Dec 14, 2019

National Dems push to flip legislative chambers in 2020

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

National Democratic leaders and activist groups are deploying "unprecedented" resources in the hopes of flipping state legislative chambers in at least seven states in 2020, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The groups intend to pour tens of millions of dollars into low-profile contests that will influence how the upcoming redistricting battle plays out, the Post writes. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has established a $50 million spending goal — five times more than the group allocated during the last round of redistricting in 2010.

Context: Historically, during presidential election years, Democrats have focused on pursuing the White House, giving Republicans an opening to take over statehouses.

The DLCC says it will focus on the state legislatures in Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Texas, Michigan and Minnesota.

The big picture: Many of the legislatures Democrats hope to flip are also key battleground states for the presidential election.

  • "That overlay is helping Democrats organize earlier than usual in those states, while energizing the party's national network of volunteers," Catherine Vaughan, a leader of Swing Left and Flippable, told the Post.
  • Democrats have taken 435 state legislative seats and nine governorships in the past three years, but Republicans still control the majority in 29 state legislatures, notes the Post.

Go deeper: The U.K. election's warning for U.S. Democrats in 2020

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Democrats prep climate legislation in case of 2020 breakthrough

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

There's no chance of big climate legislation moving these days, but 2020 is nonetheless a crucial year for Democrats hoping those odds change post-election.

Driving the news: House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats will unveil sweeping draft legislation this month. And by the end of March, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis is slated to unveil its own policy recommendations.

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020

States will be the battlegrounds for 2020 tech policy fights

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The tech industry's most consequential policy fights in 2020 will play out in the states, not Washington.

Why it matters: Momentum on a range of tech issues, from governing online privacy to regulating the gig economy, has stalled in D.C. as impeachment and election campaigns consume attention. State leaders and legislators are stepping in to fill the void. 

Go deeperArrowJan 2, 2020

GOP monetizes impeachment as Dems try to change the subject

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans have embraced impeachment as a boost for fundraising and messaging more easily than Democrats, who are playing up a few impeachment "villains" to swing voters — but are also making it clear they’d rather talk about health care.

Why it matters: Assuming Trump gets impeached by the House this week and acquitted next month by the Senate, Republicans and Democrats are already looking beyond the legislative exercise to shape next November's elections.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019