With the general election quickly approaching on November 3, it's important to understand where to focus our efforts. If we want to save our democracy and create a progressive America, not only will we need to remove Donald Trump from office, but we'll also need to keep the House of Representatives blue and flip the Senate blue. The former currently holds the most diverse class of representatives our country has seen in the legislative body's 230-year history. The latter, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is preventing us from passing bi-partisan laws, like H.R.8 requiring universal background checks, that will save American lives.
With the help of Swing Left—a national grassroots organization founded after the 2016 election—we can make a difference by paying attention to the 12 Super States, a.k.a. the swing states, that are comprised of mixed populations (urban, suburban, rural, etc.) and tend to flip between red and blue each election cycle. This includes Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
"Swing states are the most critical states in the upcoming election. They're essentially the tipping point of who's going to win the electoral college, then win the presidency," explains Swing Left National Field Director Marisa Kanof. "You look at the 50 states and you have the 15 to 20 that Democrats are going to win and the 15 to 20 that Republicans are going to win. These states in the middle...you win enough of them and you win the presidency."
With the increase in voting by mail this election season, we likely won't know the results of the election on November 4, which is why record voter turnout is key. (You can register to vote here.) The first step, though, is being aware of the states that will determine the fate of our country, then (virtually) engaging with voters, volunteering, and fundraising for campaigns in these areas. Here, Marie Claire and Swing Left outline the swing states that we should be targeting in November and beyond with specific goals for each of them.
2) Win the state’s 11 Electoral College votes
3) Break unified Republican control of the state government by flipping one or both state legislative chambers
1) Flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Cory Gardner. He's running against former governor John Hickenlooper.
2) Win the state’s nine Electoral College votes
1) Win the state’s 29 Electoral College votes
2) Break unified Republican control of the state government by flipping the Florida State House
1) Flip both U.S. Senate seats up for election
2) Compete for the state’s 16 Electoral College votes
3) Break unified Republican control of the state government by flipping the Georgia State House
1) Flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Joni Ernst. She's running against Theresa Greenfield.
2) Compete for the state’s six Electoral College votes
3) Break unified GOP control of the state government by flipping the Iowa State House
1) Flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Susan Collins. She's running against Sara Gideon.
2) Win the state’s four Electoral College votes
1) Win the state’s 16 Electoral College votes
2) Flip control of the Republican-led Michigan State House
1) Flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Thom Tillis. He's running against Cal Cunningham.
2) Win the state’s 15 Electoral College votes
3) Break Republican control of the state legislature by flipping one or both chambers
1) Compete for the state’s 18 Electoral College votes
2) Curb Republican control of the state government by breaking the GOP’s legislative supermajority in the Ohio State House
1) Win the state’s 20 Electoral College votes
2) Break Republican control of the state legislature by flipping one or both chambers
1) Flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by John Cornyn. He's running against MJ Hegar.
2) Compete for the state’s 38 Electoral College votes
3) Break unified GOP control of the state government by flipping the Texas State House
1) Win the state’s 10 Electoral College votes
2) Protect Democratic Governor Tony Evers’ veto power by preventing GOP supermajorities in the Wisconsin State Senate and State Assembly
3) Lay the groundwork to flip the state legislature in 2022
If you want to help make a difference, whether you live in a swing state or not, find out how to volunteer for Swing Left and invest in a progressive future here.
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Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.
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