Democrats Rebuilt the DNC and Won

Under Chair Tom Perez, Democrats rebuilt the DNC, setting the stage to win back the White House and secure victories at every level of the ballot. Here are some of the programs that contributed to Democrats’ wins over the last four years:

The Battlegrounds Program: The DNC made early, historic investments to build the on-the-ground infrastructure needed to win key states and help our eventual nominee to grow their general election campaign as quickly as possible.

  • In August of 2019 we began funding communications staff to define and localize Trump in key markets, eventually growing the program to 11 states and generating thousands of local clips.

  • In September of 2019 we deployed organizers in 8 states.

  • In November of 2019 we began funding voter protection staff, a program that would eventually grow to 33 states.

  • And in January of 2020, we launched the Battleground Build-Up 2020, a multi-million dollar program funding hundreds of organizing, operations and data staff that formed the core of the general election coordinated campaign organizing program. The DNC’s unprecedented training program, Organizing Corps 2020, served as the coordinated campaign’s largest single talent pipeline for diverse, local staff.

Data, Technology and the Voter File: The DNC completely overhauled the party’s technology and now maintains a state-of-the art, cloud-based data warehouse and national voter file. We made massive investments to improve the quality and quantity of our data so that our view of every possible voter is as accurate as possible, and that data was made available to all democratic campaigns and committees for use.

  • In January of 2020 the DNC purchased millions of high quality cell phone numbers, increasing the efficiency of our cell phone outreach by 35 percent, and increasing the number of cell phones on the file by 130 percent compared to 2016.

  • We built and integrated a new record linkage algorithm, increasing efficiency by 11 percent.

  • The DNC’s and websites were the main voter turnout tools for the Biden campaign as well as Democrats at every level of the ballot — and were expanded to make it easier to request and return a ballot by mail. Nearly 21 million people visited in 2020, 507,703 people started their voter registration via, and 636,358 people requested a vote by mail application or learned more about voting by mail in their state. Over GOTV weekend, more than 2.17 million people looked up their polling location on the site.

  • Democrats also reached a historic agreement with state parties to form a new Democratic Data Exchange, which was live in 41 states and worked exactly as expected.

Holding Trump Accountable: The DNC’s rapid response war room began its work before Trump was even inaugurated and its 35-plus communications and research operatives worked with hundreds of media outlets, surrogates, and online influencers to shape the narrative of the Trump presidency using reporter outreach, research, extremely localized content and disruptive online content, along with placing major stories about his record.

Constituency Organizing: Democrats deployed organizing staff focused on Latino, African-American, AAPI, Native, rural and youth voters in battleground states across the country.

  • Early in Tom Perez’s tenure, we also launched constituency-specific programs like Chop It Up, ¡Mujeres Mobilized! Cafecito Con Politics and Seat at The Table, facilitating cycle-long conversations with key constituencies like African-American men and Latino women.

  • The DNC made a six figure investment in minority-owned media, running Latino, African-American and AAPI print and radio advertising campaigns in key battleground states to help turn out voters, as well as targeted advertising in Native outlets.

Voter Protection: Democrats had 33 state voter protection directors on the ground — a much earlier and more comprehensive on-the-ground voting protection infrastructure than in previous cycles, and our national voter assistance hotline served as a primary method to identify and respond to issues of voter suppression.

  • The DNC also launched a new voter purge protection tool that allowed voter protection, data and organizing staff to more easily identify and engage with individuals at risk of being purged from the voter rolls and take action.

  • When necessary, we filed litigation to expand and protect access to voting, winning cases that expanded voting by mail, extended the time period when voters could submit their ballot, and increased the number of polling locations, amongst other areas.

Cybersecurity & Combating Misinformation Online: The DNC’s first ever Chief Security Officer implemented the highest security standards for all employees, and worked continuously throughout the cycle to identify disinformation, leverage monitoring tools, and implement counter-disinformation best practices in response to attacks. This work has been used to provoke hundreds of account takedowns on platforms controlled by all three major social media companies since the beginning of last year.

Fundraising: The DNC has raised more money under Tom Perez’s tenure than any other DNC in history, raising a total of $400 million. It was also the biggest cycle for grassroots fundraising at the DNC since 2004, and the DNC raised $133 million from our grassroots fundraising program, including $22MM from our grassroots fundraising program in September 2020 – the single highest month for grassroots fundraising since 2004. More than 2.2MM people have contributed to the DNC this year – and 30% of them are first time contributors. We also tripled our SMS program, built the biggest email list in DNC history, and set a new all time record for DNC sustaining donations.

  • In 2018, the DNC raised $28 million in major donor giving — the best major donor year since President Obama’s first year. 2019 surpassed 2018, and 2020 surpassed 2019. In the first quarter of 2020 the DNC raised $22 million in major donor money.

Running a fair primary process: From reforms to the nominating process, to a fair debate process and a code of conduct for employees, the DNC administered a primary process that helped unite the party behind Joe Biden. Democrats entered the general election with unprecedented unity and enthusiasm for our eventual nominee, and it showed: The Biden-Harris ticket won more votes than any other ticket in American history.

Democrats, including the DNC and our sister committees, invested big over four years and the result was wins across the board, including:

  • Flipped the White House

  • Gained 36 House seats and retook the majority

  • Flipped 7 Governor seats

  • Gained 6 total Democratic state legislative majorities

  • Broke 5 Republican supermajorities

  • Gained 7 New Democratic Supermajorities

  • Flipped 4 Attorney General seats

  • Flipped 4 Secretary of State seats

  • Flipped 5 Treasurer seats

  • Flipped 4 Senate seats

  • Flipped more than 400 state legislative seats