MEMO: President Biden’s Midterm Investments for Democrats Up and Down the Ticket

MEMORANDUM

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Sam Cornale, Executive Director, Democratic National Committee 

DATE: Tuesday, October 25, 2022

RE: President Biden’s Midterm Investments for Democrats Up and Down the Ticket


With two weeks to go until Election Day, President Biden and the Democratic National Committee have invested in robust infrastructure across 57 states and territories to help candidates up and down the ballot to build the most competitive campaigns possible. 

Throughout his career, President Biden has committed himself to strengthening the party – and he has maintained that commitment as president. Immediately after the 2020 election, President Biden turned over his campaign assets to the DNC – from his grassroots fundraising list to his distributed organizing program – so that every Democrat running for every office will benefit.

Since then, the Biden campaign assets have helped power the best midterm year grassroots fundraising ever, and, as a direct result of President Biden’s involvement, the DNC has been able to make close to $90 million in investments in state and electoral midterm programs – that’s almost triple the $30 million spent by the DNC on its entire 2018 midterm strategy and does not include funding for headquarters staff, most tech and data, and other national investments that support the midterms.

Additionally, a well-funded party means our long-term assets, like data and technology infrastructure for Democratic campaigns and our voter protection efforts, have only gotten stronger in the last two years. 

Biden’s Political Assets Drive Grassroots Fundraising and Organizing for Midterms

Thanks in a large part to engagement from President Biden, the DNC has raised a midterm record $292 million through September. President Biden’s 2020 campaign assets have helped power an unprecedented $155 million in grassroots fundraising to date, the committee’s best midterm cycle for grassroots fundraising ever, and thus leading to the historic levels of investments in support for party building and direct campaign investments. President Biden remains the top signer for the grassroots fundraising program, and the monthly sustaining grassroots donor base that he helped build in 2020 continues to power the program. 

In addition to powering grassroots fundraising, the Biden-Harris campaign’s volunteer network has been organizing. Following the 2020 cycle, President Biden turned over his virtual volunteer infrastructure from the campaign, which includes more than 200,000 trained volunteers to support midterm elections and campaigns up and down the ballot. Since then, the program has only gotten stronger. This cycle, the program has:

  • Mobilized volunteers to take 466,000 actions for volunteer recruitment, voter registration, GOTV, and promoting the Biden-Harris agenda;
  • Made over 4.6 million calls; and
  • Sent over 28 million text messages.

An example of how these volunteers are helping campaigns across the country: last week, Dr. Jill Biden kicked off a distributed organizing event where 400 volunteers made over 100,000 calls into Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to encourage voters to return their mail ballots and vote early. Events like this are happening every day, and this team is making hundreds of thousands of calls to encourage early voting.

Historic Early Investment in Key States

Thanks to President Biden’s commitment to building state infrastructure, the DNC has been making crucial investments in states that have important senate, house, gubernatorial, attorney general, secretary of state, and state legislature races, and to help all Democrats up and down the ticket. This comes on top of the largest-ever midterm cash transfer of $27 million to the DCCC and DSCC. 

Beginning in spring of 2021, eight months earlier than past cycles, the DNC began supporting the Democratic coordinated campaigns in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. These investments have fueled a campaign apparatus in battleground states that is substantially larger than recent midterm history and include funding for organizing, voter protection, data, communications, coalitions outreach, and more in each state. 

  • Arizona: Tripled investment over the 2018 election cycle  
  • Georgia: Tripled investment over the 2018 election cycle
  • Michigan: Quadrupled investment over the 2018 election cycle
  • New Hampshire: Doubled investment over the 2018 election cycle 
  • Nevada: Doubled investment over the 2018 election cycle
  • North Carolina: Doubled investment over the 2018 election cycle
  • Pennsylvania: Quadrupled investment over the 2018 election cycle
  • Wisconsin: Quadrupled investment over the 2018 election cycle

The investments are not just limited to these eight states. With so much at stake, we have recommitted to a 57-state-and-territory that also supports long-term party building. This includes:

  • $12,500/Month Per State For Party Building. Through the State Party Partnership program to support core party infrastructure, the DNC invests $12,500 in every state party each month, which is a 25% increase over the base funding levels from 2020 and a 66% increase over 2016.
  • Red State Fund: A first-of-its-kind Red State Fund to build programs in traditionally Republican states that already exceeded the initial $2 million commitment. It includes everything from organizing fellows focused on targeted legislative districts in Idaho to a caucus director supporting state legislative candidates in Utah, and more. 
  • State Party Innovation Fund Grants: Growing the State Party Innovation Fund (SPIF) grants to support state parties’ individual electoral needs which include funding for 20 states, like a Spanish-language voter contact program in Florida, and a voter registration program in Texas.
  • Campaign Readiness Talent Pipeline: A “Campaign Readiness Project” to recruit, train, and place staff on the ground early. This effort emphasizes diverse, local talent, and recruited, trained, placed, and fully funded dozens of state party staff – a majority of whom are people of color – for campaign roles.
  • Millions in Black, Latino, and Coalitions Media: A narrow-and-deep strategy for print, radio, digital, and other paid media into key pillars of the coalition: Black, Latino, AAPI, Native American, and young voters.

Long-Term Campaign Infrastructure: Tech & Voter Protection

Over the past few years, we’ve been able to invest millions in improving and updating data on voters. We’ve centralized a comprehensive and high quality dataset of about 300 million potential voters – registered & unregistered – across the country. And we provide this voter file to state parties and campaigns at no cost, allowing campaigns to spend their money on other needs.

This cycle alone, we have invested heavily in new data to improve the ability of Democrats across the country to effectively contact voters. This includes:

  • Acquiring tens of millions of cell numbers nationally, increasing our cell coverage from 70% to 80% nationally;
  • Acquiring data on 15 million unregistered voters to ensure we are expanding the electorate;
  • Largest ingestion of address data, to ensure that voters can be reached at the doors and by mail. 

At the same time, we made our largest voter registration investment in a recent midterm cycle, which has prioritized funding for programs in communities of color through digital, mail and in-person programs in battleground states. For example, six-figure grants each to the Florida, South Carolina, and Texas state parties to help fund their voter registration programs. In Pennsylvania, directly funding mail, digital, and in-person registration programs focused on Philadelphia, campuses, and “movers” statewide.

Finally, we’ve set aside specific funding for an aggressive litigation strategy across the country to protect access to the ballot box this cycle, including successfully defeating Republican efforts to get rid of mail-in voting in Pennsylvania and Arizona. 

Conclusion

Under President Biden’s leadership, the DNC has not only invested earlier and more robustly than ever in this year’s midterm elections to ensure our candidates have the resources necessary to build strong campaigns – we’ve made sure Democrats across the country have the resources they need and are laying the groundwork for cycles to come.