Builds on Investments Nationwide and National Effort Begun Following February Preliminary Report
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Democratic National Committee (DNC) today unveiled the Democratic Victory Task Force’s Final Report and Action Plan laying out how the Democratic Party is strengthening infrastructure and its presence all across the country to ensure that the success Democrats have had at the presidential level is replicated down the ballot in 2016 and future election cycles. The report and action plan build on the preliminary recommendations of the Democratic Victory Task Force issued in February of this year after being commissioned by DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz following the November 2014 elections.
The Task Force analyzed the Party’s presidential year successes as well as off-year challenges and conducted extensive research including soliciting feedback from supporters, with more than 100,000 respondents across the country. The DNC Chair met with Congressional leaders and caucuses, while Task Force members met with groups in their respective fields of expertise, and participated in dozens of listening sessions, individual interviews, and gathered feedback from a wide range of Democratic Party allies.
“The Democratic Party has made tremendous strides in the last few election cycles, particularly at the national level and in presidential campaigns, and the goal of this Action Plan is to ensure that we apply the best practices of those efforts to elections at every level,” said DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “We recognize the challenges our candidates down-ballot have faced in off-year election cycles, and the recommendations of the Democratic Victory Task Force are meant to address those concerns and to chart a path to strengthen our voter engagement in every cycle.”
In February the Task Force delivered a preliminary set of recommendations in five areas where the DNC could make substantial improvements that would help the Party in both presidential and mid-term elections, and the final report provides greater depth in those areas. It lays down a roadmap for operationalizing those recommendations, building on investments, efforts, and coordination, and institutionalizing key programs to ensure that the experience and information gathered through hard work every election cycle isn’t lost from one election period to the next.
“Some of this sounds like Politics 101,” added Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky, a member of the Task Force. “Well, the American people need us to get this right, and they need us now more than ever. Just look at the Republican presidential candidates, and listen to their messages of division and derision that play on fear, frustration and bitterness. That’s not what this country is about, and it is not what we want for our children. A bright future for hard-working Americans and the middle class begins with a strong Democratic Party, so we’re making sure that we get to work.”
The recommendations of the Task Force and Action Plan focus on ensuring the mechanisms to:
- Develop and disseminate a clear, values-based message on the core tenets of the Party
- Emphasize and strengthen national and state party partnerships and data sharing
- Protect and expand every American’s right to vote
- Implement a 3-cycle strategy for redistricting
- Build a bench of strong candidates equipped to compete at every level
Following the Task Force’s preliminary report in February, the DNC stepped up operations in several areas, including increasing investments in state parties through the State Party Partnership program by 50% from the previous baseline. That commitment comes with increased engagement between the national party and state parties across every department, to ensure capacity building in every key area.
- The DNC has also begun implementing regular training programs, including comprehensive training on voter information and targeting, and on using the DNC’s extensive suite of data, technology, and support for state parties.
- The investments the DNC has made in its Analytics Platform mean that our Presidential Primary campaigns are starting off with a more robust and sophisticated data system than the Obama campaign had on Election Day in 2012. All three of our major Presidential Primary campaigns have signed agreements to be a part of our voter file, and are making investments to improve and build upon the program. That’s going to have a significant impact on the general election.
The DNC is also sharing voter data with state and local candidates. The Report and Action Plan also place a special emphasis on protecting and expanding every American’s right to vote following years of concerted efforts in states around the country to make it harder for women, seniors, students and minorities to cast their ballots.
“A key and important aspect of this Report and Action Plan is that it delves into the unique and vital role that the Democratic Party has in protecting and expanding the right to vote for every American,” concluded Donna Brazile, a DNC Vice Chair of Civic engagement and Voter Participation as well as a member of the Task Force. “In Kansas, Alabama, and now New Jersey, we’ve recently seen Republican leadership take action that limits voter participation while doing nothing to make our elections more secure or cost effective, while the GOP’s presidential candidates all oppose the Voting Rights Act. And in the Evenwel v. Abbott case, we have begun implementing the recommendations by casting a spotlight on the potential impact of that case on children, permanent residents, DREAMers, and others living in the United States who are worthy of representation. We’re being proactive, and this Final Report and Action Plan help chart that path.”