5 Reasons To Invest In State Races This Summer


The stakes have never been higher: A second Trump term combined with GOP-controlled state legislatures would be catastrophic to reproductive freedom and the future of democracy, especially in light of Trump’s recent promise to leave “everything up to the states.” It’s critical that we rush investments into state legislative races this summer to stop the MAGA takeover this November. The DLCC has a plan to defeat MAGA extremism and support Democratic wins up and down the ticket. But we have to mobilize support this summer. Here are five reasons why we need everyone to get involved now:

Early investments win elections. DLCC has already invested millions of dollars into the states this cycle, and with your help, we’ll soon direct an additional $10 million into our key target chambers. These early investments help our in-state partners build up the infrastructure Democrats need to succeed, hiring staff, securing ads, and mobilizing boots on the ground that’s critical to raising money and getting our message to the voters. Over the last few years, we’ve seen this strategy play out well, most recently last year in Virginia, where Governor Youngkin’s billionaire donors were no match for the impassioned, grassroots support we were able to mobilize for Democrats early.

At the state level, your dollar goes further. There are thousands of state legislative seats all across the country, many with only a few thousand voters. That means the party that controls state government often comes down to just a handful of votes.

Take Democrat Shelly Simonds, whose 2017 race for the Virginia House ended in a perfect tie. With the chamber count at 49 Democrats and 50 Republicans, elections officials drew a name from a bowl to determine whether there would be split control of the chamber or a GOP majority. The Republican’s name was drawn, and the chamber went red. Two years later, with strategic support from the DLCC, Simonds flipped her district blue and helped secure a new Democratic majority in the Virginia House.

While hundreds of millions of dollars pour into top-of-the-ticket races, investments in our work make the national Democratic agenda real for everyday people. For a fraction of what is spent on a single federal race, big change can be funded in the states. And when the DLCC is fully funded, success in the states can drive engagement for all levels of the ballot.

Local candidates are most connected to their communities – they can drive excitement and are powerful messengers for the Democratic Party. Our candidates are products of their communities whose values and lives are interwoven in their neighborhoods. They’re veterans, working parents, immigrants, and business owners, and they’re already out in their communities knocking on doors and talking with voters. 

These face-to-face conversations are critically important at a time when TVs, radios, and mailboxes are oversaturated with political messaging. By reaching voters on the doors, including in some districts where statewide and federal races don’t traditionally engage, legislative candidates will be connecting face-to-face with voters that could decide close races further up the ballot.

State legislators are making the Democratic agenda a reality. Our progressive policies stand in stark contrast to Republican extremism. From protecting reproductive freedom to expanding voting rights to fighting book bans, Democrats in state legislatures are on the frontlines of the issues that matter most. They’re defending abortion providers, securing LGBTQ+ rights, banning assault weapons, increasing their state’s minimum wages, and establishing the right to access birth control, even when the U.S. Senate won’t. There has never been a more important year to build Democratic power in the states.

The DLCC has a long-term, evidence-based plan to take back power in the states. By 2030, our mission is to secure 50 state legislative majorities, and 2024 is the next benchmark in our strategy to win the decade. It’s critical that we defend our new majorities in states like Minnesota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania; flip chambers in states like Arizona and New Hampshire; and block GOP supermajorities in states like Wisconsin, Kansas, and North Carolina. As the official party committee dedicated to electing Democrats to statehouses across the country, we’ve been in the trenches, we’re setting the agenda, and we’re ready to capitalize on every opportunity.

Regardless of who wins the White House, the GOP playbook is to move their MAGA agenda through the states. The groundwork to stop them has already begun, and this summer, we kick it into high gear. Building strong state legislative campaigns in every corner of battleground states is what the DLCC does best, and it will help Democrats win up and down the ballot. Help Democrats build a base of power in the states so we can continue to make progress, even when the political winds shift in DC.