A major Democratic super PAC is massively expanding its efforts to help the party win control of state legislatures, targeting scores of low-profile races in Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona.
American Bridge, which specializes in opposition research and sending out trackers to record the every move of GOP candidates and lawmakers, hopes their efforts can help Democrats seize critical GOP-controlled legislative chambers ahead of redistricting in 2020.
“In 2019, Democrats sent a clear and unmistakable message: when we show up, we can win anywhere — even in the reddest of red states,” said Shripal Shah, vice president at American Bridge. “In 2020, we’re deepening our investment in the states to arm Democrats with opposition research that will help win governorships and flip state legislatures.”
American Bridge’s research will aim to focus on how Republican incumbents in those states have failed to focus on so-called kitchen table issues, including health care and the economy.
The group is targeting five House seats and four Senate seats in Arizona, where Democrats are aiming to flip both chambers. In Pennsylvania, the group is targeting two Senate seats. In Florida, where the GOP holds a sizable majority in the state House, the group is targeting 13 seats. American Bridge is also targeting their smaller majority in the state Senate, planning to track candidates in two races there.
But the real prize may be Texas, where Democrats hope to win back control of the state House and play a role in redistricting the state’s more than 30 U.S. House seats. There, American Bridge is targeting nine House seats — the exact number Democrats need to win back in order to gain control.
American Bridge, which has long worked on governors’ races, is also planning to work to defend North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, and to track and research Republican governors Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Mike Parson of Missouri and Eric Holcomb of Indiana. In Montana, the group will track Republicans Tim Fox and Greg Gianforte, who are both running for the state’s open governorship.
American Bridge first began to target state legislatures in 2019, when it targeted 22 state House and Senate races in Virginia, helping Democrats win back control of both legislative chambers in the Old Dominion. The group’s work included capturing a vulnerable GOP Senate incumbent on camera refusing to answer whether he would back gun control measures.