District CA-22 Victory Plan
Flip the 14 believes CA-22 presents a challenging but underrated opportunity for Democrats to flip a key Congressional seat from red to blue. CA-22 has a high-profile incumbent, Congressman Devin Nunes, who is energizing his opposition and drawing attention to his complete disinterest in the bread and butter concerns of the people he represents and his complicity in a coverup with major national security ramifications. Before the election of Donald Trump, he was an under the radar politician most closely associated with failed water bills that scored cheap political points without actually delivering anything of consequence to the people of CA-22. Two respected political prognosticators, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Scott Lay’s Around the Capitol, identify this district as swingable. The district is primed for a Democratic victory if we devote the time and resources.
CA-22 consists of the eastern portion of Fresno County and includes cities and communities along the Highway I-99 corridor. This includes the city of Visalia in Tulare County and Clovis in Fresno County. There are a lot of families struggling to make ends meet in CA-22 – people who have been neglected by their Congressman. Nunes has served in Congress since 2002, representing CA-21 prior to redistricting that followed the 2010 census. He has served as CA-22’s representative since 2013. He has consistently received around 61-72% of the vote in that district, while his Democratic challenger received around 28-38% of the vote. Registration in CA-22 is 42% Republican, 33% Democrat, and 25% other (decline-to-state or 3rd party). The total number of registered voters in the district is 341,932.
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 193,587 or 56%. This would make the win number 96,795.
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 (34,954 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 (33,206 votes) to turnout in November 2018. An additional 27,462 voters have voted in 2 of the past 3 general elections, so we should expect 66% of them to turnout as they have demonstrated a 66% chance of voting. This means an additional or 18,125 more votes. This gives us a starting point of 51,331 votes for our baseline universe.
With a baseline universe of 51,331 voters, we project a voter deficit of 48,625 . 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 turnout 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.