Win power in strategic state legislatures across the nation so that we can draw fair districts in 2021 and catalyze real progressive change for the next decade.
Harness the abundance of volunteer and donor energy that exists all across the country, and direct it to stellar candidates in carefully targeted swing districts in our key 2020 states.
Through rigorous quantitative and qualitative analysis, build a portfolio of blue flips, blue holds, and blue inroads, with a special focus on states where the state legislature controls redistricting so that we can maximize our impact ahead of 2021.
This is the year for us to leave it all on the field—in addition to momentous Presidential and Senate elections, this is our very last chance to build progressive power in state legislatures ahead of redistricting in 2021. The results of this year’s election will reverberate for a decade to come.
At Sister District, we are ready to roll. We have identified the states with the biggest opportunities for progressive change at the state legislative level. And the states where we will be working each also have broader electoral opportunities this year: competitive congressional and/or Senate races, in important presidential battlegrounds. Our work to elevate state legislative candidates will drive awareness and turnout up and down the ticket in the places that matter most in this historic election year.
Our general political strategy remains the same. Each year, we’re looking for state legislative chambers that fall within three categories: 1) Blue Flips, which we believe Democrats can flip blue this year; 2) Blue Holds, where Democrats have a fragile majority that is in immediate jeopardy of flipping red; and 3) Blue Inroads, where we likely cannot immediately flip a chamber blue, but where we must build progressive power to position ourselves for future success.
This year, we’ve taken two additional factors into account in our strategic selection process. To take into account the gravity and urgency of impeding redistricting and our need to fight back against Republican gerrymandering, we’re heavily weighting our efforts in ‘20 toward chambers that provide Democrats with a ‘last chance’ to build majorities and power ahead of the next round of redistricting, in states where the legislature draws district lines. And second, we are weighting our state selections towards those states with the biggest chance of flipping the Electoral College toward the Democratic presidential nominee, and where there are critical Senate and congressional races. Our efforts to drive awareness, resources, and turnout toward state legislative races nested in these federal and presidential battlegrounds will force-multiply up and down the ticket.
BLUE FLIPS Chambers that Democrats can flip blue this year.
BLUE HOLDSChambers where Democrats hold a narrow or fragile majority that must be protected.
BLUE INROADSChambers where Democrats are at a significant disadvantage, but must build power as part of a longer term strategy.
Here’s our map for 2020:
Texas Senate & House
North Carolina Senate & House
Pennsylvania Senate & House
Arizona Senate & House
Wisconsin Assembly (House)
Georgia Senate & House
Florida Senate & House
We announced our first early April, and our teams have started field activities and fundraising. We are building relationships and listening to partners on the ground in each of our 2020 states, our endorsement process is in full swing. Candidate recruitment has been extremely promising this year—it is exciting to see that so many women, candidates of color, and other candidates from diverse communities and backgrounds are stepping up to run for state legislature all across the country. It is by supporting them that we can build a reflective democracy that includes an inclusive chorus of American voices. Read more about our candidate selection process.
We complement our political strategy with non-electoral work through our affiliated (c)(4), Sister District Action Network, where we expand the electorate through voter registration, boost civic engagement, and partner with academics and nonprofit think tanks to test novel methods of voter and volunteer contact.
We have the opportunity for 2020 to be a banner year for American democracy, up and down the ticket, from coast to coast. But we will only win if we work together to organize smartly, welcome new voters into the electoral process, and execute strong voter turnout programs. Now is the time to organize, and to spend your time and resources where you can have the biggest impact. Join us—all are welcome in the fight of our lives.
Download the PDF Version: 2020 Political Strategy