Here at Daily Kos, we have a strong and consistent focus on state and local elections. Midterm elections are huge, but as we know, don’t tend to get the same attention from national media outlets (or voters) as the presidential election does. Why does this matter now? As reported by the Associated Press, Democratic officials at both the state and national level have reached a fundraising agreement in order to get more aid to state parties. Even better? There’s an extra amount for Democrats fighting in Republican-controlled states.
The idea is that privileged supporters in the Democratic Party can contribute to a joint, combined fund that can then be dispersed to state-level party accounts across the country. Backers will be allowed to contribute up to $875,000 each year.
So, how does this work? Basically, state parties would receive just over $12,000 per month from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). State parties would most likely use that extra funding to hire more staff, though that isn’t an explicit restriction. Perhaps most importantly in terms of pushing red states to become purple, states that currently have Republican control will get an extra $2,500 each month. According to the AP, under this agreement, a Republican hold will be defined as having at least two of the three qualifications: no Democrat in the U.S. Senate or governor’s office; a congressional delegation that is at least 75% Republican; and a supermajority in the Republican legislature.
And if you’re wondering why inching toward purple matters, every legislative seat is still a significant win. So while—realistically—not all red states are going to flip blue in a given election, each win on the downballot makes future work a little easier and more attainable.
If you’re thinking that this money reads like small potatoes compared to what some hopefuls bring in, you’re right—but if you think of this funding as a starting point that helps candidates gain momentum and establish a basic, skeletal operations center (like hiring staff), the boost definitely makes sense. Especially so for the many progressives who simply don’t get widespread attention and the donation funds that tend to come with it.
According to DNC chair Jaime Harrison, “We know what history says, that the party in power loses seats. But we also know you can make your own history.” Progressives making their own history is nothing new and continues to be an inspiring sentiment.