Republicans Dominate State Politics. But Democrats Made a Dent This Year., The New York Times
“Over the last decade, because there’s no policymaking in Washington, the state of policymaking in America has been set at the state level, and it’s been set by Republicans,” said Drew Morrison, the co-founder of EveryDistrict, a group helping Democratic candidates. “And it’s been set with a pretty aggressive conservative vision of what the world should be.”
Mr. Morrison called Democrats’ gains on Tuesday a “generally impressive haul.” But he said they came on ground the party shouldn’t have ceded in the first place. And Republicans have shrugged off the losses, pointing out that they still hold legislative majorities in all six battleground states Donald J. Trump flipped in 2016.
Scholars suggest that Democrats and their donors might have been slow to respond to these trends in state politics because they’re philosophically more inclined to focus on what the federal government can do — and to be suspicious of “state control.”
“That stems from how Democrats view how government should work,” said Mr. Morrison, the Democratic activist. “Government should work for the broadest group of people. And the best way to ensure that policy works for as many people as possible is to have it happen at the federal level.”
That attitude, he said, can also mean too much tunnel vision in Washington.
‘Bright Spots’: State-Level Results Give Dems Roadmap For 2020, Talking Points Memo
Nicole Hobbs, co-founder of EveryDistrict, which focuses on electing Democrats to state-level office, told TPM that there was “a bit of an underperformance” in state legislative races that they’re working to rectify.
So far, Hobbs said, the group has determined that there was a five-point swing for Democrats on the state level compared to a nine-point swing on the congressional level.
EveryDistrict is now poring through the results to map out exactly how Democrats performed where, and waiting for final financial reports to come in to look at the money race.
As EveryDistrict’s Hobbs put it, Tuesday was “a good night overall—a much better night for Democrats in state-level races than in previous years. But there’s definitely room for improvement.”
“The presidential race is already occupying a large portion of every conversation we have,” says Drew Morrison of EveryDistrict. “But our model makes fund-raising an organizing opportunity, and makes sure everybody’s engaged in their local community,” which may keep them from being totally distracted by the shiny lure of Democratic primaries, he said.
Gaslit Nation Featurette: EveryDistrict, Gaslit Nation
Led by Karl Rove, the far-right has been so effective at dominating at the state level that they’re scarily close to being able to call a constitutional convention and rewrite our constitution. EveryDistrict is in it for the long-haul to reverse this trend, and successes include the big blue sweep in Virginia in November 2017. We urge you to listen to this fascinating discussion with Nicole Hobbs and Drew Morrison, the co-founders of EveryDistrict, about what’s at stake and the path forward towards creating a more progressive union before it’s too late.
Nicole Hobbs and Drew Morrison join The Great Battlefield podcast to discuss their work as Co-founders of EveryDistrict – an organization focused on using better data and better fundraising strategies to help Democrats win back state legislatures.
Dems Flooding State-Level Races Aren’t Just Thinking About 2018, Talking Points Memo
In the surprising Virginia legislative elections last November, in which Democrats flipped 15 seats in the House of Delegates, it got even more local than that.
“Danica Roem ran on fixing Route 28!” said Nicole Hobbs, co-founder of Every District, a group focused on investing in Democrats at the state legislative level. “That resonates with voters.”
“Unfortunately, South Carolina has all the hallmarks of an effectively gerrymandered state,” said Nicole Hobbs, co-founder of EveryDistrict. “There are definitely more pickup opportunities in other places than in South Carolina.”
According to EveryDistrict’s data, only three Republican incumbents in the S.C. House are within a five-point margin of losing their seats: Rep. Samuel Rivers of Goose Creek, Rep. Kirkman Finlay of Columbia and Rep. Bill Crosby or North Charleston. State senators are not up for re-election in South Carolina until 2020.
With that being said, Hobbs argued the lesson from recent races around the country is that Democrats need to be focused on ensuring every race is contested so that they are in position to capitalize if an unprecedented sea change does take place.
The 2018 Democratic Wave Is About More Than Congress, Huffington Post
And Nicole Hobbs, co-founder of EveryDistrict, says her group’s plan nationally is to win by “effectively mobilizing the base and by competing in a broad swath of purple-to-red districts,” even those that have previously gone uncontested.