Overview

Taking back the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018 was a first step to stopping the destructive forces that have been threatening our democracy since 2016. A second step is taking back the U.S. Senate in 2020.

We built the Take Back Congress Hub as a tool and platform for the progressive movement and donors to facilitate coordination and synergy of resources and efforts. The Hub was built upon the following principles: Empirical Evidence, Winnability and Investment in Turnout of the Democratic Base.

Empirical Evidence

Democrats spend too much money on the wrong tactics like TV ads and other media buys to persuade mythical swing voters instead of investing in efforts that actually win elections for Dems: building community power, mobilizing the base and supporting progressive laws and public policies. We believe Democratic donors should invest in political plans based on empirical evidence—not conventional wisdom—and call upon them to make intelligent, data-driven contributions in the places and people most likely to win the elections necessary to continue taking back our country.

Winnability

In 2018 we commissioned a team of data analytics and statistical experts to identify the Congressional districts that were most winnable. The team refined an algorithm that incorporated 22 data points into a detailed and meticulous, individual-level analysis of voter behavior in all 238 Republican-held Congressional districts. The team has applied a comparably-rigorous methodology—with key refinements to the original algorithm—to identify the most flippable Republican-held U.S. Senate seats up for re-election in 2020.

Investment in Turnout of the Democratic Base

Voter turnout in 2018 was the highest recorded rate for a midterm election since 1914, with 49.2 percent of the eligible voting population—nearly 116 million people—casting ballots. The key was to invest in mobilization of infrequent Democratic voters through strategic and well-coordinated turnout efforts led by effective civic engagement organizations. These groups will be the critical factor in taking back the Senate and the White House in 2020.

Pivoting toward the U.S. Senate in 2020

Republicans currently hold 53 of the Senate’s 100 seats; Democrats will need a minimum net gain of three seats and a new, Democratic vice president to flip partisan control of the body. Of the 13 Senate seats up for election this year, there are currently 13 seats in 12 states that offer plausible prospects for Democrats to defeat their Republican opponent.

Who controls the U.S. Senate has ramifications that extend far beyond budgets and legislation. The Senate is also given important powers under the “advice and consent” provisions of the United States Constitution, including confirmation of Supreme Court justices, federal judges, cabinet members, ambassadors, and other federal executive officials; ratification of international treaties; and impeachment trials.

In 2020, the class of 2014 is up for re-election. In 2014, Republicans picked up nine seats. Democrats are defending two seats in states won by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election: Alabama and Michigan. At the same time, Republicans are defending two seats in states that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election: Colorado and Maine.

Additionally, after the successful pick up of one Senate seat in Arizona, Democrats will be trying to win the other seat formerly held by the late Senator John McCain and currently held by Republican Martha McSally. Democrats also take on incumbent Republican senators in blue-trending North Carolina and in Georgia, where widespread and flagrant voter suppression in 2018 put the gubernatorial election results into considerable question.

At a Glance – Republican-held U.S. Senate Seats up in 2020

The Priority states identified on the Hub are states where our data demonstrate a significant pool of potential Democratic voters and where a strong civic engagement infrastructure exists to engage these voters. The Watch states represent swing states (Iowa, North Carolina, Maine), southern states that our data suggest should be blue (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas) and one wild card state (Montana) that hold the greatest potential for Democratic pick-ups. The underlying data and qualitative rationale for their inclusion on the Hub may be found on their individual state and Senate race pages.

Status State Incumbent
Priority Arizona Martha McSally
Priority Colorado Cory Gardner
Priority Georgia David Perdue
Priority Georgia Special Election Kelly Loeffler
Watch Alabama* Doug Jones – D
Watch Iowa Joni Ernst
Watch Kentucky Mitch McConnell
Watch Maine Susan Collins
Watch Mississippi Cindy Hyde-Smith
Watch Montana Steve Daines
Watch North Carolina Thom Tillis
Watch South Carolina Lindsey Graham
Watch Texas John Cornyn
Not competitive Alaska Dan Sullivan
Not competitive Arkansas Tom Cotton
Not competitive Idaho Jim Risch
Not competitive Kansas Pat Roberts
Not competitive Louisiana Bill Cassidy
Not competitive Nebraska Ben Sasse
Not competitive Oklahoma Jim Inhofe
Not competitive South Dakota Mike Rounds
Not competitive Tennessee Lamar Alexander
Not competitive West Virginia Shelley Capito
Not competitive Wyoming Mike Enzi

*Alabama is the only Democratic hold/defend we are featuring on the Hub.

An Essential Resource

The Hub is designed to:

  • Respond to the political and moral urgency of taking back the U.S. Senate,
  • Reintroduce accountability and consequences into our body politic, and
  • Lay the foundation for taking back the White House in 2020.

But that fertile political soil requires smart, strategic, and data-driven investments through November 2020 in order to produce a Democratic senate majority.

We hope that this site will serve as an essential resource for anyone interested in knowing where their time, energy, and resources can make the most difference in taking back the Senate in 2020. We look forward to partnering with you on this critical work.

Contact Us

Please reach out to us with any questions at info@takebackcongresshub.us.