Last week, the Democrat Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), the sole Democrat campaign committee charged with electing Democrat state legislatures, released a strategy memo listing the New Mexico House of Representatives as a “battleground,” signaling that Republicans have a shot at flipping the chamber in 2022.
The strategy memo notes how Democrats lost seats nationwide in state legislatures, writing, “Democrats cannot count on national momentum to have a decisive impact on state legislative elections.”
“The most important lesson may be the need for Democrats to adopt a more sophisticated giving strategy that better aligns with the outsized impact state legislatures have on the policy that affects Americans’ day-to-day lives,” writes DLCC President Jessica Post.
“An unexpected surge of Trump voters led to sufficient Republican overperformance to overwhelm many Democratic candidates in already difficult districts,” the memo reads.
“State legislative races cannot continue to take a back seat to federal offices. It’s more difficult to win a majority of districts in a swing state than it is to win statewide. Unlike statewide races, entities focused on winning legislative power cannot just rely on bolstering turnout in Democratic areas. Our funding strategy should match that reality”
“Democrats must invest early. Despite talented staff, caucus campaign organizations and state legislative campaigns are often under-resourced. They need money for staff for recruitment, candidate support, and to build winning infrastructures. None of that is possible if we do not send them the money to do it.”
Also, the memo notes how it will try to pick off moderate Republicans who are less inclined to like President Trump by spinning them “moderate lies.” The DLCC writes, “The rise of Trumpism opens a door for engaging moderate suburban voters in the coming cycle. We will convey that this is not your grandfather’s Republican Party, making GOP candidates toxic to moderate voters.”
The DLCC conceded that in 2020, Democrats lost a seat in the New Mexico House of Representatives, flipped by now-Rep. Luiz Terrazas (R-Doña Ana, Grant & Sierra). The memo also noted how the Governor’s race will be “competitive” and will drive Republican turnout for GOP candidates. The committee looks to hang onto majorities in similar legislatures like New Mexico’s including chambers in Maine and Nevada.
Here’s what the memo says regarding New Mexico:
Republicans flipped a seat in the House in the 2020 elections and, while they have a long way to go to take either majority, there will be a competitive governor’s race to drive turnout on either side. The DLCC will prioritize protecting this critical chamber.
This insight from the DLCC should give Republicans hope for flipping the House to the Republican column, and that means Republicans must start organizing and fundraising now. The DLCC notes how it is already getting an early start in fundraising, and that means it is more critical than ever for Republicans to put their money where their mouth is and start backing GOP candidates to win in 2022.