Where Democrats can get the most bang for their buck – By Ryan Cooper (The Week) / Aug 10 2020
For obvious reasons, the presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is sucking up most of the attention span of Democratic voters. The man in the White House is frankly tearing the country to pieces, and he must be turfed out of office.
However, there are good reasons for the Democrats to focus most on downballot races — particularly the control of state legislatures. A “State of the States” report from Aaron Kleinman at the Future Now Fund — a deep dive into the state of both national and local politics of the moment — shows how neglected state politics is both considerably easier to influence and also controls much of the foundation of national politics. Democrats have clawed back some of the appalling state-level losses that happened during the Obama years, but it will be critical to not be distracted by Trump and keep pushing in the states.
To start with, any presidential race is hard to influence — and especially so in 2020. The election is overwhelmingly going to turn on how people judge Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the economic collapse, and the nationwide outbreak of protests against racial injustice. Democratic ads and so forth can influence that process somewhat, but the actual reality of what is happening is far more important.
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