DNC Battleground Brief

This is the DNC’s Battleground Brief — a weekly wrap-up of Trump’s broken promises and everything you need to know across the path to 270.  

TRUMP’S HEALTH CARE RECORD IN THE SPOTLIGHT — HOUSE DEMOCRATS TO VOTE *NEXT WEEK* ON BILL TO LOWER PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS. Next week, House Democrats will vote on more legislation aimed at lowering drug costs. The contrast couldn’t be clearer: Democrats are working to cut health care costs for hardworking families, while Trump’s broken promises are spiking costs and jeopardizing coverage. 

Remember, Trump’s agenda spikes costs, jeopardizes coverage protections for people with preexisting conditions, and cuts Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  

Expect to hear more from Democrats across the battleground states on this topic next week. 

A DEATHTRAP FOR REPUBLICANS — LA TIMES ON THE GROUND IN THE SUBURBS OF BATTLEGROUND ARIZONA. “The orderly subdivisions and kid-friendly communities that ring the nation’s cities have become a deathtrap for Republicans, as college-educated and upper-income women flee the party in droves, costing the GOP its House majority and sapping the party’s strength in state capitals and local governments nationwide […] The dramatic shift is also reshaping the 2020 presidential race, elevating Democratic hopes in traditional GOP strongholds like Arizona and Georgia, and forcing Trump to redouble efforts to boost rural turnout to offset defectors who, some fear, may never vote Republican so long as the president is on the ballot.” 

Read more from the LA Times: Trump has turned the suburbs into a GOP disaster zone. Does that doom his reelection?



  • The Hill: Trump faces severe suburban slump
  • ABC News: Suburban revolt boosts Democrats on Election Day in the age of Trump 



  • The Michigan Democratic Party is embarking on its largest-ever organizing program in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. The thrust into the countryside is part of wider efforts, partly funded by the Democratic National Committee, to build up party organizations in all 83 counties.
  • “I’m not going to assume folks have made up their minds,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chairwoman Lavora Barnes. “It’s our job to move people to the Democratic column.”
  • The Michigan Democratic Party hired 12 field staff in November to lay the groundwork for the eventual presidential nominee and statewide candidates — more than 900 volunteers were trained as of last month. Michigan Democrats also trained 45 campus organizers last summer and are poised to expand that program in 2020
  • Regardless of who becomes the nominee, Barnes said the work Democrats are doing now will pay off in future elections. “We never thought that this was a cakewalk, we certainly didn’t think that this was a done deal,” Barnes said. “We know that we have work to do to convince folks to vote for the Democratic nominee, and we’re going to continue to do that work.”

DEMOCRATIC ENTHUSIASM UP IN PHILLY, FROM THE INQUIRER: THE ENCOURAGING 2020 SIGN FOR DEMOCRATS BURIED IN PHILLY’S ELECTION RESULTS. “A relatively quiet off-year election in Philadelphia last month had some good signs for Democrats in 2020. Almost half of the city voters who cast general election ballots this year did not vote in the same election cycle four years earlier, according to an Inquirer analysis of voter data from the Philadelphia City Commissioners Office.”


“The Democratic National Committee released a statement to Playbook from Mark Mellman, head of the Democratic Majority for Israel, ahead of the event. And as you can imagine, Mellman is highly critical of Trump: ‘Donald Trump’s record is a direct affront to America’s cherished values. Instead of respecting diversity, encouraging pluralism and extending a helping hand to immigrants, Trump has too often aligned himself with the forces of white supremacy, bigotry and exclusion. In foreign policy his abandonment of the Kurds and his attacks on NATO demonstrate he is, at best, an unreliable ally. His feckless policy has made a two-state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict harder to achieve, while increasing Iran’s power and influence in the region, despite his stated intent. Neither the American people generally, nor the pro-Israel community specifically, will reward Trump for fomenting hatred at home or for offering symbolic gestures and pursing counterproductive polices abroad.’” 


In Florida:

  • Bay News 9: “‘Floridians keep hearing what Trump and Florida Republicans ‘are going to do,’ ’ says Florida Democratic Party executive director Juan Penalosa. ‘Trump was going to provide FEMA funds to the panhandle. He was going to help Venezuela. He was going to lower healthcare costs and honor our troops. Trump has not kept one promise,’ Penalosa went on. ‘If he does intend to keep the promise of spending $200 million to attempt to buy an election, he is going to face a great deal of opposition from the millions of people he has marginalized, dismissed and lied to.’
  • Miami Herald: “Juan Peñalosa, executive director for the Florida Democratic Party, said volunteerism is up about 400 percent from this time four years ago and fundraising has jumped as much as 15 percent since Trump announced he was moving to Florida. Those numbers aren’t possible, Peñalosa said, ‘unless there’s a whole lot of enthusiasm on our side to get him out of office.’”
  • CBS Miami: “President Donald Trump’s ‘Homecoming Rally’ at the BB&T Center in Sunrise won’t be the only rally at the venue. With nearly 600-thousand registered Democratic voters in Boward, they outnumber registered Republicans in the county by more than two to one. Democrats plan to welcome Trump to Florida with the Baby Trump Balloon and a rally to Defeat Trump. ‘We plan to send a message to Trump – Florida is tired of being hurt by his broken promises,’ said Rizzo in a statement. ‘This isn’t a homecoming rally, this is a retirement party.’”
  • Miami Herald: “A day before newly minted Florida resident President Donald Trump’s ‘homecoming’ visit to Broward County and hours before a Republican rally for Latinos Monday, Democrats held a conference call to talk about their efforts to mobilize Hispanic voters to vote blue in 2020. Among the issues they discussed: Cuba policy, Trump’s actions in Puerto Rico and the Latinos for Trump group, which they called ‘a sham.’ … According to a recent Telemundo/Mason-Dixon poll, 64% of Latino voters would choose to replace Trump with a Democratic president, compared with 25% who said they would support him.”
  • WTSP Tampa: “‘We plan to send a message to Trump – Florida is tired of being hurt by his broken promises,’ Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo said in a statement. ‘This isn’t a homecoming rally, this is a retirement party.’”
  • The Ledger: “When Trump arrives for Tuesday night’s event at the BB&T Center, Democrats will be protesting nearby. An email sent out by the Palm Beach County Democratic Party called on its members to offer the president their own ‘welcome’ rally. ‘Donald Trump is moving to Florida, but we’ve got a message for him: Whether he resides in New York or in Florida, we WILL defeat him in 2020!,’ the email invite read.”

In Michigan:

  • The Detroit News: “Michigan Democratic Party Chairwoman Lavora Barnes blasted Trump and Pence in a press release about his visit, connecting the stop to gubernatorial losses Republicans have suffered this year in Louisiana and Kentucky. ‘Mike Pence saw this too and that’s why he’s here,’ Barnes said. ‘He sees Michigan rejecting Donald Trump’s broken promises and knows that will cost Donald Trump the presidency.’”
  • MLIVE: “‘Mike Pence and Donald Trump have broken the promises they made to Michiganders, and they’re terrified of losing because of it,’ said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes in a statement.”
  • Holland Sentinel: “While the Trump campaign received votes from a large swath of evangelical Christians, Holland United Church pastor and House candidate Bryan Berghoef, D-Holland, said the actions of the Trump administration are divisive and polarizing.”

In Arizona:


  • Arizona Democratic Party Statement On Betsy DeVos Visit: “Arizona Democratic Party spokesperson Brad Bainum issued the following statement on U.S. Education Sec. Betsy DeVos’s visit to Arizona to attend a meeting hosted by the corporate special interest group ALEC: ‘With support from Arizona Republicans like Martha McSally, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has a long record of siding with corporate special interests and predatory for-profit schools, while working to undermine public education, slash funding, and sell out defrauded student borrowers. DeVos’ Arizona visit highlights Martha McSally’s long record of alignment with DeVos’ war on public education, which has earned McSally robust support from anti-public education special interests — including at least $66,000 from Betsy DeVos’ extended family.’”


In Nevada:

  • Nevada Democratic Party: DeVos Can’t Spin Trump’s Broken Promises to Nevada Students and Families: “In response to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ visit to Nevada today, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II issued the following statement: ‘Betsy DeVos can’t spin this administration’s broken promises. For nearly three years, she and Donald Trump have repeatedly attempted to cut much needed funding from our schools, stood in the way of justice for survivors on college campuses, and gutted protections from predatory for-profit colleges. Nevadans deserve a secretary of education who actually fights for students and families—not another politician flying in for a photo-op.’”

NEVADA DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCED THEIR FIRST-EVER EARLY VOTING OPTION FOR PRESIDENTIAL CAUCUSES. DNC Chair Tom Perez joined a press call with the Nevada Democratic Party to highlight their new plans for the Nevada Caucuses and the early work being done in Nevada to prepare for the general election, take a look:


  • Associated Press: “The Democratic National Committee has approved a plan by Nevada Democrats to offer the first-ever early voting option for presidential caucuses, a change stemming from a push to make the in-person presidential nominating meetings more accessible. The state party’s chairman, William McCurdy II, and the DNC chairman, Tom Perez, intend to hold a conference call on Monday to announce the approval of the plan, the party confirmed.”


  • Reno Gazette Journal: “Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez says he’s impressed with Nevada’s 2020 caucus plans, praising newly approved blueprints for the first-in-the-west caucus in a brief Monday conference call with reporters.” 
  • Nevada Independent: “On a press call Monday morning, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Will McCurdy announced that the party’s delegate selection plan has officially been approved by the Democratic National Committee. The plan includes major changes to the caucus process, including four days of in-person early voting and offering presidential preference cards in Tagalog. It also includes provisions continuing the practice of offering at-large caucus sites on the Strip to make it easier for casino workers to participate. On the call, DNC Chair Tom Perez projected “record turnout” in Nevada’s upcoming caucuses because of the changes the party has put forward. (In 2008, roughly 118,000 Democrats, or 27 percent, participated in the caucus, compared to only about 84,000 people, or 17 percent, in 2016.)”


  • Nevada Appeal: “Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and Nevada Democratic Chairman William McCurdy have signed off on plans they say should draw a record number of Democrats to upcoming caucuses and conventions. The plan includes four days of in-person early voting at nearly 80 locations statewide as well as multi-lingual caucus materials and workplace caucus sites to accommodate Nevada’s 24-hour workforce.”


  • KUNR Public Radio: “Speaking to reporters during a press call, DNC Chair Tom Perez says he expects the changes to bode well for the state. ‘I am confident that there is going to be record turnout at this upcoming caucus. And you want to make sure — and we want to make sure together — that we channel that energy from the caucus into defeating Donald Trump in the general election and electing Democrats up and down the ticket.’”


  • CBS News: “After an at-times rocky approval process that saw the scrapping of the state’s proposed ‘tele-caucus’ system, CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin says the Democratic National Committee has approved the Nevada State Democratic Party’s final Delegate Selection Plan. The party estimates that the caucus could cost more than two million dollars to run after reforms to this year’s contest, including an expansive and unprecedented early vote effort.”
  • Philippine Daily Inquirer: “The Democratic National Committee has approved a plan by Nevada Democrats to offer caucus materials in Tagalog for the state’s growing Filipino-American population. At the same time, Nevada’s plan will offer the first-ever early voting option for presidential caucuses, a change stemming from a push to make the in-person presidential nominating meetings more accessible.”


CNBC: Trump trademark applications spiked around the world when he started running for president

NPR: Stocks Slide As Trump Says China Trade Deal Might Wait Until After 2020 Election

NYT: Trump Inflames the Trade Wars, Again

CNN: Markets shudder after Trump warns China trade war could go beyond 2020 election

Forbes: Trump Trade War Turns South



Make sure to follow the DNC’s War Room (@DNCWarRoom) to get real-time updates on Trump’s abuses of power and broken promises.

Happy Friday! 

The DNC Comms Team