Swing Left's

Super State Strategy for 2020
Our mission:
Win all the Houses in 2020, including the White House, the Senate, the House, and the State Houses key to rolling back Republican gerrymandering.
How we'll do it:
By engaging voters and fundraising for campaigns in the Super States, where the key fights of 2020 will be won or lost.
Download the strategy (PDF)

Descargar la estrategia (PDF)

Watch the video on YouTube

In 2018, we took back the House. And in 2020, we have the opportunity to do something even bigger.

Working together, we can take back not only the White House—but also the Senate and the State Houses needed to control the drawing of fair maps in the 2021 redistricting, undoing some of the worst cases of Republican gerrymandering.

If we do things right, we’ll not only beat Trump and the GOP. We’ll also set up our country for a decade of progressive wins.

Our opportunity: the "Super States"

Last cycle, Swing Left pointed you towards your closest Swing District as the most effective place to focus your volunteer time and donations. And everybody is familiar with Swing States. But the 2020 cycle is giving us something new and exciting: what we’re calling the “Super States.”

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.

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.

Super States Map

How we'll win

Winning the Super States is how we’ll win the country. Some of us live in or near a Super State; many of us don’t. How can we all make an impact?

By focusing our efforts on two tactics we know win elections: raising early money for candidates and engaging new voters. And both can be done from wherever you live.

Engaging new voters

Registering people to vote will be one of the most important things we can do to win the Super States. This is different from the 2018 midterms, when we focused primarily on turnout. Here’s why:

For 2018, we focused on getting people to the polls on Election Day, because only around 65% of registered voters typically vote in midterm election years. But in presidential election years, turnout isn’t the biggest obstacle, since we can expect close to 90% of registered voters to vote. That’s why for 2020 we’re going to focus on registering new voters—and we’ll do it in the Super States, where the votes will have the biggest impact.

Starting now, you can register voters in person or from anywhere by mail, via a new letter-writing program. Registering voters by mail is very effective. So, we’re piloting an innovative tactic that uses volunteer power to send personal letters—lots of letters—to potential new voters in Super States across the country. You can make an impact in places like North Carolina, even if you live all the way in California.

Raising early money for candidates

Early money can make a huge difference in winning elections. After candidates win the primary, they need immediate funds to hire staff and buy ads as they pivot to confront their Republican opponent. It’s how we made sure our nominees in 2018 started the general election strong.

And it’s why we’re starting raising money for our Super State nominees now—so we can deliver them a Big Blue Check early on, at the moment of absolute highest impact.


Phase I: Get Going!

February 2019 – Summer 2019

The Super States are to 2020 what the Swing Districts were to 2018: the key battlegrounds of the election that most people don’t know about yet. Now’s the time to get to know our targets and to get working. Next year’s elections may feel far away—but there’s lots to do starting right now.

Key Tactics:

  • Learn about the Super States and educate others
  • Register Super State voters in person or by mail
  • Fundraise for our future Democratic Presidential nominee and the future Senate nominees in Super States

Phase II: Go Deep

Summer 2019 – Summer 2020

This summer, we’ll release a state legislature target map, allowing us to focus on key geographies in Super States for voter registration and turnout. We’ll start fundraising for our future Democratic nominees in the State House races that will determine the fate of the district maps in those states—and by extension, control of the U.S. House for the next 10 years.

We’ll also get to work on a few important 2019 races, which aren’t necessarily in Super States but are super important.

Key Tactics:

  • Register voters in the key geographies within Super States—swing state legislative districts and untapped deep blue pockets
  • Fundraise for state-level District Funds
  • Mobilize for the key 2019 races

Phase III: Go Wide

Summer – Fall 2020

By this time, we’ll know all our Democratic nominees, and we’ll be able to focus our time and money on the places it will help in as many as five key races at once. This is also the strategic moment to broaden our efforts to defend the House reps we helped elect in 2018.

Leading up to Election Day, The Last Weekend of volunteer action will be huge. The ensuing flood of Democratic wins will make the #BlueWave2018 look like a ripple, and we’ll finally get our country back on the course we thought it was on prior to November 8th, 2016.

Key Tactics:

  • Raise money for Super State and House Defense candidates
  • Register and turn out voters in key geographies within Super States
  • Canvass in a Super State/your closest Swing District for the Last Weekend
  • Win Everything, Everywhere

For a deeper dive, watch the Super State Strategy video:

Are you ready to help take back all the Houses? Find a Swing Left group near you.

Download a printable version of the strategy.