“Don’t do this to me,” begged Donald Trump to a typically raucous crowd in Lexington this week ahead of Tuesday night’s “off-year” elections in Kentucky where the voters rejected his plea and elected Democrat Andy Beshear as the new governor of the state.
What do Tuesday night’s results tell us about 2020? They spell trouble for Republicans. The Democrats won control of the state House of Delegates and state Senate in Virginia, a plethora of local elections, and the gubernatorial election in Kentucky even after Donald Trump visited the state and begged the GOP voters not to allow the Democrats to take the seat. Similar wins, giant strides in VA, and an upset statewide election (Doug Jones — US Senate Alabama) in 2017 foreshadowed a huge wave for Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections. All eyes now turn to the primary battles being waged across the nation.
The strategists at Swing Left, a political activist group dedicated to breaking Republican control of state and federal office, released their 2020 Super State Strategy, and it is a roadmap for activists who want to win big in the presidential cycle. What’s a Super State? “If you overlay the target maps, the most important battles to win the White House, the Senate, and the once-in-a-decade fight to control redistricting are concentrated in the same few states,” writes the team at Swing Left. So which states meet the criteria? Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. “By focusing on them, we can maximize the impact of our efforts, working on many or all of these important contests at the same time.” Swing Left will be concentrating on fundraising and voter registration.
This summer, Nick Knudsen and Lori Coleman founded a grass roots media catch-all called DemCast. “DemCast USA is a bullhorn for grassroots activists who are creating and amplifying digital media,” explains Knudsen. “Our organization’s approach follows the lead of activists on the ground, so our content is going to reflect who in the grassroots is contributing.” The model would act as a central hub connecting left of center Americans across the country on a singular network. Knudsen told us, “We will make extra efforts centrally to build DemCast networks of writers, artists, and social media activists in key battleground states and districts. Our core focus is the non-presidential races, with priority given to statehouses, governorships, and US House and Senate seats that either need to be protected or have an opportunity to flip. That said, we want to compete everywhere and amplify pro-blue grassroots voices no matter what races or causes they are working on.”
The most reliable group of Democratic voters for several cycles has been African American women. The thing about being reliable, though, is that reliability can be easily taken for granted. She the People, founded by Aimee Allison, is designed to be quite possibly the first ever political action group exclusively serving the purpose of empowering, registering, organizing, and mobilizing black women. “In every community, especially in the South and Southwest,” Allison recently told the Black Girl Nerds Podcast, “Black and brown women have been organizers…but we’ve never had a national identity. She the People is bringing us all together to make it possible for us to be seen and heard by the country and also to build our political power so that we can influence who gets elected, what issues are being talked about, and ultimately, allows us to govern.”
These groups and many others are why in 2020, Democrats are competing where conventional wisdom wouldn’t expect it. Deep in the heart of Texas, Dr. Christine Mann, is running to flip the 31st Congressional district. “TX 31 is flippable because of the relentlessness of the grassroots organizations in the district,” she said. “In Tuesday’s election—an off year with no county-wide candidates on the ballot—Williamson county tripled turnout from a typical off-year election. These grassroots groups are working persistently to combat voter suppression and apathy, and are laying the groundwork for an historic turnout and victory in 2020.”
The Democratic Party is a political party, but since Donald Trump’s occupation of the White House, it’s become something bigger than a party. Moderates, Liberals, and everything in between, are coming together and fighting for their values—American values of democracy and integrity.