2020 is a battle for the soul of the country - and for the White House and the Senate.
If you are looking for a place to channel your fear, rage, and grief into action, this page is for you. Read on.
A lot of people are thinking: I want to maximize our chances of winning the White House and flipping the Senate. So, what races do I donate to now?
We spend a lot of time with The Cook Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball (two of the better political prognosticators with a solid track record of accurately picking the close races) and 538's Senate model and (538's polling data) so you don't have to.
You can just come hear, read some stuff and make some donations with confidence that (a) the money is going straight to the campaigns and (b) you are giving pretty efficiently (no donation strategy is ever going to be perfect.
The White House
Bluntly, if you have not yet contributed to the Biden/Harris campaign, this is where you should spend your attention. The Presidency is the race the planet can not afford for us to lose.
If you are approaching (or fear you are approaching) your contribution limit to the Biden/Harris campaign, we have added the Biden Victory Fund--the campaign's joint fundraising vehicle with the Party to provide you a safe option for your donations. Any overflow goes to the DNC (and if you are truly generous, and max out there--$35.5k--the rest goes to state parties starting with the key battlegounds). You'd have to give over $700k to max out to the BVF, and we don't think anyone with those resources is visiting this page. If we’re wrong, by all means give us a jingle.
Eleven seats currently held by the GOP are in play to one degree or another: Alaska, Arizona (not listed, see below), Colorado (also not listed, see below), Georgia (two seats, see below), Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Montana, North Carolina, and South Carolina. We take the Senate if we win four of these seats (and have Kamala Harris as Vice President), because we need to net three and we expect Doug Jones to lose (see below).
The Highest Priority = Iowa
The Cook Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball both have this rated as a toss-up and in 538's Senate Model it has been at the top of the list (meaning the closest to even odds) for weeks. If you give money to one Senate race, give it to Theresa Greenfield as she is right on the bubble.
Priority Tier = Maine and North Carolina
The Cook Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball agree that NC is a toss-up; in ME, Sabato sees it leaning-D while Cook has it as another toss-up. 538 has both races in the mid-60s as to the probability of a Democratic win. If you have already given to Iowa and want to give more, consider these two races your next priority as winning them (along with Arizona and Colorado and the White House) will give us control of the Senate. The need is not quite as great as Iowa (both are higher profile and not quite as close), but wins here are key.
Second Tier = Montana, Georgia regular*, and South Carolina
Cook has two more races in its toss-up category that Sabato thinks lean Republican: Montana and the Georgia regular election (Perdue vs. Ossoff). While both Cook and Sabato have South Carolina leaning-R, the momentum is definitely in Jaime Harrison's favor and the most recent polling is back and forth over who has a very narrow lead. 538 puts the probability of a Democratic win in the 25-30% range. These races are definitely worth an investment. We have a good shot at winning one of the three (although we honestly have no clue which one), so funding all is valuable. Winning one of these would be insurance on the more difficult task of winning 2 of the 3 above.
Third Tier = Alaska, Georgia (special)*, and Kansas
Cook has the GA (special) and Kansas races as lean-R, while Sabato calls them likely-R. Alaska is a bit more of a reach, with both Cook and Sabato rating it likely-R, but Independent Al Gross seems to have all the momentum and one never knows how Alaskans will vote (their governor is, like Gross, a moderate Independent). All three of these races are the lower 20s probability range for 538. In other words, these are the long shots that, if the wave is big enough, could go our way. These races are not a bad place to spend money, but you should make the donation without expectations.
What about Arizona and Colorado?
First off, we know that in Arizona, if Mark Kelly wins this special election, he will be seated as soon as the final vote canvas occurs (by law that has to be in November). But, he (a) has a commanding money advantage, (b) a commanding polling advantage, (c) the national GOP Senate efforts seem to have largely abandoned McSally (in favor of other tighter races), and (d) while this is a state in which Trump is spending campaign dollars, Trump has higher priorities (FL, NC, WI, and PA spring to mind). Colorado, while not resulting in a November swearing in if we win, is looking similarly strong.
Cook and Sabato have both these races as "lean-D" and 538 rates their probability of a Democratic win in the high 70s. We’re excited about how well this is going! Frankly, we think Arizona and Colorado are doing well enough that your investment in the other races just makes more sense right now.
And, where are Alabama and Michigan?
As for the two Democratic incumbents most at risk, we list neither for opposite reasons. In Alabama, unfortunately, given who he is facing (the very popular former coach of the Auburn Tigers), Senator Doug Jones has a very steep hill to climb to win his election (he was down 18 points in the most recent public poll). Cook has this as lean-R, Sabato has it as likely-R and 538 gives Jones ~25% chance (which we think is overly generous as he may be an incumbent, but he barely won against a child molester in the special election).
In Michigan, while Gary Peters is somewhat vulnerable he's not really in danger. Both Sabato and Cook have him at lean-D and 538 gives him ~80% probabilty of a win; plus, the Biden/Harris campaign is running a solid turnout operation that will benefit Peters. All of this leads us to the conclusion that the races we’ve included above are just a better place to invest right now.
* What's going on with Georgia?
There are two Senate elections in Georgia this November.
First, Sen. Perdue is up for re-election as his term is expiring. His opponent in this race is Jon Ossoff. This is a standard first-past-the-post plurality election, which means that the voting that happens in November will decide the outcome. This should be a higher turnout election and that benefits Democrats, making this a better chance at a pick-up.
Second, Sen. Loeffler faces a special election to fill the rest of the term to which she was appointed. This operates under different rules and November is, technically, a blanket primary (with 15 candidates declared, though only 3--Rep. Doug Collins (GOP), Sen. Kelly Loeffler (GOP) and Rev. Raphael Warnock (Dem)--are considered serious contenders) in which a single candidate has to win a majority in November or there will be a run-off in December. The odds of any one candidate receiving an outright majority in the special election is low. Furthermore, it is Doug Collins (who is less unpopular than Loeffler) who stands the best chance of winning the most GOP votes and advancing to a December run-off against Warnock (the likely Democratic leader). The problem in December is that we can expect lower overall turnout, which will favor the GOP in an already tough state for Dems statewide (partially due to systemic suppression efforts that were well documented in the 2018 Gubernatorial election).