NDRC 2018 Electoral Targets
During the last redistricting process in 2011, Republicans had trifecta control—when one political party controls the governorship, a majority in the state senate, and a majority in the state house in a state’s government—in 19 states, which gave them complete power over the drawing of 213 congressional districts. The NDRC is committed to changing that and making sure Democrats have a seat at the table in the 2021 redistricting process.
This is a critical election year for redistricting because it is the first cycle where the officials elected will serve during the redistricting process in 2021. The NDRC is targeting 12 states during the 2018 election cycle, including 10 gubernatorial races, 18 legislative chambers, 3 ballot initiatives, and 6 down-ballot races. There are 7 additional states on our Watch List. The key way to get involved is to sign up to join an OFA chapter, where you can connect with activists in your neighborhood and online.
Colorado is a rapidly growing state that could gain one congressional seat following the 2020 Census. This year, we are targeting the open governor’s race, the state Senate, and a ballot measure that would reform how congressional and state legislative lines are drawn.
- Governor. Governor John Hickenlooper is term-limited, meaning that this is an open race we need to defend. Under the state’s current redistricting rules, the governor can veto congressional maps drawn by the legislature.
- State Senate. The Colorado Senate is also a key battleground chamber, with Republicans currently holding a narrow one-seat majority.
- Ballot Initiative. Earlier this year, legislators from both parties voted to send a pair of redistricting measures to the ballot. If approved, the measures would create new independent commissions to draw the congressional and state legislative maps.
Florida is a growing, diverse swing state that could gain 2 additional congressional seats in 2021. We need to elect Democrats up and down the ballot who will protect the Fair Districts constitutional amendments that voters overwhelming approved in 2010. Our electoral targets include the open governor’s race and the state Senate.
- Governor. Florida has an open gubernatorial election this cycle. Whomever wins the governor’s seat in November will have veto power over proposed congressional maps.
- State Senate. Half of Florida’s state Senate seats are up this year. Since the governor does not have authority to approve or block state legislative maps, flipping this chamber by 2020 will give Democrats a critical voice during redistricting.
Georgia is a growing state that could gain a congressional seat following the 2020 Census. Republicans in Georgia have a history of gerrymandering, including mid-cycle redistricting in 2015 to lock in their majorities in the state legislature. Our electoral targets include the open governor’s seat and the state Senate.
- Governor. Former State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams is a historic candidate committed to fighting for fair districts, and if she wins, she’ll have veto power over maps drawn in 2021.
- State Senate. In December 2017, Republicans lost their supermajority in the state Senate. We can make more progress this year when all senators are up for election. The entire chamber is up again in 2020.
Michigan is a gerrymandered swing state that both parties have won in recent presidential elections. It is also the battleground for one of the best reform measures in the country. Our electoral targets include the open governor’s seat, two down-ballot races, the state Senate, and the state House.
- Governor. Governor Rick Snyder is term-limited and cannot run again. This November, Democrats have the opportunity to win the governor’s seat that holds crucial veto power under Michigan’s current laws.
- Down Ballot. We’re targeting 2 state Supreme Court seats as this body plays an important check on gerrymandered maps.
- State Senate. Half of the state senators are up for election this year. Once elected, they will serve a four-year term, meaning they will be drawing the 2021 maps under current redistricting law.
- State House. All state House members are up in 2018 and 2020, making this the first chance for Democrats to flip the chamber before redistricting.
- Ballot Initiative. Voters Not Politicians collected approximately 400,000 signatures in support of an initiative to create an independent redistricting commission that would have authority to redraw the congressional and state legislative lines. Republicans are challenging the initiative from even making the ballot this fall. We’ll continue to monitor this important initiative.
While Minnesota generally votes Democratic at the presidential level, Republicans currently hold both chambers in the legislature. Our electoral targets include the open governor’s seat, and the special elections for the state Senate and the state House.
- Governor. The winner of this open race will have veto power over both the congressional and state legislative maps, which are drawn by the Minnesota legislature. Winning this race is critical to stopping a new Republican trifecta from forming next year and locking Democrats out of the redistricting process in 2021.
- State Senate. The state Senate is currently tied with one vacancy. A special election will occur this November to fill the vacant seat—and determine who controls the chamber.
- State House. Every seat is up for election in 2018. With dozens of competitive districts, flipping the House isn’t just possible now, but also in 2020.
Nevada has voted Democratic in recent presidential elections, but remains a swing state. Most recently, state Republicans staged a power grab to recall enough senators that would flip the chamber into their favor. With the support of the NDRC and its allies on the ground, the Republican’s power-grab attempt failed. Our electoral targets include the open governor’s seat, the state Senate, and the state House.
- Governor. Governor Brian Sandoval is term-limited, leaving an open race that Democrats can pick up. The winner will have veto power over both the congressional and state legislative maps, which are drawn by the Nevada legislature.
- State Senate. Democrats control the state Senate by one vote. With half the chamber up in November, we need to protect our majority here, too.
- State Assembly. Democrats control the state Assembly right now — we need to protect this majority in November.
North Carolina is one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation. The 2011 maps drawn by Republicans have had to be redrawn because of unconstitutional gerrymandering. Our electoral targets include the state Senate and the state House under the new court-drawn maps. The governor plays no role in the redistricting process.
- State Senate. All Senate seats are up in November, then again in 2020. Breaking the supermajority here is a key electoral target.
- State House. Similar to the state Senate, all state House seats are up this year and in 2020. Breaking the supermajority here is paramount, as we continue to set the stage for flipping the chamber by 2021.
- Down Ballot. We are committed to electing Anita Earls to the open state Supreme Court seat this November. This court has historically been an important check on North Carolina’s gerrymandered legislature.
Ohio is a deeply gerrymandered swing state in which down-ballot offices play a role in the redistricting process. Our electoral targets include the open governor’s seat, Secretary of State, State Auditor, the state Senate, and the state House. We targeted Issue 1 earlier this year to reform the process of drawing congressional lines, which passed by a landslide.
- Governor. Governor John Kasich is term-limited, making this an open race. Though new redistricting processes are in place for 2021, this office is still critically important. We are supporting Richard Cordray for Governor.
- Down Ballot. In Ohio, the Secretary of State and State Auditor are two members of the state’s bipartisan redistricting commission for the state legislative lines. We are supporting Kathleen Clyde for Secretary of State and Zack Space for State Auditor.
- State Senate. Half of the Ohio Senate seats up for election in 2018. Along with the Governor, State Auditor, and Secretary of State, these are four-year terms, meaning they will have map drawing authority. We’re focused on breaking the Republican supermajority.
- State House. All 99 Ohio House seats are up for election in 2018. Democrats have an opportunity to break the Republican supermajority this year.
Pennsylvania is a gerrymandered swing state that both parties have carried in recent statewide elections. Our electoral targets include holding the governor’s seat, the state Senate, and the state House.
- Governor. In Pennsylvania, the governor has veto power over the congressional maps proposed by the legislature. We are committed to reelecting Governor Tom Wolf, who has already blocked state Republicans from passing another rigged congressional map this year after the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.
- State Senate. Half the chamber is up this November. Democrats only need to pick up one seat to break the GOP’s veto-proof supermajority.
- State House. All 203 seats are up this year, creating dozens of pickup opportunities for Democrats.
Texas is a growing state with changing demographics that could gain 2 or 3 new congressional seats following the 2020 Census. Our electoral targets are the state Senate and the state House.
- State Senate. Half of the Texas Senate is up this year. In Texas, senators serve four-year terms, making it critically important to make gains now and then again in 2020.
- State House. Every seat in the Texas House of Representatives is up for election this year and Democrats are running in record numbers to make historic gains.
Virginia serves as the NDRC’s first electoral victory of this cycle. In 2017, the NDRC invested $1.2 million in support of Governor Ralph Northam and Democrats running for the House of Delegates. For the first time since 1991, a Democrat will have veto power over redistricting.
Our electoral targets include flipping the governor’s seat and the state Senate. We recently supported Democrat Patty Schachtner in a state Senate special election, flipping a seat President Trump won last year.
- Governor. Republican Governor Scott Walker is running for a third term. He’s already proven his affinity for partisan political tricks – even refusing to hold special elections to fill vacant legislative seats until ordered to by multiple courts. We have a chance to elect a Democrat who will veto a gerrymandered map in redistricting.
- State Senate. Half of the state Senate is up this November, meaning that we have a crucial shot at building on the success of last December’s victory and flipping the chamber.
- Down Ballot. Building on our success in the state Senate, the NDRC supported Rebecca Dallet in her historic race for state Supreme Court. This was the first time since 1995 a progressive won an open seat here.
In addition to our primary target states, the NDRC is watching an additional 7 states that are notable for redistricting, including 3 gubernatorial races, 5 legislative chambers and 3 ballot initiatives.
We worked with allies on the ground to pressure Republicans that were threatening to change Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission—one of the best in the country.
We are watching the open governor’s seat and the state Senate, where we only need to flip one seat for control of the chamber.
We are monitoring the Clean Missouri ballot initiative, which includes redistricting reform for the state legislative lines.
We are watching the governor’s race, the state Senate, and the state House.
This year, the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) in the state Senate dissolved its power sharing agreement with state Senate Republicans. We’re watching this chamber, where all senators are up for election.
We are watching the governor’s race and races for the state House.
We are watching the Better Boundaries ballot initiative, which goes to voters in November. This would create a bipartisan redistricting commission.