MEMORANDUM TO INTERESTED PARTIES
July 26, 2020
FROM: Stephanie Schriock
RE: 100 Days to Women Winning
There are just 100 days until the general election, and EMILYs List women are poised to defend our gains from 2018 and expand upon them as voters search for stable, trustworthy leadership on the issues that matter the most. We know that a woman will join the presidential ticket soon, representing an opportunity to break one of the highest glass ceilings in government. And we know that women voters will decide this election, as they did in 2018 when they turned out at record rates.
At EMILYs List, we are proud of the women mayors and governors across the country who have moved quickly to try to contain the coronavirus and push back against partisan politicians following Trump rather than scientists. We are grateful for women Congressional leaders working hard to protect Americans’ health care and their rights at a time when both are under fire.
The importance of who leads the government has perhaps never been more clear. As voters seek leadership, they are turning to Democrats across the country, and Republicans at every level of government, as well as their candidates, are struggling.
EMILYs List women are gaining new advantages and expanding existing ones as voters embrace their vision and work. Our candidates have built strong campaigns that adjusted quickly to a new environment, achieved huge fundraising numbers, and are seeing movement in the polls and race ratings as a result. Through this turbulent year, Democrats have turned out at record rates; and voters of all stripes, but especially suburban and college-educated voters, are increasingly willing to support our women.
In addition to an advantageous issue terrain, we are seeing other encouraging comparisons to 2018. The financial resources our campaigns have marshalled are as impressive as ever. Many of our endorsed House and Senate candidates outraised their opponents last quarter, prompting large shifts towards Democrats in race ratings from nonpartisan observers like the Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball. In fact, these candidates are so strong and their campaigns so successful that 24 of 30 DCCC Red to Blue candidates are EMILYs List-endorsed women.
As the Democratic advantages grow, we expect Republicans to fall back to their standard playbook: flailing, often false, attacks trying to paint Democrats with a broad brush that just aren’t believable, as well as attacks on civil rights and reproductive freedom. This flies in the face of the facts, our candidates’ records and public opinion, where we see overwhelming support for Democratic values, including reproductive freedom.
Additionally, our Women Vote independent expenditure arm has successfully engaged to help ensure EMILYs List women are the Democratic nominees in races like Texas’ 24th Congressional District and the Senate races in Texas and Iowa And they are already setting up the general in crucial races like Maine’s Senate race. We look forward to Women Vote continuing to run a robust program to flip the Senate and expand the House majority through the fall.
In short, 2020 is going to prove once and for all that 2018 was not a pink wave. It was a sea change. EMILYs List women are running, winning, and making a difference with their leadership–and this cycle will be no exception.
FEDERAL AND GUBERNATORIAL ELECTIONS
It’s possible for EMILYs List-endorsed women alone to provide the margin for Senate control, as we support four candidates in seats currently held by Republicans.
IOWA: Theresa Greenfield has turned Iowa into a consensus tossup with her compelling personal story and deep connections to Iowa voters, leading in every poll of Iowa released since the beginning of June. Senator Ernst, meanwhile, failed on her central 2014 campaign promise — to “make ‘em squeal” and clean up Washington — with a “pattern of flouting the law” when it comes to campaign finance and dark money.
KANSAS: Barbara Bollier, who would be the first woman doctor in the Senate, outraised the Republican field combined by $1.3 million last quarter and entered July with $4.4 million on hand while her potential opponents are spending to zero to survive a savage primary. With that kind of resource advantage, Barbara’s results-driven, health care-focused message has her well positioned against both Kris Kobach and Roger Marshall in a state that is rapidly becoming more hospitable to candidates like her and EMILYs List-endorsed Governor Laura Kelly.
MAINE: Sara Gideon has built a grassroots juggernaut in Maine with her (now masked and socially distant) “Supper with Sara” meetings and record focused on bipartisan achievement for Mainers. Meanwhile, Senator Susan Collins has increasingly borne responsibility with voters for her frequent votes with, and excuses for, President Trump, driving many of her former supporters, both individual and institutional, to support Sara. Sara’s financial strength in this race is striking: according to the most recent public filings, she has raised more than $24 million for the cycle, outraising Senator Collins by more than $7 million — an advantage that comes almost entirely from her second quarter, which saw her raise more than 2.5 times Senator Collins’ efforts.
TEXAS: While pundits downplayed hero Air Force pilot MJ Hegar’s odds, John Cornyn spent six figures trying to meddle his way out of facing her in a general election. She successfully overcame his meddling and raised over $1 million in her first week as the nominee. Now the incumbent — who despite being well known as Mitch McConnell’s right hand in Washington, is a “nonentity” in Texas — finds himself with even Republicans admitting he’s “in trouble” and may not be able to assemble a coalition that contains both the Republican base and the voters that will ultimately decide this election.
Additionally, EMILYs List women are running for governor in two states. In Vermont, lifelong educator and former State Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe is challenging Governor Phil Scott. In Missouri, Auditor Nicole Galloway, who has rooted out millions of dollars of corruption and waste in her time in office, is challenging Governor Mike Parson, who kicked 100,000 Missouri kids off of Medicaid and has perpetually bungled the state’s response to COVID, recently claiming that kids who got COVID from his returning to school “will get over it.”
House of Representatives
EMILYs List is using the recruiting, financial, and public opinion advantages already discussed in this memo to expand the map. We firmly believe that women will expand the pro-choice majority in the House. This month has seen Cook Political Report move 9 races in favor of EMILYs List-endorsed candidates, a clear recognition of the opportunity this election cycle is presenting.
INCUMBENT PROTECTION: Our incumbents ran for office on the issue voters care about the most: health care. When they got to Washington, they built a legislative record of standing up for voters and working to lower drug costs and protect benefits for patients with pre-existing conditions, then did hundreds of town halls to make sure that voters knew their voices were being heard. Additionally, the resource advantages their grassroots campaigns have developed has already put many potentially competitive races out of reach for Republicans, and we feel confident that as they campaign and make the choices facing voters clear that our class of incumbent women will secure their return to Congress in 2021.
CHALLENGERS: EMILYs List challengers are threatening incumbents in suburban districts that would have seemed out of reach just a few years ago. Witness Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District, where former elementary school teacher Jill Schupp is routinely outraising former NRCC finance chair Ann Wagner; Arizona’s 6th, where former emergency room doctor Hiral Tipirneni is threatening ethically-challenged Rep. David Schweikert, or North Carolina’s 8th, where former NC Supreme Court judge Pat Timmons-Goodson is ready to retire GOP Rep. Richard Hudson.
OPEN SEATS: Not every Republican hung around for the opportunity to be shown the door by EMILYs List women. Open seats in GA-07 (Carolyn Bourdeaux), MI-03 (Hillary Scholten), MT-AL (Kathleen Williams), NY-02 (Jackie Gordon), TX-23 (Gina Ortiz Jones), and TX- 24 (Candace Valenzuela) have all become top pick up opportunities. Additionally, a redrawn NC-02 (Deborah Ross) and NC-06 (Kathy Manning), are newly Democratic-leaning districts which saw their Republican incumbents retire rather than stand for reelection.
Additionally, we successfully defeated anti-choice Rep. Dan Lipinski in the heavily Democratic IL-03 this March, and look forward to Marie Newman joining the next Congress. And in New Mexico, with the nomination of Teresa Leger Fernandez in heavily Democratic NM-03, a successful reelection by Rep. Xochtil Torres Small would secure the largest all-women of color House delegation for one state ever.
STATE AND LOCAL ELECTIONS
EMILYs List is targeting flippable state legislative chambers and chambers with vulnerable Republican supermajorities in the 2019-2020 cycle. Since 2015, our Focus 2020 program has aggressively recruited and trained candidates to ensure that pro-choice Democratic women will be at the table to draw fair federal and state maps in 2021.
Earlier this year, EMILYs List placed 11 state legislative chambers “On Notice” for pursuing dangerous restrictions on abortion and supporting legislation that targets women’s reproductive freedom:
- Arizona House and Senate
- Florida Senate
- Iowa House
- Minnesota Senate
- Michigan House
- North Carolina House and Senate
- Pennsylvania House and Senate
- Ohio House
EMILYs List hopes to flip 10 of these “On Notice” state legislative chambers from red to blue and break the Republican supermajority in the Ohio House by expanding the number of pro-choice Democratic women. Six of these eight states control their redistricting process, and as seen in previous cycles in states like Minnesota and North Carolina among others, Republican legislators alone cannot be trusted to draw fair district boundaries.
Enthusiasm for down-ballot women
Despite state Republicans’ best efforts at misinformation and voter suppression, EMILYs List candidates are receiving groundbreaking public support in crucial states like North Carolina. In North Carolina, the majority of EMILYs List down-ballot candidates have more cash on hand than their Republican opponents, and some raised almost 15 times as much in the most recent fiscal quarter.
Beyond turning state legislatures blue, we are committed to ensuring that every chamber contains a pro-choice majority. In the New Mexico primary, three EMILYs List-endorsed state Senate candidates unseated anti-choice Democratic incumbents. They, along with six more endorsed candidates, are poised to strengthen Democratic control of the chamber and deliver a pro-choice majority in November.
Trailblazing candidates this cycle
EMILYs List candidates are also ready to break new ground in down-ballot statewide races across the country.
- Running for a newly open seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, Chrysta Castañeda is on the verge of becoming the first Democratic candidate elected to statewide office in Texas in over two decades.
- Nina Ahmad would be the first woman of color to be elected Pennsylvania state auditor.
- In North Carolina, Yvonne Lewis Holley would be the first African American lieutenant governor, and Jessica Holmes would be the first African American labor commissioner. Jenna Wadsworth would be the first openly LGBTQ+ woman elected to statewide office.
- Alissia Canady would be the first African American to serve as Missouri lieutenant governor.
- In Florida, Daniella Levine Cava would be the first woman mayor of Miami-Dade County.
EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $600 million to elect pro-choice Democratic women candidates. With a grassroots community of over five million members, EMILY's List helps Democratic women win competitive campaigns – across the country and up and down the ballot – by recruiting and training candidates, supporting strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect 150 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 16 governors, and nearly 1,100 women to state and local office. Nearly 40 percent of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. During the historic 2017-2018 cycle, EMILYs List raised a record-breaking $110 million and launched a record independent expenditure campaign. We helped elect 34 new women to the House, including 24 red-to-blue victories; enough seats to have delivered the U.S. House majority alone. Since the 2016 election, more than 55,000 women have reached out to EMILY's List about running for office laying the groundwork for the next decade of candidates for local, state, and national offices.