DLCC Releases September “State of Play” Memo

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 28, 2018
 
CONTACT:
Mara Sloan
DLCC Communications Director
[email protected]
202.449.6740
 
DLCC Releases September “State of Play” Memo
 
WASHINGTON — With less than 40 days until Election Day, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) has released a new memo highlighting state Democrats’ progress in battleground states across the country.
 
The “State of Play” memoincorporates the latest polling and projections from the DLCC’s political team and state legislative experts and details how the Committee has helped set Democrats up for success this November.
 
“Our team has been on the ground and working closely with our state partners and allies to make sure our caucuses and our candidates have everything they need to win and reclaim majorities on November 6,” said DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post. “Democrats are running more than 5,000 candidates this fall, and we are setting new high-water marks for voter turnout and volunteer engagement every day. Democrats are only 17 seats away from flipping 8 critical chambers this November, and we are working hard to make that happen.”
 
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is the only organization exclusively committed to electing Democrats to state legislatures all over the country and winning Democratic control of chambers. For over two decades, the DLCC has been working with state legislative leaders to invest strategically in state programs, which has led to Democratsflipping 44 seats since Trump was elected. The DLCC is building on Democrats’ winning momentum and continues to lay the groundwork for substantial gains in 2018 in statehouses nationwide. State Democrats are leading the resistance against the Trump administration’s extremist policies while moving our nation forward one state at a time. You can learn more about critical upcoming elections and follow DLCC’s Spotlight Races at races.dlcc.org.
 
To view the memo, visit www.dlcc.org/state-of-play-sept. For more information or to schedule an interview with the DLCC, please contact Mara Sloan at [email protected].
 

DLCC’s State of Play: September 2018

With primary elections over, the DLCC is fired up for the next 39 days as state Democrats knock on more doors and connect with more voters about the importance of voting on Nov. 6. After flipping 44 seats from red to blue since the 2016 election and running the most candidates in a generation, Democrats are united to reclaim legislative majorities this November.

Democrats are running 5,188 candidates this fall to Republicans’ 4,608. Democrats not only have twice as many women running (2,302) compared to Republicans’ 960, we also have more than four times as many candidates of color (1,122) stepping up to run compared to Republicans’ 248. With education emerging as a leading issue in many battleground states, Democrats have twice as many educators (988) as Republicans (423) on the ballot. You can learn more about some of our candidates running in critical races across the country at races.dlcc.org.
 

ARIZONA HOUSE
25D – 35R
Democrats need 6 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 54
Republicans on ballot: 44
Every Arizona legislative district sends one Senator and two Representatives to Phoenix. Democrats only need six seats to gain a majority in the House, and Democrats are running 54 candidates for 60 seats. Candidates like Afghanistan veteran Felicia French and Holbrook Mayor Bobby Tyler are running to improve education and expand health care for all Arizonans. While historically the path to the majority has been considered an uphill battle, recent polling indicates that there are significant opportunities for Democrats to pick up seats and flip this chamber this fall.

ARIZONA SENATE
13D – 17R
Democrats need 3 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 29
Republicans on ballot: 23
We only need 3 seats to flip the Senate. Earlier this year, tens of thousands of Arizona educators participated in walkouts, rallying for six days to protest state Republicans’ education policies and now more than 20 Democratic educators, including the 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year, Christine Marsh, are running for the state legislature. With the help of the DLCC, Democrats have doubled their fundraising from last election cycle. We also made early investments that made it possible for Arizona Democrats to hire organizers at the beginning of the summer who have been recruiting volunteers and talking to voters about the importance of voting in the midterms.

COLORADO SENATE
16D – 18R – 1I
Democrats need 1 seat to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 17
Republicans on ballot: 16
Democrats have outraised their GOP counterparts for much of the cycle and only need to flip one seat to retake the state Senate. Of the six targeted races, five have strong women candidates running. Two of the top targets are pickups in SD-24 and SD-16, where Democrats Faith Winter and Tammy Story have been setting records in fundraising and door knocking. Colorado voters turned out in record-breaking numbers for the June primary – with over 54,000 more Democrats casting ballots than Republicans. Democrats are working to increase turnout in November and reclaim control of the Senate.

FLORIDA SENATE
16D – 23R – 1 Vacant
Democrats need 5 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 20
Republicans on ballot: 15
Florida Democrats already flipped a Senate seat from red to blue with Sen. Annette Taddeo’s win in SD-40, and now only need to pick up 5 more seats to flip the chamber. Democrats are running a full slate of candidates in competitive seats across Florida. We made early investments in Florida to help fund staff members for targeted campaigns. The DLCC has also conducted research and polling at the state legislative level in and our legislative IE allies have announced plans to run digital ads for targeted Senate candidates.

GEORGIA HOUSE
64D – 115R – 1 Vacant
Democrats need 27 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 120
Republicans on ballot: 128
Georgia Democrats already flipped two House seats in special elections in 2017 with Rep. Deborah Gonzalez in HD-117 and Rep. Jonathan Wallace in HD-119, and of the 120 Democrats running this fall, 67 are women and 68 are people of color. Candidates like Jasmine Clark, who is a microbiologist and teacher who led the March for Science in Atlanta, are running to improve education and expand affordable health care to all Georgians. Georgia’s youngest House representative, Park Cannon, is running for re-election to keep fighting discrimination and advocating for women’s rights.

IOWA HOUSE
41D – 58R – 1 Vacant
Democrats need 10 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 95
Republicans on ballot: 77
For the first time since 2010, Iowa Democrats have a real chance to retake the Iowa House. The path to victory goes through the state’s suburbs and rural counties, where Iowa Democrats have made significant gains in the special elections since 2016. Democrats are running in 95 out of 100 districts – a 30-year recruitment high – while Republicans have over a dozen incumbents retiring and struggled to recruit candidates, leaving 23 districts unchallenged. The DLCC invested early to help hire staff dedicated to candidate recruitment and preparing candidates for competitive races. The DLCC has also helped Iowa Democrats build and expand their online fundraising operation.

MAINE SENATE
17D – 18R
Democrats need 1 seat to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 35
Republicans on ballot: 32
Democrats are only one seat away from retaking the state Senate, and there is an opportunity to create a new trifecta of Democratic power. A recent poll found health care to be the biggest issue for voters in Maine, with 56% of respondents disagreeing with Gov. LePage’s refusal to expand Medicaid after Mainers voted to do so in 2016. Republicans failed to run candidates in several key seats while Democrats are contesting all 35 Senate seats on the ballot. Our political team worked with the caucus and partners to recruit strong candidates and continues to work in-state to execute paid communications plans and hit fundraising records, while our field team is training staff and candidates in this field-intensive state.

MICHIGAN HOUSE
46D – 63R – 1 Vacant
Democrats need 9 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 110
Republicans on ballot: 110
More than one million Michigan Democrats voted in the August primary, setting a new record. With Democrats running a candidate in every district and outraising Republican counterparts, we are on track to make significant gains in this chamber. Michigan House Democrats have a strong opportunity to flip the chamber this fall, as they are running a strong field program, knocking on hundreds of thousands of doors with the help of dedicated supporters. State Democrats recently went up with TV ads for several targeted races, and positive digital ads are currently running and will continue to run through Election Day in targeted House districts.

MICHIGAN SENATE
10D – 27R – 1 Vacant
Democrats need 9 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 38
Republicans on ballot: 38
The DLCC is assisting our state partners with a joint field program for both the Michigan House and Senate. The path to the majority runs through suburban districts, and Democrats are running a candidate in every Senate district. State senators serve four-year terms, making this fall critical for making big gains in the chamber ahead of 2020 redistricting. The DLCC is currently running digital ads for targeted Senate candidates and has conducted research and polling at the state legislative level.

MINNESOTA HOUSE
56D – 77R – 1 Vacant
Democrats need 11 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 134
Republicans on ballot: 130
Democrats saw 100 percent more votes for primary candidates compared to Republicans, and Minnesota is running one of the best field programs in the country, knocking on more than 500,000 doors in targeted districts. With Democrats only down 11 seats in the chamber and a surge in voter registration, this is a top flip opportunity. The DLCC has helped build digital programs for targeted House candidates and has conducted research and polling at the state legislative level. Our legislative IE allies have announced plans to run digital ads for targeted candidates.

MINNESOTA SENATE
33D – 33R – 1 Vacant
Democrats need 1 seat to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 1
Republicans on ballot: 1
While all 67 Senate seats are up for re-election in 2020, the Republican Leader of the state Senate vacated her seat to become Lt. Governor, triggering a special election for SD-13 on Nov. 6, which will decide chamber control of the Senate. Democrats have an excellent candidate in Joe Perske, a retired teacher, community leader, and former mayor of Sartell. The DLCC has worked to help Minnesota build up their digital fundraising infrastructure and the DLCC plans to invest in ensuring a victory here in November.

NEW HAMPSHIRE HOUSE
176D – 217R – 3 Other – 4 Vacant
Democrats need 25 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 388
Republicans on ballot: 336
The DLCC has helped flip five seats and hold three additional seats since the 2016 elections, making Democrats optimistic about continued success this fall. This cycle, Democrats have a record number of candidates running in a record number of districts – including in seats that haven’t been contested for several cycles – partly thanks to early and continuing investments from the DLCC to hire full time staff who worked to recruit strong candidates and work with them to prepare their campaigns for success. The DLCC has also conducted polling and research at the state legislative level and continues to work to refine voter outreach and guide additional resources to support Democratic legislative candidates.

NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATE
10D – 14R
Democrats need 3 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 24
Republicans on ballot: 23
Democrats are only three seats away from reclaiming this chamber and with Democrats running in all 24 districts, and outraising Republicans in 19 races, we see a clear path toward a majority. Democrats nearly doubled their midterm primary turnout record, and voters remain fired up and ready to break Republicans’ grip on the state government in November. The DLCC has conducted research and polling at the state legislative level and is helping build a digital program for targeted races. The DLCC has also helped train every candidate and campaign manager on best practices for fundraising, coalition building and direct voter contact.

NEW YORK SENATE
32D* – 31R
Democrats need 1 seat to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 56
Republicans on ballot: 52
Democrats only need to flip one seat to ensure a functioning Democratic Senate majority, which will be led by DLCC Board member and Democratic Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Primary voters ousted six former Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) members who were elected as Democrats but caucused with Republicans. The DLCC played a key role in dismantling the IDC and has invested more than $300,000 in New York this cycle, which has already led to a critical special election win earlier this year with Sen. Shelley Mayer in SD-37. (*While Democrats have a numerical majority, one state senator caucuses with Republicans, giving the GOP a functioning majority.)

NORTH CAROLINA HOUSE
45D – 75R
Democrats need 16 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 120
Republicans on ballot: 118
Democrats need 16 seats to flip the chamber and only 3 seats to break Republicans’ supermajority. With new district maps in play, a $2 million fundraising advantage over Republicans, and a strong partner in Gov. Roy Cooper (D), we are optimistic. Over the past cycle, state Republicans have pushed deeply unpopular bills (like their anti-LGBTQ bathroom bill), decimated the state’s education system, and pulled political tricks condemned by all living past governors. Democrats are running a candidate in every district, including more than 20 educators, and executing a strategic field program with more staff than ever before at this level of the ballot. The DLCC helped build digital programs and has conducted polling and research.

OHIO HOUSE
33D – 66R
Democrats need 17 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 99
Republicans on ballot: 91
Democrats need 17 seats to flip the chamber from red to blue, and only 7 seats to break Republicans’ supermajority in the chamber. State Democrats have a talented slate of candidates running in every district, including 43 women, more than a dozen veterans and more than 20 educators. With suburban voters and Independents showing signs of supporting Democrats, we have opportunities to make gains in this chamber ahead of 2020 redistricting. The DLCC has invested in breaking the supermajority in the House and Democratic supporters have been out knocking on hundreds of thousands of doors for House candidates.

PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE
81D – 120R – 2 Vacant
Democrats need 20 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 180
Republicans on ballot: 148
Democrats have recruited a strong slate of candidates running this fall, including 73 women, 28 educators, and 10 veterans. In 2016, Hillary Clinton carried 19 districts currently held by Republicans. Earlier this year, the DLCC helped flip HD-178 from red to blue with Rep. Helen Tai’s victory. Polling continues to show generic Democrats up in nearly every competitive district, with some first-time candidates holding commanding leads. The DLCC has invested in hiring staff dedicated to helping candidates run winning campaigns. We are helping build out their digital program and have also invested significantly in polling, research, and potential programming to regain control of this chamber.

PENNSYLVANIA SENATE
16D – 33R – 1 Vacant
Democrats need 10 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 25
Republicans on ballot: 20
The Pennsylvania Senate is a chamber to watch in 2018. Democrats are 10 seats from regaining the majority and have candidates running in all 25 seats, forcing Republicans to protect seats all over the state. A strong slate of Democratic candidates, featuring former and current state representatives, local mayors, and organizers from the labor movement have this chamber poised for big pick-ups, putting Democrats on a path to the majority ahead of critical 2020 redistricting.

WISCONSIN SENATE
15D – 18R
Democrats need 2 seats to flip chamber
Democrats on ballot: 15
Republicans on ballot: 15
The DLCC has already flipped two state Senate seats from red to blue in special election victories this year with Sen. Patty Schachtner in SD-10 and Sen. Caleb Frostman in SD-01, and now we only need two more seats to flip the Senate. Wisconsin saw its highest primary turnout ever this year, with nearly 100,000 more Wisconsinites voting for Democrats over Republicans. The DLCC has helped build digital programs and has invested significantly in polling and research and will continue to support the effort to gain control of the chamber.
 

The DLCC has been hitting new high-water marks all cycle: from record small dollar fundraising, to knocking on over 5 million doors and flipping 44 seats from red to blue since Trump was elected, it all culminated in the incredible Democratic turnout we saw in primary elections across the country.

With more than 5,000 talented and inspiring Democrats on the ballot this year for state legislatures, the DLCC is focused on reclaiming Democratic majorities and building power in the states. The DLCC plans to spend $35 million this cycle, and much of that has already gone toward early investments in states to have staff on the ground to recruit strong candidates, create winning strategies, execute smart field programs, utilize innovative data modeling and analysis, and harness the unprecedented Democratic momentum that’s growing around the country.

On Election Night, the DLCC is poised to flip as many as eight chambers and win hundreds of targeted seats, laying the groundwork to reclaim even more chambers in 2020, ahead of crucial redistricting efforts.

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