Tier 1: Triple Wins

  1. swing state for presidential R+3.9% in 2016, D+4% on 9/01
  2. defeat McSally-R for U.S. Senate D+2.4% in 2018, was appointed; race rated 'lean D'
  3. legislature flip 3 seats for Senate, 2 for House; in 2018 5 R Senate seats won by <10%, 9 R House seats won by <10%
  1. swing state for presidential R+3.8% in 2016, D+1.8% on 9/01
  2. defeat Tillis-R for U.S. Senate won by 1.5% in 2018; race rated 'toss-up'
  3. legislature flip: 5 seats for Senate, 6 for House; in 2018 5 R Senate seats won by <10%, 9 R House seats won by <10%
  1. swing state for presidential Trump +5% in 2016, R+1.4% on 9/01
  2. two Senate seats appointed R Loeffler (rated 'lean R') and incumbent R Perdue vs Ossoff (rated 'toss-up')
  3. legislature tough, but we can make it more purple: 7 seats to flip Senate, 16 seats to flip House

Tier 2: Also Important


swing state for presidential R+1.2% in 2016; currently rated as 'toss-up' (D+3% on 9/03)

legislature flip 4 seats for Senate, 14 seats for House; in 2018, 7 R Senate seats won by <10%, 18 R House seats won by <10%


potential swing state for presidential Trump won by 9% in 2016; currently rated as 'lean-R' (R+1.6% on 8/02)

defeat Ernst for US Senate R won by 8% 2014; poll shows Greenfield 3%+ (8/14); rated 'toss up'


swing state for presidential R+0.72% in 2016; currently rated as 'toss-up' (D+4.5% on 9/01)

legislature flip 4 seats for Senate, 9 seats for House; in 2018 3 R Senate seats won by <10%, 20 R House seats won by <10%

Tier 3: Eyes on the Senate

More Senate targets:
defeat Collins won by 37% in 2014, now least popular Senator; another ME senator (I) won 54% 2018; HRC won ME by 3%; now rated 'toss-up' (Gideon-D+5% on 8/14)
defeat Daines won by 17% 2014, another MT senator (D) won by 3.5% in 2018; rated 'toss-up' (R+6% on 8/02)
defeat Gardner won by 2% 2014, another CO senator (D) won by 6% in 2016; HRC won by 5%; rated 'toss-up' (Hickenlooper-D+9% on8/30)
defeat Cornyn (& flip state legislature) 9 seats to flip House and break the R trifecta; US Senate seat rated 'likely R' (R+11% on 9/02; Trump+1% on 9/02)

As well as


swing state for presidential R+0.3% in 2016, Biden+7% (8/30)

re-elect Peters-D deemed vulnerable; other D won by 6.5% in 2018; race rated 'lean D' (D+1% on 9/03)

legislature flip 4 seats for House; in 2018 7 R seats won by <10%


swing state for presidential R+0.77% in 2016, Biden+7 (9/05)

make legislature more purple 14 seats to flip State Assembly

Tier 4: We Wish

defeat gruesome McConnell 2nd least popular Senator; rated 'likely R' (up by 5% on 8/03)
defend 2018 US House gains TJ Cox ('toss-up'), Harley Rouda ('lean-D'), Gil Cisneros ('likely-D'), Katie Hill's seat ('toss-up') - all Ds won by small %; try to topple Issa (+3%)
defend Doug Jones the unlikely 2017-win D US Senator, R+17% on 8/02, rated 'lean R'
defeat Graham elect a non-segregationalist, Black Dem to represent SC in US Senate; rated 'likely R' (polls are very close at the end of July)
flip US Senate seat seat rated 'likely R', polls dead-even on 8/28
defeat Hyde-Smith replace a racist with a Black Dem in US Senate; polls show Espy (D) behind by only 5% (8/09), rated 'lean R'

What is this based on? The plan focuses on the biggest bang for the buck as well as some "love". That means top priorities are the "triple-threat" states AZ & NC, then slightly lower priority are "double-threat" - presidential swing and legislature flip or Senate seat, then slightly lower than that are plausible Senate seats, and lowest priority are "love" campaigns that have some emotional resonance that may not be likely to win but important to building long-term Dem presence. I base the plan on research completed by Sister District, Daily Kos forecasting team, Cook's Political Report, 538 poll aggregates, and Swing Left, among others.

Updated September 7, 2020: updated all the polls, brought back KY-McConnell.

Updated September 5, 2020: moved PA back to Tier 2, as the polls have tightened.

Updated July 26, 2020: upgraded GA to Tier 1, as traditional swing states are becoming more safe for Biden; and IA to Tier 2.

Updated July 14, 2020: upgraded TX to Tier 3 (favorable polling showing Biden ahead and Cornyn close).

Updated July 8, 2020: downgraded PA to Tier 3 (due to Cook's Political calling it a "Lean D" instead of toss-up).

Updated June 19, 2020: increased importance of GA from tier 4 to tier 1; decreased importance of MI & WI; downgraded MS Senate Race to Tier 4 (R+8% (5/28)) and AL Jones; added some 'reach' Senate races (SC, TX).