Republicans know just as well as we do that the road to the White House runs through two major swing states in the Midwest: Michigan and Pennsylvania. And since we also know the GOP no longer respects the results of elections unless they win, we can expect Republicans to use every lever at their disposal to subvert any outcomes they don’t like.
But there’s some very good news: Decades of GOP gerrymandering have finally come to an end in these two states. That means Democrats have their best shot in ages at wresting control of the state legislatures in both Michigan and Pennsylvania and depriving Republicans of their most powerful tool for rigging future elections.
That’s why Daily Kos is endorsing a slate of 20 fantastic Democratic candidates running for the Michigan and Pennsylvania state houses. With our help, they can flip both of these chambers and defend our democracy in the years to come.
|27||Jaime Churches||South of Detroit||18||Laurie Smith||Northeast of Philadelphia|
|28||Rob Kull||South of Detroit||26||Paul Friel||Northwest of Philadelphia|
|31||Reggie Miller||Southwest of Detroit||30||Arvind Venkat||North of Pittsburgh|
|38||Joey Andrews||Southern Lake
|33||Mandy Steele||North of Pittsburgh|
|46||Maurice Imhoff||South-central Michigan||82||Paul Takac||Central Pennsylvania|
|54||Shadia Martini||Oakland County||88||Sara Agerton||Harrisburg area|
|55||Patricia Bernard||Oakland County||137||Anna Thomas||Lehigh Valley|
|61||Denise Mentzer||Macomb County||142||Mark Moffa||Northeast of Philadelphia|
|83||John Fitzgerald||Grand Rapids area||151||Melissa Cerrato||North of Philadelphia|
|109||Jenn Hill||Upper Peninsula||168||Lisa Borowski||West of Philadelphia|
These two states took very different paths to enjoying un-gerrymandered maps at long last. In Michigan, voters approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2018 that created a strictly independent redistricting commission—an effort that Republicans opposed at every turn with (thankfully) no success. In Pennsylvania in 2015, meanwhile, Democrats won a majority on the state Supreme Court, which is responsible for appointing a tiebreaking member to the state’s redistricting board. This time, the court named a fair-minded tiebreaker who agreed that the state ought to have fair districts instead of maps tilted toward the GOP.
As a result, voters in both states will have a real chance at electing the legislatures they prefer, not the ones ordained for them by self-interested politicians. That puts majorities within reach for Democrats: In Michigan they need to flip three seats, while in Pennsylvania they need 12.
But make no mistake: Despite much-improved maps, the road to victory is long and difficult. Republicans understand full well that if they lose, they won’t be able to override the will of the public come 2024. And this is no mere hypothetical concern. Following the 2020 election, 64 GOP lawmakers in Pennsylvania asked Congress to reject the state’s own slate of electors for Joe Biden. And in Michigan, Republican election officials who dared to certify Biden’s victory have been systematically purged by their own party.
Republicans failed to steal the last election, but 2020 was only a dry run. They’ve been refining their approach and they will steal the next one if we don’t stop them. Winning the state houses in Michigan and Pennsylvania would provide our democracy with a key bulwark against that terrifying prospect.
Fortunately, these are also the ideal races for grassroots donors to get involved in. Most have budgets of just a few hundred thousand dollars compared to, say, the tens or even hundreds of millions it costs to run a campaign for a U.S. Senate seat. So you’ll get tremendous bang for your buck if you contribute to these candidates, and acting together, a community like Daily Kos can make an enormous difference in fighting back against Republican lies. But the November elections are just around the corner, so the time to act is now.
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