As President Obama’s second term winds down and Hillary Clinton’s likely presidential campaign winds up, it feels like the 2016 election is drawing even more attention than the upcoming midterm races. But there’s another election increasingly on the minds of Democratic lawmakers, party operatives, big money donors, and progressive activists: 2020. That’s the year voters will elect state lawmakers who will redraw congressional and state legislative districts all over the country. Last week, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee announced it would commit at least $70 million to Advantage 2020, a program aimed at targeting legislative chambers in key states over the next four election cycles with the specific aim of influencing redistricting. The plan calls on Democrats to invest resources not just in state chambers the party has a shot at winning this November, but in legislatures where they might have a chance at slowly eroding a GOP majority over time thanks to demographic trends.
“[Gerrymandering] has led to far right policies in states, far right policies in Congress,” Michael Sargent, executive director of the DLCC, told reporters in announcing the new program. Republicans “don’t feel like they’re accountable to anybody because they feel like they have drawn the lines and the maps in such a way that they don’t have to actually answer to the voters,” Sargent said.
The project is part of a broader effort by Democrats to pull the party out of the rubble left behind by the 2010 election, when Republicans made massive gains at the state level that allowed them to gerrymander Congressional maps in critical states after the new census.
In addition to the DLCC’s plan, new Democratic outside groups like the General Majority PAC, which spent $9 million defending New Jersey Democrats’ control of the state senate in 2013, are gearing up to play in other state races with an eye towards 2020. Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, who has pledged tens of millions of dollars toward helping Democrats win Senate and governors races this year, is looking into expanding his group NextGen’s reach into state legislatures as well.
Full Article: Forget 2016: Democrats already have a plan for 2020 | MSNBC.