Our electoral plan is a cornerstone of our organization’s overall strategy to build enduring progressive power in state legislatures.
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.
Chambers where Democrats can flip the chamber in one cycle
Chambers where Democrats have a fragile majority, which we must defend and expand
Chambers where Democrats must build power for future chamber flips
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. Read about our Candidate Selection Process.
Virginia: Protect and expand the Democratic House majority.
Special Elections: Endorse in strategically valuable special state legislative elections when possible.
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.
Virginia: We will work to protect and expand the Democratic House majority. We cannot engage in race targeting until the new state legislative maps are drawn in the state. This will be accomplished by a new redistricting commission and process.
Given US Census data delays, we expect to be running on the current maps in 2021, but this decision is not yet final.
Special Elections: We will endorse in strategically valuable special state legislative elections when possible. We will prioritize races in states that are on our 2021-2022 electoral roadmap.
Because we have identified the states in which we are likely to engage in 2022, we have the opportunity to raise funds for our eventual candidates in those states. At this point, we expect to be able to raise some funds in 2021 for our eventual 2022 candidates in at least Pennsylvania and Texas.
States don’t become battlegrounds overnight. Democrats and national progressive organizations have the resources to take their case to the people and win, but they have to start early and organize relentlessly. When they lose, they have to stay in place and keep fighting for every political inch they can get. No place is unwinnable forever.
-Tram Nguyen, Co-Executive Director of New Virginia Majority
Read the full op-ed on Virginia
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, here are the states in which our endorsements are likely to fall:
In reaction to the historic turnout of 2020 and Democratic victories in places such as Georgia, already this year more than 100 bills have been put forward in state legislatures seeking to restrict voting access. Those efforts will not end without a fight.
-Stacey Abrams, American politician