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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

DFA ‘Purple to Blue Project’ to Cut GOP Edge in States

In his Politico post, “Progressives must focus outside D.C.,” Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America, writes that DFA “is launching its Purple to Blue Project, a national, multi-year effort to win state House and Senate chambers across the country by making so-called “purple” state legislative seats decisively Democratic…”
Noting that “Republicans currently hold a lopsided 58 percent of all state legislative chambers in the country,” Dean adds that the DFA initiative kicks off in Virginia:

We’re launching the Purple to Blue project by focusing on this year’s elections in Virginia’s House of Delegates and, in particular, five key “purple” districts currently represented by Republicans. The first two of the five Purple to Blue candidates we’ll be in endorsing in Virginia this year are local activist and mom Jennifer Boysko in Delegate District 86 and retired Air Force Officer John Bell in Delegate District 87. These are races tailor made for progressives’ unique grassroots approach, happening in districts where you don’t need big media buys to win and knocks on the door from committed volunteers can make the difference.

Dean points out that winning all these seats won’t flip the Virginia House of Delegates to Democratic control won’t, but,

…It gives us a chance to figure out what works ahead of the critical state races happening in Michigan, Pennsylvania and elsewhere in 2014. It is also a critical step in preparing for the big fight in 2015 for the Virginia State Senate…The success of the Purple to Blue project in the Old Dominion would allow progressives to send a clear message across the Potomac to Republicans who think their legislative colleagues in the states have some “great” ideas: Namely, that waging a legislative war on women, working families, and voting is a sure path to defeat at the ballot box — in every state and at every level of office….

Dean explains further that, “Politically, the current state of affairs leaves us with a Republican party that has a deeper bench and huge advantage when fielding candidates for higher office.” However, he continues “There’s little doubt that running and winning an election is the best kind of practice for running and winning elections in the future.”
Former Vermont Governor and DNC Chairman Howard Dean has committed $750,000 to the ‘Purple to Blue Project.’ HuffPo features an extended discussion in the video below:

At The Washington Post Jonathan Bernstein adds,

…Kudos to Dean for attempting to find something useful to do with campaign money. I’m hoping it pushes more PACs and individual donors from both parties to make similar commitments. The presidential campaigns will get along just fine with even a tenth of the money they spent in 2012. Getting some money into down-ballot races is both a more useful way to use your resources, and good for democracy to boot.

Democrats who want to support Democracy for America’s ‘Purple to Blue Project’ can do so right here.

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