News · Press Release


Following the Women’s March, the DCCC immediately realized the importance of grassroots mobilization and announced the March into ’18 Republican accountability project, which started by hiring full-time, local organizing staff in 20 Republican-held districts – well before we had candidates running.

The DCCC harnessed grassroots energy across the country and geared it towards House Republicans accountability. The DCCC was successful. Our unprecedentedly early field program expanded throughout 2017 and our organizers played pivotal roles in establishing relationships with local grassroots groups, holding vulnerable Republicans accountable to their constituents for their harmful agenda, and forcing key retirements that put seats on the map.

Field Stats Through GOTV, not including Election Day:

  • Total Field Staff: 1350 field workers
  • Number of Constituency Organizers: 23 constituency organizers
  • Total Voters Conversations: 32 million
  • Voters of Color Conversations: 8 million
  • Total Organizers: 2500
  • GOTV Shifts: 120k (not including election day)
  • Doors Knocked: 26 million
  • Calls: 30 million

District Examples:

  • In CA-10, 200,000 doors knocked in just GOTV weekend, not including Election Day
  • In CA-25, 200,000 doors knocked in just GOTV weekend, not including Election Day
  • In VA-07, 131,000 doors knocked in just GOTV weekend, not including Election Day
  • In NY-19, 175,000 doors knocked in just GOTV weekend, not including Election Day
  • In ME-02, 104,000 doors knocked in just GOTV weekend, not including Election Day
  • In NJ-07, 120,000 doors knocked in just GOTV weekend, not including Election Day
  • In TX-32, 105,000 doors knocked in just GOTV weekend, not including Election Day
  • In IL-06, 100,000 doors knocked in just GOTV weekend, not including Election Day

Early Vote:

  • Thanks to successful organizing of early voting in our targeted Red to Blue districts, at least 8.4 million votes have already been cast compared to 3.9 million votes cast at this time in 2014, an incredible 113% increase.
  • We’ve seen exciting increases in voter participation across Hispanic, African American, AAPI and millennial voters.
    • Hispanic: 180% increase over 2014
    • African American: 136% increase over 2014
    • AAPI: 345% increase over 2014
    • Millennials: 261% increase over 2014

Training Program

  • Total People Trained: 15,631
  • Trainings: 387 trainings (both online & in person)

DCCC’s Online Toolbox:

  • Total Number of Precinct Captains: 836
  • Volunteers Who Signed Up Via Toolbox: 2,243
  • Site Visitors: 50,000
  • Calls made with the Toolbox Call Tool: Over 10,000 calls
  • Grassroots Partnerships: 3,000 grassroots partnerships

Historic Candidate Investments:

  • Investment in 85 districts, with at least ~$100K per district
  • Investment in female candidates: $ 63.2M
  • Investment in candidates of color: $39M
  • Investment in veteran candidates: $25.59M
  • Investment in LGBTQ candidates: $9.23M


March Into ‘18 Accountability Project

Washington Post: Eyeing the House, Democrats move to hire operatives in 20 GOP-held districts

Democrats are moving urgently to harness the wave of grass-roots protests that have greeted President Trump in his first weeks in office to reclaim the House majority in next year’s midterm elections.

As of this week, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is hiring full-time operatives to do political organizing work in 20 key Republican-held districts — an unusually early investment in House races that do not even have declared candidates yet.

[…] The “March Into ’18” effort comes after consecutive weekends of large-scale protests nationwide targeting Trump and his policies.

Roll Call: GOP Super PAC Plans Day of Voter Outreach

Democrats have also touted their own field program, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján said recently that their field effort can help counter outside GOP money. The DCCC sent field organizers into a number of competitive districts in early 2017 to establish early connections with grass-roots organizations.

The Hill: Path to Dem majority lies in well-educated districts

[…] Sena, the DCCC executive director, said his organization had placed 50 organizers on the ground in districts across the country. Those organizers have conducted experiments in mobilizing voters and have worked to coordinate outside groups of fired-up volunteers.

“By motivating base voters, that creates large volumes of votes,” Sena said. “The fight isn’t just about persuadable voters in the suburbs, it’s about an argument that’s applicable to all voters.”

TX-32: Associated Press: Dems’ chances may rest on flipping GOP strongholds in cities

National Democrats are investing in the race. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been buying anti-Sessions digital and radio ads for the last year. It also has full-time organizers in Dallas, Houston and 18 other GOP districts.

CO-06: Denver Post: National eyes — and money — on Mike Coffman vs. Jason Crow race for 6th Congressional District

It’s a seat that the DCCC has closely watched for the better part of two years. It was one of 20 districts nationwide that they targeted with early investments of full-time organizing staffers starting in February 2017. Coming weeks after Trump’s inauguration, it was an early move toward developing an aggressive ground game in competitive districts.

ABC News: Democrats return to the middle class roots in 2018 campaign message

The DCCC argues some of its success is due to the ground game being played out in the states. According to the group, they currently have organizers deployed in 45-targeted districts and 2,421 precinct captains already recruited.

“By Election Day 2018, we aim to deploy 33 percent more field staff than were deployed by Election Day 2016,” a press release from the organization said on Wednesday.

Mother Jones: It’s Time to Put Up or Shut Up for the Democratic Establishment’s Political Machine

At the same time, the committee looked for new ways to get out of Washington and into the field. Starting in early 2017, the DCCC launched a national program that has trained more than 14,000 would-be campaign staffers around the country, created a website that linked aspiring activists with more experienced party operatives, and deployed DCCC organizers to 38 of the most vulnerable Republican-­held House districts—including Orange County, California, home to “Putin’s favorite congressman,” Dana Rohrabacher; Omaha, Nebraska; and Norfolk, Virginia­—­to coordinate with grassroots groups there. “It was literally,” Sena says, “to arm the rebels.”

Toolbox and Claim Your Precinct Program

Washington Post: To take back the House, Democrats ‘arm the rebels’ with new tools and manpower

Since February, the DCCC has hired full-time paid organizers in 38 districts focused on building relationships with the grass roots. And on Tuesday, the organization is rolling out its latest effort to connect motivated activists with the national party’s resources, , an online “toolbox” that aims to put potential activists in direct touch with the party operatives on the ground in battlefield districts.

Democrats need a net gain of 24 seats to win the House majority, and DCCC Executive Director Dan Sena said his group’s aim is to “arm the rebels” — a conscious nod to conflicts abroad where, rather than fight every battle itself, the U.S. military has instead advised and supplied native forces most invested in winning.

“We understand what is happening on the grass roots,” Sena said in an interview. “Our allies are successful at doing this, if they’re engaging people and getting them involved, we want them to be part of this. We want them to connect. We care about holding Republicans accountable. . . . How that happens, there’s no reason to fight over that. This is about putting technology behind it and people behind it, too.”

NYT (Bruni) – Disgusted With Donald Trump? Do This

For instance, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s website allows a visitor to plug in his or her address, locate the nearest House districts that are up for grabs and learn how to help the Democratic candidates there. It doesn’t just solicit donations. It also lists phone-bank shifts that aren’t fully staffed.

“We’re basically arming people,” Dan Sena, the D.C.C.C.’s executive director, told me. He stressed that living outside a swing district “doesn’t mean you don’t have a role in taking back the House.” Making phone calls or sending mail may be more tedious than fashioning cheeky social-media posts that circulate among friends and preach to the choir. It may also be more impactful.

Strategic Grassroots Partnerships

Mother Jones: It’s Time to Put Up or Shut Up for the Democratic Establishment’s Political Machine

The cooperation has impressed grassroots activists like Adrienne Lever, the political director of Swing Left, a progressive group designed to help Democrats take back the House. Lever says her organization worked closely with the DCCC in the run-up to California’s so-called jungle primaries (where the top two vote-getters advance, no matter their party) to avoid a nightmare scenario in which no Democrats appeared on the general election ballot. In the weeks before the June primaries, the DCCC created a phone bank tool that out-of-state activists used to call California voters, provided lists of addresses for local activists to canvass, and deployed additional operatives to support the volunteers on the ground.

“I’ve been working in progressive politics for over a decade,” Lever says, “and this is the first time that I’ve seen this level of deep collaboration, which I think is incredibly heartening.”

USA Today: Trump at One Year: Women’s March returns, but the real focus now is the midterm elections

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, chairman of the DCCC, said it was critical for the DCCC to move aggressively in launching its 2018 field program, especially in the days after the March.

“Local organizers have been working from day one with incredible grassroots organizations like Indivisible and Swing Left,” said Lujan, D-N.M.

Politico: Justice Democrats raised almost $1M. What’s next?

Many progressive groups launched in the wake of the 2016 elections have worked with, or at least not against, the Democratic establishment. Swing Left, a political group that sprang up after the election to help flip House districts and one of the few new groups which (like Justice Democrats) has raised six-figure sums from supporters, recently announced a partnership with the DCCC.

Washington Post: To take back the House, Democrats ‘arm the rebels’ with new tools and manpower

But so far, grass-roots organizers are giving positive early reviews of the DCCC’s effort to encourage and coordinate with the liberal activists flocking toward the midterms through new online channels.

“I’ve been organizing for 20 years, and I’ve never seen this much grass-roots energy,” said Matt Ewing, chief community officer for Swing Left, which has attracted more than 300,000 volunteers. “And I think it’s very smart of the Democratic Party to recognize that the best way to leverage that energy is to support it versus trying to narrowly funnel it. That, to me, is great news.”

Ewing said that the impact of the party operatives has been evident in his conversations with activists in various battleground districts across the country.

“They tell me about all the great Indivisible groups they are working with, the Sister March huddles, the local Democratic county clubs, and then they tell me about this great organizer that’s been placed there by the DCCC who’s helping them with their training and infrastructure,” he said. “They’re not coming in hard-charging, but our experience is they are setting up trainings, they’re building relationships, they’re supporting our volunteers on the ground. And that’s the type of posture that we need the Democrats to be doing more of.”

[…] But the training, tools and data provided by the DCCC organizer, Meudell said, have become an integral part of her efforts. “I had never set foot canvassing or doing voter registration before April of this year, and now I’m training and leading,” she said. “And I doubt that we would have made this progress without him very gently guiding and leading us.”

Roll Call: DCCC Organizers Launch New Partnership With Swing Left

Organizers associated with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee are launching a new partnership with Swing Left, an organization focused on flipping House seats, to expand the committee’s voter outreach in key districts, according to emails obtained by Roll Call.

[…] The partnership is the latest example of how “March into ’18” organizers have been helping coordinate the grassroots organizations that were started after Trump was elected.

“They’ve given us training and how to effectively lead and organize,” said Debra Brunner, a speech therapist who is part of the Indivisible group in California’s 39th District, where one of the “Summer Canvass” events is happening on Saturday.

CNN: Crisis averted: How the Democrats avoided disaster in California

Aaron McCall, chairman of Indivisible OC 48, sang the committee’s praises on Wednesday morning, cheering its decision to jump in only “after following the lead of the grassroots.”

“We felt like the DCCC worked as a brilliant collaborative partner to equalize a race where a decision was made too early by the CA Dems,” he said, referencing the California state party’s controversial endorsement of Keirstead back in February.

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