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Adopt A State

How To Adopt a Battleground State in 2020

By Priyanka Aribindi

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Ahead of the year’s elections, what people have asked us at Crooked more than anything else is what they can do to impact the results, and now the team at Vote Save America has an answer: Our brand new Adopt A State program.

Adopt A State lets you directly support the work of organizers, volunteers, and candidates in the six key battleground states that will be most important to winning a progressive majority in 2020: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina.

When you sign up to Adopt A State, you’ll get specific calls to action—things you can do yourself, from home, right now—that will make a huge impact in these states, and ultimately on Election Day. We’ve spent months working with state parties, political strategists, and progressive organizations on the ground in each state to find out how we can have the biggest impact, and how to mobilize during a pandemic. Everything we ask our community to do will be informed by ongoing conversations with these partners, as well as the Biden campaign. 

This election year will be unlike any other we’ve experienced. The pandemic we’re living in has already changed how candidates are able to campaign, volunteers are able to organize, and all of us will be able to vote. But we created this program to be entirely remote so that everyone, regardless of where they live/vote/are quarantined, can make a difference in races up and down the ballots in the places where results will be the closest. 

Along with things you can do from home, we’ll also send you the messaging strategies that will be the most effective, and you’ll get access to exclusive trainings with Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Tommy Vietor, Dan Pfeiffer, and our partners at Organizing Together 2020 that will teach you how to become successful digital organizers. 

Will we win? We won’t know until Election Day, but we can promise that, if you Adopt A State, you will be doing everything you can in the places that we need to win the White House and fight for progressive victories up and down the ballot. 

Sold, but not quite sure which state to adopt? We got you. 

The six states we’ll be focusing on in the program are Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina. If you live in any of these states, have friends/family there, connections to a sports team or city, or anything like that, there’s your answer! Pick your favorite and run with it! 

If you’d prefer to put your political strategist hat on, here’s more about why we picked each of these states, and what the situation on the ground is like:

Michigan (16 electoral votes) is the battleground state where Trump won by the smallest margin in 2016. Democrats flipped eight statewide seats here in 2018, including the governorship, and organizing has continued to grow. We also have Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)’s seat to protect. This positions Michigan as one of the best opportunities to flip a state for Democrats in 2020. 

Adopt Michigan → 

Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) was a surprising pick up for Trump, largely attributed to his 290,000 vote overperformance in rural parts of the state, and unlike Wisconsin, both Trump and Clinton made big investments there in 2016. However, Democrats flipped Republican seats in a special election and in the 2018  midterms, meaning momentum is on our side in this traditionally Democratic state. 

Adopt Pennsylvania → 

Wisconsin (10 electoral votes) could be the closest battleground state of all. Trump won the state by less than one point in 2016, and a Democrat won the governorship by less than one point in 2018. Wisconsin may be more difficult to flip than Pennsylvania or Michigan because it’s more rural, and has a higher percentage of non-college educated white voters who are more likely to vote Republican. However, the Democratic victories in 2018 along with a new and improved organizing strategy could help the party pull out a win in 2020. 

Adopt Wisconsin → 

Arizona (11 electoral votes) could give Democrats their best chance to flip a traditionally red state in 2020. Trump won there in 2016, but by significantly less than Mitt Romney did in 2012—likely because of the additional 500,000 Democrats who turned out in 2016. In 2018, Democrats flipped four statewide seats in Arizona, and saw a record 2.4 million voters turn out. Increased participation was largely driven by young people and people of color, and progressive organizing has accelerated their impact, meaning organizing potential is large. 

Adopt Arizona → 

Florida (29 electoral votes) has been ground zero in presidential elections for the past two decades. Trump won it by slightly more than one point in 2016, and in 2018, Florida’s gubernatorial and Senate races were decided by less than half a point. Florida is likely to be very close again, but investments in expanding the electorate through voter registration and education could give the state to Democrats. Winning Florida would mean that Democrats would only need to flip one of our other five battleground states. 

Adopt Florida → 

North Carolina (15 electoral votes) was unique in 2016, electing Trump along with a Democratic governor and attorney general—a sign that there are swing voters who Democrats can win over. Despite severe gerrymandering, Democrats were able to make gains in North Carolina House and Senate in 2018. In 2020, the popular Democratic Governor Roy Cooper will be on the ballot along with very unpopular Republican Senator Thom Tillis, which could help deliver higher turnout for Democrats. Demographic change is also a positive factor, as the Latino population grows and college-educated white voters flock to the state. Winning in North Carolina isn’t certain, but these changes could make it possible. 

Adopt North Carolina → 

So there you have it. Our work is cut out for us. Let’s flip some states! Sign up to Adopt A State via Vote Save America →