Strategy and Mission
What is Flippable? What problem are you setting out to solve?
Flippable is a political organization dedicated to flipping state governments from red to blue—and providing impactful ways for everyday people to get involved in state politics.
We focus on state governments because they hold the keys to our democracy. State legislatures draw district lines for both state and federal elections and they pass laws on voting rights. In other words, states literally write the policies that enable—or prevent—our government from truly reflecting the will of its citizens. States also pass laws that impact our lives, on issues ranging from gun control to Medicaid expansion to reproductive rights and the environment. Republicans know this too. For the past decade, they have quietly used the states to unfairly tip the balance of power by gerrymandering districts and disenfranchising voters, while also passing regressive state laws that restrict LGBTQ rights and access to healthcare, among others.
This is why Flippable is fighting to restore good government through the states -- and we hope you join us! First, you can visit our website and learn more about state governments and the important role they play in our democracy. Second, you can learn more about the candidates that Flippable is supporting, after analyzing thousands of races and identifying the strategic districts and candidates that will help win blue majorities in state legislatures. And lastly, you can support these races by volunteering or donating to the Flippable Fund, which pools contributions as small as $5 and sends money directly to the candidates. By supporting these strategic races, you are also building the bench of progressive candidates for future national elections, and making the most of your time and dollars in strategic state campaigns that cost 10-100 times less than national elections. Since November 2016, we’ve raised over $1.6M for progressive candidates and helped elect 17 Democrats to state office. And there’s so much more to do before November 2018!
What distinguishes Flippable from other progressive organizations?
The resistance is fighting regressive policies on many fronts, and Flippable has a unique role in this landscape. First, we focus on electing Democrats to state government because the laws that govern our elections are written at the state level. In recent years, Republican-led states have passed restrictive voting laws that disenfranchise likely progressive voters, and they have gerrymandered district boundaries so that state and federal congressional seats do not fairly reflect of the will of the people. By electing progressive leaders to state government, we are supporting an honest democracy that represents its people.
Flippable has invested in a data-driven model that identifies the most strategically important state legislative seats. We spotlight progressive candidates in those districts and enable everyday people to take action by donating and volunteering. Through the Flippable Fund, you can support all of our candidates, directly, with just one click, at whatever level you prefer. Through our volunteer portal, you can find opportunities to help campaigns from your couch or by knocking on doors.
Do you work with other “resistance” organizations?
Absolutely. The fight for justice, equality, and opportunity for all Americans will only be successful if we’re working together. We partner with Swing Left—which is focused on flipping the US House of Representatives—to highlight the most important states in the 2018 midterms. Our work with Emily’s List and Run for Something helps identify winning candidates to run for the seats that will tip the balance in state governments. And MobilizeAmerica connects our volunteers to canvassing, phone banking, and text banking opportunities with our campaigns.
We’ve also worked with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), Let America Vote, Indivisible, Sister District, and Emerge America. We’re Friends of the Pod in our work with Crooked Media to raise awareness and mobilize the resistance to win where it’s needed most.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an organization?
The fight for fair democracy and progressive values is one that doesn’t end with any single election, law signing, or court ruling. Our challenge as an organization and a community is to ensure that this movement sustains well beyond the present moment.
The 2018 midterms will give us a great opportunity to win state legislative seats across the country, but this work must continue through the 2019 and 2020 election cycles. The party that controls state governments in 2021 will draw the new state legislative and US congressional district lines after the next census, so it is especially crucial that Democrats have a seat at the table.
What is Flippable’s relationship with the DNC?
While we pay close attention and are in consistent communication with the Democratic Party’s official leadership at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), we are not affiliated with them. Flippable is an independent, innovative addition to the progressive landscape.
What states are you most excited about for midterms?
Flippable is focused on flipping over 130 seats in 14 state chambers in 10 states this year. The states are New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and North Carolina. The 2018 elections in these states provide opportunities to flip chambers, break Republican supermajorities, or lay essential groundwork of Democratic gains before the 2020 elections and 2021 redistricting process.
Are you only focused on races that are already likely to flip? Is that impactful?
We don’t just pick the state races that Democrats are most likely to win. We focus on the legislative chambers where Democrats must win a majority or make gains to bring progressive viewpoints to the table for policy and redistricting decisions that affect millions of Americans.
Within these chambers, we pick the districts where additional attention, dollars, and door knocks can make the difference between victory and defeat. We use historical election data and demographic information to identify the districts that are winnable, but not sure things—where extra help will tip the balance.
The 2016 presidential election unleashed tremendous progressive energy, but the blue wave depends on whether candidates can translate this excitement into victory—especially in those races that will have the biggest impact. That’s where Flippable comes in.
How do you hold candidates accountable to your pro-democracy agenda?
Before we make an endorsement in a particular district, we ask all Democratic candidates to fill out a survey to ensure their values align with our core principles—that they are committed to expanding access to voting, drawing fair district lines, and fighting for the rights of all Americans.
After candidates are elected, we track their legislative actions and share when they follow through—like when Washington State Senator Manka Dhingra cast deciding legislative votes to expand voting rights in her state. We want our community to see when their contributions are paying off!
Don't Democrats gerrymander just like Republicans? How can you be truly democratic as a partisan organization?
It is our core belief that American democracy can only flourish if all Americans have access to the ballot box and district lines allow for voters to be represented fairly. Today, candidates from only one of our two major parties support these values: Democrats.
While Democrats are responsible for a handful of gerrymandered districts, Republicans have been far more ruthless in the use of sophisticated mapping software to extinguish the voting power of progressives. Republicans also favor excessive voting restrictions that make it harder for young Americans and citizens of color to cast ballots.
For example, it is estimated that as many as 22 of Republicans’ 24-seat majority in the US House of Representatives are directly attributable to gerrymandering; as many as 300,000 citizens in Wisconsin were affected by the state’s voter ID law in 2016, when Trump won the state’s presidential vote by 22,000 votes; and nearly 1.7 million citizens in Florida cannot currently vote because the state has the nation’s most felon disenfranchisement laws (Trump won the state by about 113,000 votes).
Until candidates from both parties demonstrate a central commitment in their platforms to uphold American democracy, Flippable will only support the candidates and party that upholds fair and free elections for all Americans.
Why isn’t Flippable focused on a race in my state/district? Do you think it’s not important?
Every district is important! This November, over 6000 state legislative seats are up for grabs—Democrats should contest every one and win as many as possible.
But in order to maximize the impact of Flippable’s resources and expertise, we have to selectively choose the seats and legislative chambers that are most crucial to restore progressive values and fair elections. Specifically, we are directing our funds and volunteers where we can win majorities or break supermajorities by 2020. This year, we have identified over 130 target districts where our help is most likely to make the difference on election day.
If your home district isn’t on our list, that doesn’t mean it’s not winnable and important! We encourage you to get in touch with your candidate to see how you can help. If your home district is safe or out of reach this cycle, Flippable help direct your dollars and energy where it will have the biggest payoff for the resistance.
Does Flippable work on other state-level races, or local office?
This year, voters will cast ballots for candidates running for school boards, state-level secretaries of state, and US Senate—and we urge you to support pro-democracy candidates in all of these races! Our focus is on state legislatures, because those lawmakers draw district lines and draft voting laws. On our social media and blog, we also feature news about decisions and elections at all levels of government.
Do you engage in primaries?
We think Democratic voters in local districts are best prepared to choose the candidate they wish to represent their party and their interests in general elections, so we do not support candidates before the primary. We can’t know which Democrat in the Pittsburgh suburbs or in Boulder will best speak for her constituents. But we are sure that whichever Democrat is nominated is more likely than her Republican opponent to fight for fair elections and good government once she gets to Harrisburg or Denver. If it’s a seat we’re supporting, we’ll have resources ready for that candidate so she can hit the ground running and flip the district in the general election.
What’s the most useful way for me to volunteer my time?
Our partners at MobilizeAmerica are making it easy for volunteers across the country to support candidates in our target districts. Our volunteer portal will connect you directly with those candidates’ campaigns, helping you volunteer in person or from the comfort of your home. Every volunteer helps!
Do you have local chapters?
We created Flippable to inform and inspire progressives in every corner of the country. We are focused on providing easy-to-understand information about the role of state governments in maintaining a fair democracy in a format that is relevant and accessible for everyone, no matter where they live. This enables us to pool resources from all 50 states—even those where state legislatures are safely Democratic—and support the most strategic districts, wherever they may be. With so many great local groups out there already, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel—instead we hope that Flippable’s tools and information are helpful resources to these groups and individual activists around the country.
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