WASHINGTON – Democratic operatives Thursday unveiled a slew of state legislatures they have targeted for takeover in the 2020 elections.
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee named seven states –North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas and Arizona –as key targets in the committee’s “Flip Everything”campaign.According to DLCC President Jessica Post, this is the first time the committee has publicly shared its list of targets.
The committee hopes to claim “trifectas” withDemocratic control of both houses of the legislature and the governor’s office in Minnesota and Pennsylvania and to win back state houses in Texas, Iowa and Michigan, and at least one chamber in North Carolina or Arizona, where the Democrats have not controlled a chamber since losing the state Senate in 1992.
Post said the DLCC plans to build upon momentum from the 2018midterms, when theparty flipped 10 chambers nationwide. She pointed to Democrats’ 2018 takeover of the Virginia legislature as a model for success.
To pay for the effort, the DLCC has launched an aggressive fundraising campaign with a $50 million target.The committee said it raised more than $17 million last year.
Post touted improved national campaign infrastructure, early investment in campaigns and improved voting analytics as tools the DLCC would apply going into 2020. The DLCC has already deployed five regional directors, two based in Denver and Minnesota, and invested $1 million into target states.
“We feel we’re completely on the offense,” Post said.
Post said the elections, which coincide with the 2020 Census and will be followed by redistricting nationwide, are an opportunity to change electoral maps drawn by Republicans after the 2010 election.Democrats lost a net of 20 legislative chambers that year when the Republican State Leadership Committee spent three times more than its Democratic counterpart.
The RSLC reported it raised $19 million in 2019, $2 million more than the Democrats, but Post pointed out the RSLC financed lieutenant governors and secretaries of state in addition to legislative candidates.
“We are absolutely still in the fight,” Post said.
Post framed the legislative takeover as a path to combat what she portrayed as Republican gerrymandering, expressing concern that Republicans would vote against nonpartisan electoral maps in Iowa and commending Democratic support of nonpartisan redistricting in Michigan.
“If Democrats have fair maps, we know we can win,” Post said.
RLSC communications director David Abrams said in an email that the Democrats are at “rock bottom.”
“They’ve been losing in the states for a decade and with the help of our great Republican partners across the country they’ll be needing to rebrand again in a few months from ‘flip everything’ to ‘lost everything,’”he said.
Post held up state legislatures as central to protecting Democratic objectives like upholding the Affordable Care Act, access to abortion and LGBT rights and combating climate change, calling the states “a firewall against the administration’s policies” amid congressional gridlock.