November, and Arizona Democrats will need every last vote to protect abortion rights if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The DLCC is committed to securing Democratic majorities in statehouses nationwide, thereby advancing and protecting the rights of all Americans. Together, we can resist these extremist right-wing policies and end Republicans’ war on women.

4.    Fox News Poll: Democrats ahead in election enthusiasm, interest -- and the vote

According to a new Fox News national poll, Democrats have an 8-point advantage over Republicans in the generic congressional ballot, and 54 percent of Democrats are “extremely interested voters” compared to only 41 percent of Republicans. Tired of the self-induced chaos created by Trump and the complicity of the Republican Party, voters understand that this November, it’s more than just candidates on the ballot – it’s the future of our communities, our states, and our country. The DLCC has already flipped 44 seats from red to blue since Trump has been elected, and now Democrats are only 17 seats away from flipping eight chambers this fall. Harnessing and building on Democrats’ winning momentum, the DLCC will continue to partner with state caucuses, legislative leaders, and our other progressive allies to win back Democratic majorities across the country.

5.   Sununu signs voting residency requirement into law

In a blatant attempt to suppress voter participation, the Republican-controlled New Hampshire legislature signed into law a controversial bill that disenfranchises transient residents of the state, such as college students, military personnel, medical residents, and visiting professors. The law effectively imposes a poll tax by requiring transient residents to declare New Hampshire residency in order to vote, which requires a New Hampshire license and vehicle registration that can cost hundreds of dollars. Republicans know that the blue wave is coming for them this November, and are shamelessly trying to save themselves by disenfranchising and attacking the rights of the very constituents they are supposed to be serving themselves. But Democrats have an opportunity to reverse this horrible development: these new voting requirements do not take effect until July 2019, giving New Hampshire voters the power this November to not only break the GOP’s grip on the state government, but to also ensure that everyone who lives in New Hampshire can make their voices heard at the ballot box.

- Christine Marsh: Teacher of the Year and State Senate Candidate [DLCC]
- State Democrats Announce the 17 seats Needed to Flip 8 Chambers This Fall [DLCC Press Release]
- The States Are Now the Best Route to Gerrymandering Reform [The American Prospect]
- Analysis: Dems hold 12 million person advantage among registered voters [The Hill]

"Our state has been stuck in the mud because the Senate Republicans have fought progress and still refuse to listen to the majority of New York voters. This is why we have been unable to take meaningful action on women’s rights, election reform, gun safety, protecting vulnerable communities, combating corruption, criminal justice reforms, environmental protection, and a host of other issues. As millions of New Yorkers watch what is happening nationally, they are understandably frustrated that their state government can’t do more to protect and expand their rights. Thankfully, we also know that elections have consequences. As we approach another important election cycle, New Yorkers have an opportunity to elect a progressive, pro-choice Senate Majority. Together, we have the ability to move New York forward."
-- New York Democratic Leader and DLCC Board Member Andrea Stewart-Cousins

After the DLCC's calls for reunification helped Democratic Leader and DLCC Board member Andrea Stewart-Cousins bring together the now-dissolved Independent Democratic Caucus (IDC) and the mainline Senate Democrats, Democrats are now only one seat away from flipping the New York Senate. This November, Republican obstructionists are on notice as New Yorkers take to the polls to help elect a Democratic Senate majority that will stand up for the rights of women statewide.

7/24/18:   Runoff Elections in Georgia

8/2/18:   Primary Elections in Tennessee

8/7/18:   Primary Elections in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington