The 2040 Project: 50 Ways to Build Democratic Power in Every State

3 min readMar 9, 2021

Today, EveryDistrict is proud to launch The 2040 Project, a twenty-year plan for how Democrats build power in our state-based political system. It outlines the focused efforts that Democrats can take to transform our tenuous popular vote advantage into a durable nationwide coalition that can win a sizable Senate majority, hold the House, retake the Courts, and make policy and political progress in all fifty states.

Since 2017, EveryDistrict has worked in twelve states with over 200 candidates to elect more Democrats to state legislatures. The limited success from Democrats’ efforts in the states over the last four years makes one thing clear: it will take new approaches to power for Democrats to fully retake the country. We will have to win with more voters in broader geographies, activate our base in new ways, invest in races at all levels (including crucial judicial elections), and play offense against right-wing misinformation with new digital tactics and a revitalized media ecosystem.

EveryDistrict’s 2040 Project provides a unique view of the different opportunities for power with innovative data and analysis. It models future control of the US Senate over the next twenty years, revealing Democrats’ serious disadvantage in the absence of changes in strategy. It takes a comprehensive analysis of the partisan composition of both the Federal judiciary and key state supreme courts. It lays out the opportunities for progressive policies to advance in red states with the power of citizen initiatives. And leveraging EveryDistrict’s leading data analysis of the state legislative landscape, it provides a detailed analysis of what’s gone wrong in state legislative elections in battleground purple states and what has to change to make further progress.

Alongside the release of the report, here on the EveryDistrict blog we’ll be highlighting how Democrats can focus on building power in each state over the next 50 days. The key question we ask is this: What would a real 50-state strategy to build Democratic power look like?

The goal of a 50-state strategy was first popularized when Howard Dean was DNC Chairman and continues as a rallying cry for those who want to build a party able to wield broader power. We believe that a serious 50-state strategy would set clear benchmarks and goals for power-building in each state that reflect the actual realities on the ground. Too often, “blue” states and “red” states are left out of the conversation, with the vast majority of focus going to the “purple” battleground states. We believe that each state has a role to play in building Democratic power.

Over the next 50 days, we’ll release a post each day about a particular state and what we see as some of the key power-building activities that Democrats should undertake in the short and long term in the state. Our strategy here is to show that every state is crucial for a broader Democratic power-building agenda. In each state, we will lay out what Democrats and affiliated organizations should collectively do, what EveryDistrict itself plans to do, and what you can do to help.

Are you excited about a 50-state strategy to build Democratic power? Help make it happen by making a donation here: