Power-Building Strategy: Flip the State Senate blue.

Minnesota, like Michigan that we profiled yesterday, was another top Democratic legislative target where we fell short in 2020. Democrats came heartbreakingly close, losing the majority by less than 1,000 votes.

But after the election, Democrats were dealt another blow when two Democratic State Senators, representing the ancestrally Democratic Iron Range, switched their affiliations to Independent. …

Power-Building Strategy: Flip the Michigan legislature blue.

Michigan was a top state legislative target for Democrats in 2020, and pre-election polling showed Democrats in a position to win the four seats they needed for the majority. On Election Night, Democrats were disappointed to see no net gain in the state, flipping two seats but losing two seats.

Republicans have long been in control of the state legislature; they’ve held the State Senate since at least the early 1990s and have been in control of the State House since the 2010 red wave. The 2018 blue wave, driven by gains among…

Power-Building Strategy: Elect a Democratic governor in 2022.

The electoral success of the “moderate” Republican governor lives on in Massachusetts under Charlie Baker. Governor Baker was first elected in 2014 during a GOP wave year, and then sailed to re-election in 2018 during a Democratic wave year.

But Governor Baker is less an aberration and more the norm in this solidly blue state. In fact, with the exception of Deval Patrick’s two terms from 2007 to 2015, Massachusetts has had a Republican governor since the early 1990s.

Since his election, Governor Baker has enjoyed an extraordinarily high approval rating that…

Power-Building Strategy: Draw an 8–0 Democratic congressional map as part of the redistricting process.

Democrats in Maryland: Pass the 8–0 map. Why not? Republicans just made it illegal to give people waiting in line to vote in Georgia water.

The deafening silence from congressional GOP leaders as state Republicans like those in Georgia pass restrictive voting measures that no longer even attempt to hide their racist intent tells you everything you need to know about what Republicans think about democracy reform.

Maryland’s current 7–1 congressional map resulted in one of the cases that led to the Supreme Court’s 2019 decision…

Power-Building Strategy: Pass the National Popular Vote Compact.

Three times in American history has a Presidential candidate been elected without winning the popular vote. Each time it has divided the nation and resulted in a dangerous policy outcome — the end of Reconstruction, the unwinding of the Kyoto Protocol and the launch of the Iraq War, and the dangerous and criminal presidency of Donald Trump.

In the wake of the 2020 election, we missed a chance at a meaningful state legislative strategy to get the National Popular Vote Compact passed in enough states to ensure the popular vote winner becomes…

Power-Building Strategy: Use Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards’s leverage to create an additional Black congressional district.

As with Governor Beshear’s election in Kentucky that we highlighted yesterday, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards’s re-election in 2019 was a bright spot for Democrats in the South.

That year, Governor Edwards ran a locally-focused campaign that highlighted his track record of delivering for the people of Louisiana, and it paid dividends at the ballot box.

Governor Edwards is term-limited and will not be able to run for re-election in 2023. With him in control of the governor’s mansion, it is critical that he…

Power-Building Strategy: Flip KY-6 blue.

Kentucky is another state where the Democratic brand is heading in the wrong direction. Despite Mitch McConnell’s unpopularity (even within the state), Amy McGrath’s $100 million couldn’t unseat him in 2020. Democrats got shellacked at the state legislative level, losing 15 seats.

A bright spot in recent election history was Democrat Andy Beshear’s 2019 gubernatorial win. In a de-nationalized political environment, Governor Beshear was able to run a campaign focused on Kentucky and the unpopular former governor Matt Bevin, building on his work as Attorney General and the Beshear name.

Our strategic recommendation for Kentucky…

Power-building strategy: Continue to grow with college-educated voters.

Kansas, once a Republican bastion, has seen Democratic gains over the last half-decade due to an extremely unpopular Republican agenda and the growing college-educated suburban population. It shifted five points leftward from 2016 to 2020 and elected a Democratic governor in 2018.

In our 2040 Project, we do not predict that Kansas will become a Senate battleground in the next 20 years, but there are steps that we can take to accelerate Democratic growth in the state.

In 2020, EveryDistrict invested in state legislative races in Kansas with the goal of breaking…

Power-building strategy: Rebuild with non-college white voters.

In the Senate section of the 2040 Project we give an overview of the demographics of battleground states, and Iowa has the distinction of having the second largest population of non-college white voters (after West Virginia).

Collapse in support from this key population in recent elections has caused this once-battleground state to take a hard-right turn. In 2020, Democrats were not able to secure a statewide win and lost two congressional seats. …

Power-Building Strategy: Flip IN-5 blue.

Gains among college-educated voters in 2018 powered Democrats to a large congressional majority. In 2020, districts like IN-5, where over 45% of voters are college-educated, were next on the list for Democrats to flip.

With an incumbent retirement, IN-5 seemed like a strong flip opportunity. 538 rated it as a toss-up, and many polls had the Democratic candidate ahead. But on election night, the GOP candidate won by four points.

Despite this loss, IN-5 has still continued to trend blue; while Romney won the district with 57.5% of the vote in 2012, Trump only carried…


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