April 1, 2023 by Christine Brown
People ask me what’s next after Wisconsin? Well, one of the things TurnPurple2Blue monitors is emerging strategies for the 2024 US House elections. Many groups are thinking about this, and it’s exciting to see where the strategies converge. I’ve even started a spreadsheet!
What goes into making these strategies? First, a lot of analysis about the last election. Yes, we did way better than the pundits using their historical trends thought we would. On the other hand, we came tantalizingly close to actually keeping the House too! One of the key takeaways is that we can’t trust New York and California to do okay without us.
The consensus is that New York Democrats really failed the nation. It started when they overreached on redistricting, and a judge rejected the proposed districts in favor of much more competitive ones. (Yes, I know that’s the ideal, but we can’t disarm unilaterally). Add in the inexplicable fumble of electing George Santos and the general lack of defending democratic seats, Republicans flipped a total of four seats in New York. That alone caused us to lose the House.
California is another focal point. Republicans attacked and won some very close races. Ironically, codifying abortion rights brought out more voters -some who voted Republican candidates down ballot. Bottomline, California Democrats lost some close races that they shouldn’t have, even as they pat themselves on the back for beating the historical trends. Wait, didn’t they hear about MAGA breaking all the norms?
With that in mind, what is the strategy for 2024?
One emerging strategy from Activate America is to focus on New York and California, rather than chasing single House seats in other states. I definitely agree that we can’t leave these states to their own devices anymore – we will have to roll up our sleeves and get busy.
Indivisible has a different, but intersecting strategy. They have identified “The Unrepresentative 18” These are 18 Republicans that were elected in districts that Biden won, which includes 11 representatives from…. New York and California!! Ezra Levin, the co-founder of Indivisible, makes a very compelling case and I highly recommend you read it in full. Basically these 18 Reps are very vulnerable- they are voting along MAGA lines, but lying about it in their Biden districts. There is a great summary in Rachel Maddow’s interview of Ezra.
The third column in my spreadsheet is Democrats we need to defend. We need to keep a close eye on what Republicans are trying to flip. Sometimes they are just being strategic, luring us to waste time and money in districts where we shouldn’t have to. The first list released by the RNCC has 37 names and it’s unlikely that they will really have the money to go after all of them. So this list is in flux. But I picked out some representatives in states that we have worked with before: Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, etc.
But I know you all – right now you are skipping down to the bottom to see what actions to take! So here you go!
- Messaging postcarding from Activate America is starting already. These cards don’t have the urgency of Wisconsin, but they are still important to support for democratic House candidates. They have three California districts right now. Get postcards here.
- Donations. Now is the time to review your strategy and EARLY small-dollar donations are so valuable. It’s satisfying to give to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s opponent, but your dollars could go so much further in races flying under the radar. I suggest the Indivisible 18 campaign. I like Indivisible because they are light on their feet- they can move money to where it’s needed quickly without the bureaucracy and fiefdoms that plague the democratic committee. You can donate here.
- Texting. Movement Labs is still texting for local elections and base-building activities. If your impulse is to say that we can’t just focus on CA and NY, this is the place for you. You can make a huge impact by volunteering your time texting. Over the past 4 years, I have trained at least 500 people to text politically. It’s fun, easy and free. Not trained? Contact me at Christine@IndivisibleActon.org and I’ll get you set up in 45 minutes. A refresher might only take 20 minutes.
So, are you ready to take back the House now? Let’s do it together!