WASHINGTON The Democratic National Committee is giving California and at least five other states grants to organize voter outreach ahead of this year’s elections.
The 2022 elections will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the United States House of Representatives in 2023. Many experts are predicting a “red wave” this fall that will hand the chamber to Republicans.
The party of the president, now a Democrat, historically falters in midterm elections for Congress. Adding to Democrats’ worries are President Joe Biden’s declining approval rating for his handling of inflation and pandemic policy and the fact that a large number of Democrats are retiring.
The state-level Democratic Parties of California, Texas, Florida, Minnesota, Maryland and Wyoming will get DNC grants — some, like California, will get money to hire organizing directors, a spokesperson for the DNC told The Sacramento Bee. The directors are meant to recruit and funnel volunteers working on voter outreach into targeted districts across the state for local and national elections.
“The DNC is proud to make these latest investments in the California Democratic Party to expand organizing and voter outreach efforts on the ground,” DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison said in a statement sent to The Bee. “The California Democratic Party has built an impressive coordinated effort to keep Democrats in office, and the DNC is committed to continue helping build upon that work to ensure California Democrats win up and down the ballot this November and beyond.”
The DNC announcement comes weeks before California’s primaries on June 7, 2022.
The last time the California Democratic Party received such a grant was in 2018, another midterm election.
Other states will benefit from such a grant in future roll-outs, the spokesperson said.
Prominent election-tracking organizations have re-rated some House races nationwide. For the most part, mostly, they boosted Republicans’ odds in California.
Though experts said redistricting, the once-a-decade process of redrawing legislative boundaries, favored Democrats in California, Republicans could hold onto the same number of districts that they have now. California lost a seat in Congress due to sluggish population growth, dropping its House delegation to 52 representatives. The lost seat is Democratic, surrounding Los Angeles.
California has 10 Republicans in the House. It would be 11, but former Congressman Devin Nunes resigned to lead former President Donald Trump’s social media company.
The House is currently divided by 221 Democrats and 209 Republicans, with five vacancies. Four vacant seats were held by Republicans. With a 222 to 213 split, Republicans need to win just five more seats in 2022 to take the majority.
The DNC has invested in the California Democratic Party’s program, which focuses on Orange County, the Central Valley, Los Angeles County and the Bay Area. Targeted districts are decided on by a team of elected officials, party leadership and data analysts at the local, state and national levels, the DNC spokesperson said.
It is up to the California Democratic Party, CADEM, to determine the number of volunteers going to certain districts through the DNC’s grant.
“This program, Forever Organizing, will provide CADEM with an opportunity to plan, train and build capacity around volunteer recruitment, direct voter contact, data and tech tools, tracking data and coalition building,” California Democratic Party Chairman Rusty Hicks said in a statement sent to The Bee.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of House Democrats, puts the following California districts on their list of ones to watch:
Gillian Brassil: @Gillian_Brassil