The Plan
Electoral Strategy

Our electoral strategy is the cornerstone of Sister District's mission: to build enduring progressive power in state legislatures and establish Democratic majorities. Through grassroots organizing, political research, and leveraging modern technology, our 50,000+ volunteers from across the nation are able to effectively support candidates in competitive districts in key states. Our electoral strategy ensures that resources and collective efforts are utilized thoughtfully to make meaningful impacts in state elections.

2022 Electoral Map

Our electoral strategy is a cornerstone of our organization’s overall strategy to build enduring progressive power in state legislatures. Our electoral strategy involves building power in three types of state legislative chambers: Blue Flips, Blue Holds, and Blue Inroads.

Blue Flips

Chambers where Democrats can flip the chamber in one cycle if they gain enough elected representatives in key districts.

Blue Hold

Chambers where Democrats have a fragile majority, which we must defend current seat holders and expand by flipping seats blue.

Blue Inroads

Chambers where Democrats must build power and communicate progressive policy to make future chamber flips possible.

Every Election Cycle Is Unique

In any given year, the mix of chambers and seats in these three categories changes, due to the schedule of state elections, which differs year to year; the composition of chambers, which shift after each election cycle; and the urgency of other key races and broader electoral opportunities that exist in each state.

Due to the volume of races, we typically cannot endorse candidates in every state holding elections. Instead, we prioritize endorsing where we can build momentum at the bottom of the ticket to decrease roll-off in naturally higher turnout environments with strategic higher-ticket Democratic opportunities. In short, we have to overcome voter apathy and enthusiasm gap in state and local elections; endorsing candidates that can spark local enthusiasm and community support is critical. Read more about our Candidate Selection Process and meet Our Candidates

Candidate endorsements for the next election cycle are announced in the spring.

2021 Election Results Analysis

In 2021, Sister District focused exclusively on elections for Virginia’s state legislature. Winning a Democratic Majority in 2019, Virginia Progressives were able to accomplish so much in just two years. Our teams of volunteers focused their efforts toward “blue hold” and “blue flip” district elections. The cycle provided many successes and lessons to take into the 2022 midterms, so we can continue to build progressive power in state legislatures nationwide!

Our Focus In 2022 

Target States: AZ, FL, GA, MI, NC, NH, PA, TX, WI, MN, CO, NV
Nested Opportunities: Prioritize states with nested competitive Senate, House, and Gubernatorial elections.
Redistricting Commissions: Prioritize states with redistricting commissions, where we expect new maps to be fairer for Democrats.
Incumbent Protection: Invest in fragile incumbents. Incumbent protection has always been a key component of our electoral strategy. We can expect many state legislative Democratic incumbents to face reelection challenges under new maps in Republican-controlled states. We must not lose our hard-won gains.

The 2022 Plan

Bringing The Statehouse Fight to the Midterms

On November 8, 2022, 88 of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers will hold regularly-scheduled elections, representing 83% of the nation’s state legislative seats. Our electoral strategy leverages broader electoral opportunities to maximize impact during these critical elections. While the final selection of states will depend on a variety of factors, including the challenges and opportunities presented by new district maps drawn in 2021, listed below are the states in which our endorsements are likely to fall. Endorsements to be announced in the spring.

Arizona

State Legislative Opportunities

  • Senate: 14 Democrats 16 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 2 Seats
  • House: 29 Democrats, 31 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 2 Seats

Electoral Opportunities

  • Open Gubernatorial election (incumbent Ducey-R is term limited)
  • Senate Election (D-Mark Kelly defend)

Contextual Opportunities

  • Independent commission draws congressional and state legislative lines
  • Arizona voted for Joe Biden and elected two Democratic Senators in 2018 and 2020.

Minnesota

State Legislative Opportunities

  • Senate: 31 Democrats 34 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 2 Seats

Electoral Opportunities

  • Critical Gubernatorial Hold (incumbent Walz-D up for reelection)

Contextual Opportunities

  • Minnesota voted for Joe Biden in 2020
  • Elected a Democratic Senator Tina Smith in 2020

Michigan

State Legislative Opportunities

  • Senate: 16 Democrats 22 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 4 Seats
  • House: 52 Democrats, 58 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 4 Seats

Electoral Opportunities

  • Critical Gubernatorial Hold (incumbent Whitmer-D up for reelection)

Contextual Opportunities

  • Independent commission draws maps
  • Michigan voted for Joe Biden in 2020

New Hampshire

State Legislative Opportunities

  • Senate: 10 Democrats, 14 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 3 Seats
  • House: 187 Democrats, 213 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 14 Seats

Electoral Opportunities

  • Critical US Senate Hold – Hassan (D-NH) won in 16 by 5 or less pts
  • Competitive Gubernatorial flip (R-Sununu)

Contextual Opportunities

  • New Hampshire voted Democrat for President Joe Biden (52.9%), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (56.7%), and both its Congressional delegation (Pappas 51.3%, McLane Kuster 53.9%).
  • Flipping a chamber would bust a Republican trifecta.

Colorado

State Legislative Opportunities

  • Senate: 20 Democrats, 15 Republicans
    Blue Majority: 3 seats

Electoral Opportunities

  • Critical Gubernatorial hold (D-Polis)

Nevada

State Legislative Opportunities

  • Senate: 12 Democrats, 9 Republicans
    Blue Majority: 2 seats

Electoral Opportunities

  • Critical US Senate Hold – Cortez-Masto (D) won in ‘16 by 5 or less pts
  • Critical Gubernatorial Hold – (Sisolak-D)

Contextual Opportunities

  • Nevada narrowly voted for Joe Biden (50.1%) and Democrats hold 3 of its 4 Congressional seats.

Texas

State Legislative Opportunities

  • House: 67 Democrats, 83 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 9 Seats

Electoral Opportunities

  • Gubernatorial election (incumbent Abbott-R running for reelection)

Wisconsin

State Legislative Opportunities

  • Senate: 12 Democrats 21 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 5 Seats
  • House: 38 Democrats, 61 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 12 Seats

Electoral Opportunities

  • Critical Gubernatorial Hold (incumbent Evers-D up for reelection)
  • Strong US Senate flip opportunity: Ron Johnson (R) (possibly open)

Contextual Opportunities

  • Wisconsin voted for Joe Biden in 2020.

Pennsylvania

State Legislative Opportunities

  • Senate: 20 Democrats, 29 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 6 Seats
  • House: 90 Democrats, 113 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 12 Seats

Electoral Opportunities

  • Critical Open Gubernatorial Hold (incumbent Wolf-D is term limited)
  • Strong US Senate flip opportunity: Pat Toomey (R)

Contextual Opportunities

  • Pennsylvania voted for Joe Biden in 2020.

Florida

State Legislative Opportunities

  • Senate: 16 Democrats, 24 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 5 Seats
  • House: 42 Democrats, 78 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 19 Seats

Electoral Opportunities

  • Gubernatorial election (incumbent DeSantis (R) running for reelection)

North Carolina

State Legislative Opportunities

  • Senate: 22 Democrats, 28 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 4 Seats
  • House: 51 Democrats, 69 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 10 Seats

Electoral Opportunities

  • Strong US Senate flip opportunity: Burr (R) – Open

Georgia

State Legislative Opportunities

  • Senate: 22 Democrats, 34 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 7 Seats
  • House: 77 Democrats, 103 Republicans
    To Flip Blue: 14 Seats

Electoral Opportunities

  • Gubernatorial election (incumbent Kemp-R running for reelection; maybe Stacey Abrams will run again)
  • Critical US Senate hold (D-Warnock)

Contextual Opportunities

  • Georgia voted for Joe Biden and elected two Democratic US Senators in 2020.