Memo: Democrats’ win in Pennsylvania wasn’t a ‘one-off,’ it’s a trend
Republicans are pointing fingers and spinning Conor Lamb's historic upset in Pennsylvania as a “one-off.”
Newsflash: They've been losing Republican-held seats for more than a year — 42 state legislative, gubernatorial, Senate and now House seats.
Democrats haven't only won in blue districts, we're winning in places like Oklahoma, Alabama, rural Iowa and now, in a Pennsylvania district that Donald Trump won by nearly 20 points. That's scary for Republicans.
Republicans spent more than $10 million to defend what should have been a safe seat after pouring millions into a race to elect an alleged child molester in Alabama. And the result was the same: They lost.
And while Republicans like to think Conor Lamb's was a “unique” situation or a “one-off,” the reality is Conor Lamb ran on his values — the same message that has led Democrats to victory all across the country.
He focused on the issues that mattered to Western Pennsylvanians — jobs, health care and Social Security. He knocked on doors in the district he grew up in. This is all while Republicans attempted to prop up an anti-worker candidate running on a tax plan that gives corporations and the wealthiest a tax cut at the expense of American workers. Republicans' strategy didn't work in Pennsylvania, it hasn't worked across the country and it won't work in November.
Democrats win when we get on the ground early, focus on our values and invest in and recruit strong, local candidates like Conor Lamb. That's how we won in Pennsylvania's 18th. That's how Doug Jones won in Alabama, Ralph Northam and Justin Fairfax won in Virginia, Phil Murphy and Sheila Oliver won in New Jersey. That's how Manka Dhingra won in Washington and Annette Taddeo won in Florida. That's how Keisha Lance Bottoms won in Atlanta and Wilmot Collins won in Helena, Montana.
You better believe that we will taking this model to win up and down the ballot this year — especially in the House, where there are 114 Republican-held seats that are more competitive than Pennsylvania's 18th.
In 2018, we will continue to make meaningful investments in organizing, tech and infrastructure on the ground. Since I became chair, the Democratic National Committee has made historic investments to help boost the ground game for state parties and Democratic candidates across the country.
We invested $1.5 million in Virginia; started the State Party Innovation Fund, a historic $10 million competitive grant program for state parties; implemented the Every ZIP Code Counts program, which contributes $10,000 per month to every state party; and made strategic investments in mayoral and legislative races across the country.
We're just getting started.
BUILDING ON SUCCESS
Over the last year, Democrats have been focused on one mission: winning elections up and down the ballot.
Since Trump took office, Democrats have flipped 42 seats from red to blue, including 39 state legislative seats, one governor's seat, one Senate seat and one House seat. That doesn't even account for city-level and other local races.
We knew our historic successes putting Democrats in offices up and down the ticket in 2017 were not a fluke. Since Trump took office, Democrats have flipped seats across the country from red to blue, and some of these seats are in deep-red areas that Trump won by double digits in 2016. This isn't just a trend — this is a movement.
IWILLVOTE: ENGAGING 50 MILLION AMERICANS
How will we continue this momentum and win everywhere?
By turning out more voters.
Over the past year, we've seen what a difference Democratic voter turnout can make, but we know we need to change the dialogue about voting and that turnout during the midterms is historically low.
In February, the DNC announced the launch of IWillVote, an unprecedented new campaign with four initiatives: Commit to vote.
Voter education and protection. Get-Out-The-Vote.
Through the IWillVote program, the DNC, in partnership with state parties and organizations, aims to reach 50 million voters from now until November to engage, educate, and mobilize them to vote for Democrats up and down the ticket.
If there's one thing we learned in Pennsylvania, it's that we can win everywhere.
Whoever says you have to either compete for white working-class voters or for communities of color is wrong. It is a false choice to say that we have to focus on either white working-class voters or communities of color.
The facts are clear:
We can win everywhere.
We are winning everywhere.
We are organizing everywhere.
And that's why Democrats are back.