Flip the Vote’s recommended investment strategy is informed by rigorous data analysis, our past track record, and our commitment to maximizing the impact of our collective political investments in furtherance of a more inclusive, equitable, and just American democracy.
This year, Flip the Vote’s research has led us to take a longer view.
The existential threat to our democracy remains, and has arguably worsened in the post-Trump era, as top Republicans throughout the country have embraced the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen. In order to cement their power despite historically low popularity, they are seeking to suppress BIPOC voters. To overcome Republicans’ financial and structural advantages, we must start now to support the work of grassroots groups on the frontlines of fighting voter suppression efforts and building electoral power in communities of color in strategic states.
Our strategy is grounded in six compelling rationales:
The organizations we recommend represent 8 states that are critical for winning in 2022 and 2024.
Not surprisingly, the states that led the Democrats to victory in 2020 are largely the same states that have must-win races in 2022 and will continue to be battleground states in 2024: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Flip the Vote's recommended grassroots groups have a proven track record of registering and turning out voters in these critical states.
The stakes are high in these 8 states in 2022 and 2024:
6 Senate races in 2022 and 6 in 2024
Swing House seats we need to flip or hold
Important races for state legislative control, Governor, Secretary of State, and/or Attorney General
Overcoming suppression of BIPOC voters with overwhelming turnout
Investing in Flip the Vote’s recommended organizations early and consistently over the long haul allows them to be more effective during election cycles.
Investing early and smarter will make a big difference for Democratic candidates. A study of spending in the 2020 election concluded, “While Democrats outspent Republicans in 2020, we are not spending smart enough to maximize our chances of winning elections moving forward ... Meanwhile, too little is spent on mobilizing voters, especially down ballot. Each of these problems leaves votes on the table and will make the difference between keeping or losing our majorities in both chambers of Congress in 2022.” The primary recommendation from this important study is to donate early so organizations can “invest in the infrastructure needed to support effective field, get-out-the-vote, digital organizing, and digital communication campaigns.” This is precisely our goal at Flip the Vote – to provide our community with easy ways to maximize our collective impact, by giving our recommended organizations a leg up well prior to election season 2022 so they can use the dollars most strategically.
Communities of color are critical for Democratic victory.
Data from the 2020 election confirms what we believed at the start of the cycle – that turning out voters of color would lead to a Democratic victory. At the presidential level, almost 40% of Biden’s votes came from BIPOC voters, compared to just 15% for Trump. Thanks in no small part to our recommended groups, turnout among Black, Latinx, and Asian voters reached record highs, which contributed to Biden’s victory. Turnout among Republican voters also increased to record numbers, however, which means that keeping up and increasing momentum for 2022 will be critical. Of particular concern is that there was a small but noticeable increase in support among Latinx and Black voters for Trump in 2020. The grassroots groups with which Flip the Vote collaborates are actively working to engage people in their communities to mitigate and address this shift.
Flip the Vote’s recommended organizations are building lasting political strength and leadership in their communities.
The grassroots organizations that Flip the Vote recommends for investment focus in part on developing new, local, diverse Democratic down-ballot candidates. Down-ballot wins increase Democratic influence in state legislatures that are pursuing discriminatory voter suppression and redistricting policies, which of course affect our national elections. Moreover, a thriving democracy depends on communities exercising power in the politics that affect them directly at the local level, whether related to schools, public infrastructure, or policing. These groups are also testing out new messaging and engagement approaches, making advancements on issues that matter most in their communities, striving for co-governance commitments from their elected officials to ensure representation and accountability, and combating systemic racism.
Groups that drive up turnout for down-ballot races can have a positive impact on national races.
According to popular wisdom, down-ballot candidates from a given party benefit from the “trickle-down” effect of their up-ballot counterparts. However, a study of the 2020 election affirmed the “reverse-coattails” or “trickle-up” effect that Flip the Vote endorses. This study showed that local Democratic candidates – even in deeply red jurisdictions – made a “detectable difference” in Biden’s favor, regardless of whether they won their local races. These state and local candidates are not just politicians, they are also organizers who engage one-one-one with voters and encourage turnout.
Investing in 501c4 organizations has a more direct impact on elections.
While donations to 501c4 organizations are not tax deductible, this designation allows such groups more flexibility to do the voter targeting, lobbying, and campaign work necessary to win elections and build long-term political power. Many foundations are not allowed to fund lobbying and political campaigns, so raising money for a 501c4 organization is often more difficult. Because these groups tend to be underfunded, our investment can have an even bigger impact.