Republicans control 67 out of 98 partisan state legislative chambers. There are 24 states that are under TOTAL GOP control – meaning nearly half of the states in this country have no legislative chamber controlled by Democrats. After 2010, Republican legislatures gerrymandered so many congressional districts that it is nearly impossible for Democrats to regain the majority in the United States House. The Republicans have rigged the map.
That means devastating laws that target women and families. Since 2010, Republicans at the state and local level passed at least 338 abortion restrictions, making up an incredible 30 percent of all abortion restrictions that have been passed in the 44 years since Roe v. Wade.
That’s why in 2016 EMILY’s List launched Focus 2020. Focus 2020 is a project designed to impact redistricting by electing pro-choice Democratic women to governors’ seats and state legislative chambers in the 2018 and 2020 elections before the next redistricting in 2021.
And it’s already working. Because of our efforts, Democrats flipped three state legislative chambers in 2016.
In Nevada, Democrats picked up 10 seats in the state House and one seat in the state Senate to flip both chambers. And in New Mexico, Democrats picked up five seats to flip the New Mexico House of Representatives. In all three chambers, this wouldn’t have been possible without EMILY’s List women.
With the help of EMILY’s List candidates, Democrats also picked up seats in the Maine Senate, Florida Senate, and the North Carolina House – and we’re poised to make more gains in 2018 to flip critical legislative chambers around the country.
While we had some great successes in 2016, we are just getting started. 2017-2018 is a key election cycle for Democrats and for EMILY’s List.