For the Week of 8/10/2018
Democrats in statehouses across the country are fighting to move America forward. In case you missed it, here are some statehouse highlights from this week:
According to a recent Pew Research Center report, Democratic enthusiasm is surging with an 84 percent increase in primary election turnout compared to the same period in 2014. So far in 2018, Democrats have outvoted Republicans by about 2.9 million ballots nationwide. With the most Democrats running for state legislatures since 1982, energized voters are turning out in droves to support state Democratic candidates who are pushing real solutions to the challenges facing their communities. With less than 90 days before the election, the DLCC already has already flipped 44 state legislative seats from red to blue, trained more than 500 candidates and campaign staffers, and is on track to knock on more than 1 million doors by the end of the summer. Democrats should feel confident heading into the fall as the DLCC works with our state partners, legislative leaders, and progressive allies, to rebuild the Democratic Party from the ground up and flip everything.
After flipping the Washington State Senate from red to blue last fall with a critical special election win, Democrats are poised to make bigger gains this November. After the state’s primary results, Democratic candidates are leading Republicans in some of the state’s deep-red districts, showing signs that Democrats could flip four Senate seats and at least 11 House seats from red to blue this November. Washington State has already proven how electing state Democrats is essential to safeguarding our Democratic values and pushing onward with progressive, forward-thinking legislation. From banning bump stocks to passing automatic voter registration, to addressing the opioid epidemic and creating stronger LGBTQ protections, Washington voters have a chance to ensure Washington State remains a progressive pioneer for the nation.
Missouri voters resoundingly rejected a right-to-work law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature that would have crippled the ability for unions to advocate on behalf of workers. Unions are essential to ensuring workers are paid a living wage, have retirement security, health care benefits, paid leave to care for loved ones, and other important rights. With about 67 percent of Missourians voting down the law, voters overwhelmingly demonstrated their strong support for working people and their right to organize freely. While this victory should be celebrated, there are still 27 states where this law exists. In the days leading up to election day, it is important that we continue to work overtime to show Republicans that the power of the people is greater than the people in power, and work to elect state Democrats who will pass laws to ensure all working families can thrive.
This week, more Michigan voters turned out to cast a ballot than in any gubernatorial primary in at least 40 years, with Democratic turnout showing signs of a potential blue wave in the making. Democrats nearly doubled their turnout from 2010 and edged out Republican turnout by over 140,000 votes. After eight years of bearing the brunt of detrimental policies pass by the Republican-controlled legislature, Michigan voters are fighting back to fix the damage done to their state. With Michigan state Democrats running for every House and Senate district on the ballot this November, the DLCC is committed to working with our state partners and progressive allies to beat Republicans on their own gerrymandered maps – just as we did in Virginia in 2017. With 2020 redistricting on the horizon, Michigan Democrats are not only fighting for the betterment of the state, but for its future.
In an effort to pass long overdue anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community in Pennsylvania, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf created the nation’s first statewide commission dedicated to LGBTQ affairs. Wolf’s new commission comes on the heels of the Republican-controlled state legislature’s continued failure to pass any anti-discrimination legislation, making Pennsylvania the only northeastern state without comprehensive laws protecting LGBTQ people. But to pass any recommendations the commission may make, we must elect Democrats who will fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community in the statehouse. By electing more Democrats this November, Pennsylvanians have a chance to make real, long-lasting change for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians in their communities. The DLCC has named three women candidates running for the Pennsylvania Legislature to its list of Spotlight Races, and is committed to positioning Keystone State Democrats for success ahead of 2020 redistricting.
- Democrats optimistic about retaking state legislative seats [San Francisco Chronicle]
- GOP fears steep losses in state legislatures [The Hill]
- Internal polling puts Democrats ahead in GOP-held state House seats [Florida Politics]
- A ‘Rainbow Wave’? 2018 Has More L.G.B.T. Candidates Than Ever [The New York Times]
"I barely talk about Trump on the trail. It’s not because I don’t care. I see all the tweets. I am watching. But for my campaign, we’re focused on homelessness and jobs and access to health care."
-- Anna Eskamani, DLCC Spotlight Race and Democratic Candidate for Florida HD-47
Anna Eskamani, a Florida native, daughter of Iranian immigrants, and a DLCC Spotlight candidate, is running to flip a critical seat in the Florida House this November. An adjunct professor and the Senior Director of Planned Parenthood, Anna is a proven advocate for women’s health and equality. While Republicans continue to peddle the Trump administration’s divisive agenda, Anna and other state Democrats are focused on connecting with their future constituents and making progress on the issues that matter most to their communities.
8/11/18: Primary Election in Hawaii
8/14/18: Primary Elections in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin
8/21/18: Primary Elections in Alaska and Wyoming
8/28/18: Primary Elections in Arizona and Florida
8/28/18: Runoff Election in Oklahoma