Democrats Prepared to Expand the Map and Broaden the Base

To: Interested Parties
From: Michael Czin, National Press Secretary, DNC
Date: August 29, 2013
RE: Democrats Prepared to Expand the Map and Broaden the Base

Last week, at the DNC meeting in Arizona, Democrats from across the country came together to discuss ways to continue building our organization and our brand in all 50 states. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz pledged to work to expand our map saying, “Democrats are here in Arizona to continue our quest to plant a flag in every corner of this country.”

Just a few years ago, states like Colorado, Virginia, and Nevada were thought to be out of reach for us, but today, we’ve won all three states in the last two Presidential elections. Now we are looking forward—working to expand our map to new battleground states and future battleground states.

States like Arizona, Texas, and Georgia provide an opportunity for Democrats. An opportunity to reach and register new voters, and to spread our message of strengthening and growing a thriving middle class. Not only do we see dramatic demographic changes with more young voters and people of color getting involved in the political process in these states, but also a Republican Party that is becoming more insular and more extreme.

Today’s GOP has not learned from their electoral defeats. They are out of touch with middle class families nationwide who are looking for progress and compromise not gridlock and endless obstructionism. Democrats simply have an agenda that better resonates with the American people who are concerned about the health of the economy, who want immigration reform driven by common sense, and who believe in the virtues of having a thriving middle class.

Democrats are seizing on this opportunity to expand our map in several ways. First, we are working with our state parties to recruit and train the best staff and volunteers in all 50 states. We are committed to investing in and maintaining our digital advantage that has played an important role in helping us win elections in recent years.  We will fight tirelessly to expand access to the ballot box through new initiatives like the National Voter Registration Project to make sure all Americans are able to cast their vote. And lastly, we will continue to hold Republicans up and down the ballot accountable for their broken promises and out of touch positions.

Democrats are fighting nationwide to make sure all Americans can find secure jobs that pay enough to support a middle class life, have access to a good education, a home that is not at risk of being taken away, a retirement free of financial anxiety, and secure health care with decent benefits.

Chair Wasserman Schultz hit the road immediately—heading from Arizona to Texas, Ohio, and Georgia. See below for press coverage of the trip.

Chief Democrat in Austin for Texas blue effort
Fort Worth Business Press // Dave Montgomery

The nation’s chief Democrat will be in Austin on Saturday for a fund-raising mission to bolster the party’s efforts to paint Texas in Democratic blue and build momentum toward a possible gubernatorial run by State Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth. Democratic National Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz will headline a fund-raiser at Austin’s W Hotel to raise money for Texas Democrats, who have been aggressively urging Davis to run for governor next year. It was unclear late Friday if Davis planned to attend the Austin fund-raiser. “Everything has to do with the governor’s race,” said Texas Democratic Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa, who has been leading the charge to recruit Davis as Democrats’ consensus candidate in next year’s governor’s race. The Fort Worth Democrat has amassed a nationwide political following after her much-watched Senate filibuster against a Republican-backed abortion bill.

DNC chair in Ohio
Columbus Dispatch // Joe Vardon

Democratic National Committee chairwoman, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, was in Ohio yesterday and today to help the party raise funds for the 2014 election. She also appeared in a morning press conference in Cleveland with Ed FitzGerald -- who's running for governor -- and state Sen. Nina Turner, who's running for secretary of state. Wasserman Schultz told The Dispatch that the DNC would be "heavily involved" in Ohio next year, but mostly through voter outreach and campaign volunteer training. She said the DNC wouldn't be making large, direct financial contributions -- she said that's the role of the Democratic Governors Association in the case of FitzGerald's race against Gov. John Kasich. FitzGerald, like most 2014 Democrats, vastly trailed Republicans in fundraising through the first half of this year. "We have consistently demonstrated that Democratic candidates don’t need the same level of resources," Wasserman Schultz told The Dispatch. "We’re right on the issues and they continue to embrace extremism."

About 120 people attended the Democratic event
Youngstown Vindicator // Staff Report

About 120 people attended a $500-a-ticket fundraiser Monday evening at the family home here of prominent businessman Bruce Zoldan to raise money for the Mahoning County and Ohio Democratic parties. “It speaks to the importance of Mahoning County and the entire region,” said Chris Redfern, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman, about Monday’s event. “To win next year, as Barack Obama did in 2012, we’ll have to turn out the vote in Democratic-rich areas like this.” The events, such as the one at the Zoldan home, help raise the money needed by Democrats to run effective campaigns and turn out the vote, Redfern said. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, headlined the dinner.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls Georgia GOP Senate primary a "beauty pageant of extremism"
Atlanta Constitution // Greg Bluestein, Katie Leslie and Daniel Malloy

The latest sign that national Democrats have their eye on Georgia came Tuesday when Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz swung through Atlanta. In a chat with the AJC at WSB-TV studios she described the field of Republican Senate candidates as “contestants in the beauty pageant of extremism,” with familiar criticisms of Rep. Paul Broun's thoughts on evolution, Rep. Phil Gingrey's clumsy defense of Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin and Karen Handel's role in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure spat with Planned Parenthood. Schultz said Handel “almost single-handedly brought down the premier breast cancer organization in the world by injecting the politics of women’s health into the cancer survivor’s plight.” Asked who among the candidates poses the most threat to Michelle Nunn’s chances at the Senate seat, Schultz shrugged. “Who knows? Right now, unfortunately for America, you have a Republican Party that has been strangled by the tea party,” she said. “I expect that in their primary they will busily try to out-extreme each other.” Meanwhile, Schultz lauded Nunn and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. She described Sam Nunn’s daughter as a “pragmatic moderate” committed to job creation and fighting for the middle class.

DNC targets Arizona election-law overhaul
The Arizona Republic // Dan Nowicki

National Democrats will support the fight to overturn a controversial election-law overhaul signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Friday. Wasserman Schultz called the Arizona legislation, House Bill 2305, an attempt at intimidation and an example of “Republican efforts to do everything they can to throw obstacles in the path of voters who simply want an opportunity to cast their ballot and exercise their right to vote.” An effort to refer the state law to the ballot is under way. “We’re organizing here and across the country to fight voter-suppression efforts at every turn,” Wasserman Schultz told The Arizona Republic. “Where lawsuits are necessary, we’ll engage in them. We are providing staff and resources on the ground and working with allied groups to fight these voter-suppression efforts.”

DNC chief heads out to three red states
Politico // Alexander Burns

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is preparing to embark on a campaign-style trip through three Republican-leaning states where her party badly wants to make inroads, DNC officials told POLITICO. The Florida congresswoman and party chairwoman will address a meeting of the DNC in Arizona late this week, before heading to Texas and Georgia for party-building events. In Texas, she’ll appear at a fundraiser with Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro, the first-term San Antonio congressman national Democrats have embraced as a rising star. And on the eve of her trip to Georgia, Wasserman Schultz will put forward Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to be a member of the DNC executive committee. All three states — Arizona, Texas and Georgia — have been solidly conservative in national elections, but Democrats see the potential to make them more electorally competitive thanks to their growing racial diversity. “Diversity is our hallmark and it is also the direction that the country is going,” Wasserman Schultz told POLITICO in an interview this week. “That’s why we’re very hopeful about the Democratic Party’s prospects in states like Texas and Arizona and Georgia.”