The foundational aim of the Long Leaf Pine Slate is to build progressive power in North Carolina. This means winning a Democratic majority in the General Assembly this year, which really comes down to a numbers game: how do we flip 6 net seats in the state House and 5 in the Senate?
The clearest way is the one we’ve taken: aggressively funding our most flippable, critical-path candidates. We’re incredibly pleased to say that, with your help, we’ve put all of our candidates in a position to stage strong, aggressive campaigns. We are far from finished. But the Republicans are back on their heels, and we’ve forced them to invest heavily in defending these vulnerable seats. The NCGOP is fighting a vicious, dirty, last-ditch defense of their legislative majority. This is just where we want to be.
Today marks 50 days until Election Day. So what do we do now? Easy: we follow up with a combination punch. It’s time to unleash a coup-de-grace.
The Frontier Five
Let’s talk numbers for a sec.
We are likely to flip the state Senate this fall. It’ll be close - probably just a margin of 1 or 2 seats. But the Senate is only 50 seats, and with the maps we have, there are no obvious additional districts where more money would make much of a difference.
In the state House, things are different. There are 6 House candidates still on the Slate (we graduated 2 earlier who are very likely to win). This means that to win a net gain of 6 seats, we need 4 of those remaining 6 candidates to win. They are all Tossups right now, so this is still cutting it close.
So, what could we do to improve our odds of a majority? Or for you investor types: how could we hedge?
Well - outside of our core Slate candidates, there are a bunch of other races that are also competitive, just lower probability. (We’ve profiled many of these before.) Based on polling, district fundamentals and fundraising, we’re going to focus on 5 of these: Jason Cain, Virginia Cox-Daugherty, Tim Heath, Al Kirby and Emily Nicholson - “The Frontier Five.”
Here’s how it works
These 5 races against Republican incumbents are all going to be tight. They represent a close range of probabilities to flip, but let’s say their chances average out to about 1-in-3 (33%). Those aren’t terrible odds. But here’s the thing: these are low-dollar races where we have popular candidates who voters really like, once they’ve heard about them at all. The state Democratic party is stretched between spending on defending existing seats and the core group of marquee challengers (eg. the Slate), and won’t be pouring a ton of money into these races.
Which is to say: if we can flood these races with extra resources, particularly right now, we can boost those odds to something closer to 1-in-2 (50%).
Lemme tell you: I downright like those odds. By increasing our chances in this basket of candidates, we raise the chances of flipping one or a few of them. That creates more margin for error on the core Slate, and greatly increases our odds of winning our all-important Democratic majority.
We can leave nothing on the field in this election. It’s just too important.
It’s fourth quarter
In high school, I played football. And our coaches always told us when we got tired in practice: you play like it’s the fourth quarter. You give it 100% through the end. And we’re not at the end yet.
Today marks 50 days until Election Day, but guess what? We don’t have to wait. The election is now. Ballots are already being sent out - and returned - in North Carolina. I, personally, sent in my absentee ballot today. Early in-person voting opens in 31 days.
The election is right now.
I know you’re tired. Believe me - so am I. We’re all fatigued. And we’re very close to being done. But we’re not there yet.
We’re not going to stop until we restore our democracy in North Carolina.