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Republican State Parties Losing the Ground Game to Democrats PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by DNC War Room Press   
Tuesday, 21 May 2024 13:33

bcdems_seniorsDemocrats in the States Continue to Out-Organize and Out-Fundraise Them.


WASHINGTON - With less than six months until the election, Republican state parties are demonstrating that they have no plan to win. As they elect MAGA extremists to lead their parties, bleed cash, and battle each other, it’s clear that they don’t have what it takes to build the infrastructure necessary for victory in November. In sharp contrast, with President Joe Biden at the helm, Democrats started investing in their ground game historically early and remain committed to delivering results for working families by electing Democrats up and down the ballot.

Key Point: “Republican state parties in several critical battleground states are dealing with waves of inner turmoil, ranging from leadership turnover to financial struggles. Meanwhile, Democrats are confident their state parties are all rowing in the same direction after making a point in recent years of prioritizing them after electoral losses that left Republicans in control of many state legislatures.”

Boston Globe: State parties play a critical role in elections — are Democrats or Republicans best positioned in 2024?
By: Lissandra Villa de Petrzelka

  • As both political parties look for every advantage they can find in the lead up to the high-stakes November election, Democrats appear to be gaining on less-noticed turf: state party organization.
  • Republican state parties in several critical battleground states are dealing with waves of inner turmoil, ranging from leadership turnover to financial struggles. Meanwhile, Democrats are confident their state parties are all rowing in the same direction after making a point in recent years of prioritizing them after electoral losses that left Republicans in control of many state legislatures.
  • “[State parties are] the essential building blocks to victory,” said Ben Wikler, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “In this moment, Democratic state parties, especially in battleground states, are vibrant, energized and focused, and we’re watching Republican state parties fall apart.”
  • That’s evident in the highest ranks of these state parties: In Florida, a red state, the former GOP party chair was ousted in January after he was accused of sexual assault; he denied wrongdoing and ultimately didn’t face criminal charges. In Arizona, a swing state, the former party chair resigned and accused Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake of giving him an “ultimatum” that led him to do so; Lake’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. In Nevada, another swing state, several Republicans involved in the state party, including the party chair, have been charged in a fake electors case related to the 2020 election results. They have pleaded not guilty and will not stand trial until next year.
  • But the difference between Democrats’ and Republicans’ state parties is also playing out in their finances. A Globe review of Federal Election Commission records showed that as of March 31, Democratic state parties in Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, and Nevada — key battleground states — are outraising Republicans; in Florida, Republicans are outraising Democrats. Most of those Democratic state parties also had more cash on hand during the same period. Those federal records don’t capture the entire picture of the state parties’ finances, but they provide insight into which parties are best positioned to spend in the months before Election Day.
  • As GOP state parties are making headlines for struggling to keep office locations, having small account balances, and facing calls to rethink their fund-raising strategies, some Republicans are concerned that donors have been turned off, handicapping their fund-raising efforts.
  • Perhaps no battleground state better encapsulates all of the dynamics at play with state parties than Michigan. As the Michigan Democratic Party and the Biden campaign celebrated the opening of new joint campaign offices throughout the spring, the Michigan Republican Party was also setting up some critical campaign infrastructure: Its website.
  • After the former state party chair, Kristina Karamo, was ousted amid financial struggles and internal party drama, the new state party administration struggled “to regain access” to the old website, said Michigan GOP finance chairman Warren Carpenter.
  • Michigan Democrats, in contrast, have made gains in recent years, taking over the state legislature and governor’s mansion. And President Biden won there in 2020 by just under three percentage points. This year, they’re hoping for a repeat.
  • “Our team organized our volunteers to do door-to-door, to do phone calls, text messaging, long before the Biden campaign had anyone on the ground, and then … we were able to work with them to supplement those conversations and continue growing,” said state Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes. “It’s vital, not just in Michigan, but in all of our states that we have strong state parties that can take on that responsibility.”
 
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