Part 2: EveryDistrict’s Plan for 2020

In our last piece, we outlined the landscape for Democrats in key 2020 states. In today’s analysis, we lay out where EveryDistrict will focus our efforts between now and Election Day 2020. Next, we’ll look at the candidate, dollar, and demographic dynamics that will define 2020.

The Roadmap for 2020

Over the past three cycles, EveryDistrict has worked in seven states with 100 state legislative candidates. You can read more about our past work here.

In 2020, we will be substantially scaling up our operations. We’re doing this because we have to. This election is the last chance for a decade to gain Democratic power in many states. If we fail, Republicans will further cement gerrymanders and voter ID laws to keep Democrats out of power through 2030. We have to scale because attentions are shifting. Democratic donors are increasingly turning their eyes toward the presidential race. That’s not surprising or unimportant: we must defeat Trump in 2020. But we must also defeat “Trumpism,” a Republican Party that abuses its power, pursues an economic and social agenda to undermine the future of this country, and enacts anti-democratic reforms to cement their rule.

With this charge, we’ll be working across 20 chambers in 11 states to build up Democratic coalitions that can win in more places.

Where we will make change in 2020

In 2020, our targeted fundraising efforts will help candidates across this country win back Democratic control in their communities. We estimate that there are 187 winnable districts across these 11 states. Over the next few months, we’ll be announcing our endorsements in each state, starting with Texas, North Carolina, and Ohio, which have the earliest filing deadlines.

* North Carolina final district count will be refined following further review of new district lines.

Two of the other states identified in our report that we are not focusing on in 2020 are Minnesota and Montana. We think both of these states are strong opportunities for Democrats, particularly the Minnesota Senate. However, campaign finance compliance issues keep us from being involved. We’re also still evaluating how we can best help in West Virginia as the landscape there evolves. You can still see more about the opportunities in those states on our interactive map.

How we will help in 2020

More than two years after an explosion of groups in the wake of the 2016 election, there are two things that set us apart. First, we focus all of our fundraising efforts on direct-to-candidate dollars. These dollars go straight to the campaigns that need the resources the most and can spend them most effectively. We don’t run independent expenditure programs. We don’t give money to caucuses. We do this because the data supports this strategy. EveryDistrict candidates who won in 2018 kept pace with their Republican opponents in the money race. Those that lost their campaigns also lost the funding battle by $250,000, on average. Candidates need more resources to be competitive and we aim to provide those.

We’ll continue to fundraise through our unique grassroots approaches. That includes both our peer-to-peer fundraising champion platform and our online grassroots fundraising in coordination with Impact Slates that helps spread the word across the country about the opportunities in the states. We expect to raise an average of $10,000 per candidate that we endorse in 2020, a substantial sum in these low dollar state legislative elections.

Second, we stand apart with our broad list of target states and our laser focus on the “purple-to-pink” districts that Democrats need to win in 2020 to retake state power. As we mentioned in our last piece, the overwhelming number of critical districts will vote to re-elect Republicans unless we adopt better strategies responsive to these districts. We’ll be working with campaigns in these challenging districts on the right strategies and data to make sure they can target and turn out the kinds of voters we’ll need to win.

How you can help in 2020

Are you excited about the opportunity to make change in 2020? Here’s what you can do: