AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Way To Win, the women-led, progressive donor and political strategy hub, announced that the $22 million they moved this midterm cycle to organizations and candidates led to historic progressive wins throughout the country, including: 20 House seats flipped, one Senate seat flipped and two held, a Democratic-controlled House, five gubernatorial wins, more than 41 state legislative seats gained in the South and Southwest, and nine progressive state initiatives that restored voting rights for more than 1.4 million Floridians, created the opportunity for millions of new voters to get registered through automatic voter registration and same-day registration, legalized marijuana, and raised the minimum wage. And returns are still coming in.
"Years ago, because we did the math and believed in people in communities, we knew we needed to expand the national political map and make multi-cycle plays for Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Arizona, and Florida. We invested in local groups building progressive power in the South and Southwest who hold the vision to upend the national electoral map in 2020 and 2022," said Tory Gavito, President and Co-Founder of Way to Win. "Those groups moved the needle this election. We also resourced more than 60 power building groups that impacted races and ballot initiatives around the country, prioritizing places where investments in mobilization of voters of color, young voters, and women and smart digital made the difference."
Way to Win had five signals of success for the 2018 midterms to create the building blocks necessary to create progressive change in 2020 and beyond:
- Reflective Democracy Wins: When all the votes are counted, more than 90 women will be members of the House, surpassing the previous record of 84 women. The first two Native women are heading to Congress. Two Latinas from Texas are heading to Congress. Two Muslim women are heading to Congress from Michigan and Minnesota. Nineteen Black women were just elected as judges in Harris County (Houston, the country's fourth largest county). Georgia's 6th congressional district has been called for Lucy McBath.
- Barriers to Democratic Participation are Removed: Despite long lines and Florida's long and fraught history with voting rights, the state restored rights for more than 1.4 million people last night, further chipping away at Jim Crow's living legacy. Automatic voter registration passed in Nevada and Michigan yesterday, and same-day registration passed in Maryland. Kris Kobach, the country's leading vote suppressor, is out as Governor of Kansas. Stacey Abrams' historic race in Georgia is still too close to call and possibly heading toward a runoff, with voter protection programs underway.
- Cities and States Deliver on Racial and Economic Justice: Contra Costa, St. Louis, Dallas, and San Antonio all have new District Attorneys with strong criminal justice reform lenses. They are now poised to positively impact millions of people's lives. Way to Win also successfully supported important progressive ballot measures in Florida, Missouri, Michigan, and Maryland on issues ranging from minimum wage increases, to voting rights restoration, to automatic voter registration, and gerrymandering reform.
- Base Turnout Increased: Texas is in play and saw enormous gains last night. Barack Obama lost the state by 1.6 million votes in 2012, and Hillary Clinton lost it by 807,000 votes. Last night, Beto O'Rourke narrowed that gap to approximately 300,000 votes. Georgia is a battleground state, where Stacey Abrams' race is still too close to call. More than 1 million new voters turned out, meeting and exceeding presidential-level turnout in places. Arizona is a battleground state, with the Senate race also too close to call. Kyrsten Sinema is within striking distance of Martha McSally in a state where the gap historically was around 90,000 votes.
- Money Shifts to the Ground: FiveThirtyEight reported that more than $2.8 billion was spent on television this cycle—transactional money that generates noise and leaves nothing behind in states after the polls close. Way to Win instead moved and aligned more than $22 million to a strategy rooted in field organizing and smart digital. Way to Win moved money to people, new leaders, and key grassroots organizations on the ground in battleground states and provided the base of support that builds towards a more progressive future.
Way To Win was created to tackle the ineffective electoral strategies that dominated establishment political strategies that lead to the loss of over 1,300 Democratic seats across the country. Last night, Way to Win demonstrated their new political strategy is laying the groundwork for major progressive changes in the years to come.
Way to Win is creating a new "Southern Strategy" by supporting the development of a multiracial coalition of new, empowered voters. In doing so, they've built a pathway to national political and electoral power, by putting new geographies in play and elevating communities and regions that have been neglected by the traditional political establishment. The 2018 midterm success of Way to Win has positioned the organization to lead the country with a new political strategy poised to create the progressive change that truly reflects America's diversity and values in 2020 and beyond.
About Way To Win:
Way To Win is a progressive strategy hub co-founded by by Tory Gavito, Jenifer Fernandez Ancona, Leah Hunt-Hendrix, in 2017, comprised of donors and community organizers partnering with candidates and local grassroots organizations creating a new approach to politics as we know it. Way To Win supports representation reflective of the values and diversity of the United States. They seek to facilitate lasting progressive change that will transform our government for the better, and bring equanimity to all facets of US government. For more information on Way To Win, visit: https://waytowin.us/
SOURCE Way To Win