Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

The Friday Five - September 29th, 2017

The Friday Five - September 29th, 2017

For the Week of 9/29/2017

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:

1.    Democrats Flip Two More GOP-Held State Legislature Seats

In case you missed the big news, state Democrats flipped two more Republican seat from red to blue this week. In Florida, DLCC Spotlight Race and Representative-elect Annette Taddeo carried the election for SD-40 and set Democrats on the path to retaking the chamber by 2020. Despite being outspent by Republican special interests, Taddeo's message of quality and well-funded public education, affordable health care, and fair wages resonated with voters. The second win of the night came out of New Hampshire, where another Democratic woman claimed victory in a red district. Representative-elect Kari Lerner delivered an amazing upset in the Granite State, carrying HD Rockingham-4 -- the fourth reddest district in the state -- with 50% of the vote and delivering state Democrats' eighth flip of the cycle. The DLCC is extremely proud of our operations in both Florida and New Hampshire, and we look forward to supporting Democrats in Washington, Virginia, New Jersey, and beyond.

2.    Thousands Of Voters Didn’t Cast A Ballot In Wisconsin Because Of Voter ID, Study Finds

A new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found that over 23,000 Wisconsin voters were deterred from voting in the 2016 election by aggressive Republican voting laws. The voter ID law, which Republicans claimed would help deter voter fraud, led to widespread voter suppression particularly among minorities and lower-income Wisconsinites. The studies findings provide fresh evidence for voting rights advocates and state Democrats fighting for equal access to the ballot: the study found that 28 percent of African Americans were deterred from voting, while twenty-one percent of voters with a household income less than $25,000 were deterred. While Republicans from the statehouse to the White House continue to fear monger tales of imaginary voter fraud, state Democrats are working to expand ballot access to all Americans.

3.   The dangers of gerrymandering extend well beyond Election Day

This Letter to the Editor in The Washington Post gets to the heart of how gerrymandering poisons our democracy: "the real cost of rampant partisan map-drawing goes far beyond mere politics and deeply into policymaking and the quality of governance." The DLCC is committed to preventing another decade of Republican gerrymandered state and congressional lines. We are fighting to make sure more Democrats have a seat at the table when lines are drawn so constituents can choose their representatives, not the other way around.

4.   Republicans take stock of another upset loss in special NH House election

This past Tuesday, New Hampshire Democrats flipped their third seat since Trump's inauguration. As Democrats continue to overperform in bluer districts and flip seats in traditional Republican strongholds, Granite State Republicans are left scrambling ahead of 2018 elections. Thanks to a scrappy campaign, a dominant field program, and a smart use of resources, Democratic Representative-elect Kari Lerner flipped a district where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats 2-1. The DLCC is proud of our investments in the New Hampshire Democratic caucuses and our partnerships with state legislative leaders to build a winning program.

5.   Arizona leads in female legislators as more women look to run for office

Congratulations to the Arizona Legislature! Arizona’s state legislature now has a higher proportion of female members than any other state. Democrats are proud of the fact that -- of the 1,840 women who hold seats today -- 60 percent (1,114) are Democrats. The DLCC looks forward to helping that number grow, and we are working with groups like EMILY's List, Emerge America, and Run For Something to help connect women interested in running for state legislatures with tools, resources, and campaign infrastructure.

DLCC Announces Partnership with Run For Something -- PRESS RELEASE

Democrats just keep winning Republican seats they shouldn't be winning -- Chris Cillizza (CNN) examines state Democrats' latest victories

"There's no doubt, though, that voters felt the deep anxiety coming from President Trump and his divisive policies that are causing much pain...This election was about a strong candidate who spoke directly to the voters on why we need to shake up Tallahassee. Annette Taddeo spoke to the very heart of why so many feel left behind and left out."

Christian Ulvert, Florida state Representative-elect Annette Taddeo's political advisor, spoke with POLITICO about Taddeo's spectacular special election win. While Republican candidates push Trump's divise agenda and detrimental policies, state Democrats are connecting with voters on the local issues they care about most.