District CA-21 Victory Plan
Flip the 14 believes CA-21 presents an important opportunity for Democrats to flip a key Congressional seat from red to blue. While CA-21 is currently represented by Republican David Valadao, it is the most Democratic district in California that is currently represented by Republican, and even leans 5 points more Democratic than the nation as a whole according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index. Four respected political prognosticators– Cook Political Report, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Gonzales Inside Elections, and Scott Lay’s Around the Capitol– all identify this district as swingable. The district is primed for a Democratic victory if we devote the time and resources.
David Valadao has represented CA-21 in Congress since 2013. He has consistently voted for cuts in Medicaid and SNAP despite large numbers of his constituents relying on these programs. Indeed, 64% of the children in CA-21 depend on Medicaid or CHIP for affordable healthcare access. There are a lot of families struggling to make ends meet in CA-21 – people who have been neglected by their Congressman.
CA-21 is located in the Central Valley area and includes parts of Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Tulare Counties. The current CA-21 area holds a solid Democratic majority over Republicans but does include a substantial number of decline-to-state and third-party voters. Registration is 41.83% Democrat and 31.42% Republican and 26.75% other (including independent, decline-to-state, and third party). The total number of registered voters in the district is 225,536.
One of the most crucial elements in any campaign or field plan is the “win number,” which is the estimate of how many votes we need to ensure victory on Election Day (50%+1 of the turnout). Everything done during a campaign, from knocking on doors to calling for volunteers, should be in pursuit of reaching that win number. Looking at turnout from previous mid-term elections, as well as other factors, our analysis projects a 2018 turnout of 101,237 or 45.17%. This would make the win number 50,620.
To identify the voter deficit that we need to address, we identify all high propensity Democratic voters in CA-22, who have voted in every general election for the past 3 election cycles (26,265 voters) and utilize this number as one of our core assumptions to project the 2018 Democratic performance and our baseline universe. We assume that we can expect around 95% of these voters (24,951 votes) to turn-out in November 2018. An additional 19,653 voters have voted in 2 of the past 3 general elections, so we should expect 66% of them to turn-out as they have demonstrated a 66% chance of voting. This means an additional or 12,920 more votes. This gives us a starting point of 37,921 votes for our baseline universe.
With a baseline universe of 37,921 voters and a win number of 50,620, we project a voter deficit of 12,699. The voter deficit can be mitigated by converting new Republican and Decline-to-State voters and by increasing Democratic turnout performance throughout the district. The candidate, the Democratic Party, and independent Resistance groups will all be working to recruit and turn-out voters to overcome this voter deficit.
This can be done using the following four approaches: 1) increasing Democratic turnout, 2) focusing on higher conversion rates among swing-voter targets, 3) reducing Republican enthusiasm, and 4) increasing Democratic registration. The most successful operation will include a combination of all four.