Catherine Vaughan
Sep 4 · 5 min read

Right after Virginia’s landmark 2017 elections, I wrote that:

“All told, Virginians were able to flip 14 seats blue last night — a landmark victory for progressives not just in Virginia but across the country. As of writing, we’re awaiting the results of final recounts, which might lead to even more flips — with control of the chamber hanging in the balance.”

In the end, Democrats ended up flipping 15 seats that night. It was an amazing victory, but also a bittersweet one — as Republicans unfortunately kept control of the Virginia House, 51 to 49. (They literally held on by a coin flip.)

But now we have another chance — all 140 seats in the Virginia General Assembly are on the ballot this November 5th. This time, we have an even better shot at flipping the Virginia legislature blue.

Earlier this year, Flippable joined the Swing Left family to drive more grassroots energy and support to critical down-ballot races. To learn more about our 2019 gameplan and how you can help flip Virginia in just 2 months, check out the message we sent to volunteers today:

Hey Swing Left,

What if we told you we didn’t have to wait till 2020 to flip a critical state blue?

All 140 seats in the Virginia General Assembly are on the ballot this November, and Democrats only need to flip four seats in total to gain full control of the state. Insiders are calling it the most important election of 2019, because if Democrats win, they could undo Republican gerrymandering by re-drawing fairer maps, pass life-changing progressive legislation that’s stalled under GOP control, and kickstart a blue wave that sweeps the country in 2020.

So we’ve identified the 20 most competitive seats in Virginia, and our campaigns are in crunch mode. We have a concrete plan to flip Virginia, but we need your help getting our candidates across the finish line. See our Virginia strategy — and find something you can do right now to start making an impact.

Here are the three big ways we’re working to win a Democratic majority in Virginia:

We’re pooling critical funds from small-dollar, grassroots donors and distributing 100% of the money raised to the most strategic races. And we’re doing it ASAP, as early money is the most impactful money for campaigns.

Thanks to the awesome work of the volunteers and groups who’ve hosted fundraisers, and the contributions of many individual Swing Left and Flippable donors, we’ve already distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to our 20 Swing District candidates — making Swing Left the largest direct funder of Virginia legislative candidates so far this cycle.

That’s huge, and will make a big difference for these campaigns. But, it’s not enough to guarantee Democratic victory. Republicans are pouring money into Virginia, even more so as Election Day approaches. By raising funds now, we can make sure our Democratic candidates in the closest races have what they need to compete.

Though it was a red state for years, Virginia’s been trending blue. We know there are enough Democratic-leaning voters in the state to win on November 5th — if we can get them to the polls.

Face-to-face conversations with voters is a time-tested way to increase turnout on Election Day. That’s why we’re coordinating directly with our 20 candidates to power their campaigns with volunteers (spoiler alert: they need more people!).

If you live in or near Virginia, please try to set aside a Saturday or two to attend a canvassing event and talk to some voters. It’s one of the best things you can do to help Democrats win across the state.

Too far from Virginia to knock doors? You’re still in luck. We’re also working to send 150,000 hand-written letters to Virginia citizens reminding them to vote. We’re targeting people who aren’t likely to show up at the polls — but are likely to vote for Democrats when they do cast a ballot.

To hit that goal, we’re writing as many letters as possible now, and holding them to mail closer to Election Day — so voters will receive them at the moment of absolute highest impact.

Writing and holding personal letters is the single most effective thing anyone can do from afar to turn out voters in Virginia. And it can be done from home or with friends.

— —

The bottom line: Virginia is winnable this November, if we get to work now. In the fight to transform our government, we can flip one key state blue in as soon as two months.

In lead up to Election Day, we’ll keep in touch with the best things you can do at that moment to help flip Virginia. Right now, check out our Virginia strategy and to plug into the most strategic things you can do to help.

The GOP is spending large to hold these seats because they know a loss in Virginia could prelude even bigger losses in 2020. Let’s prove them right.


Ethan, Matt, Catherine, Michelle, and the Swing Left Team

PS: Fired up and ready to turn Virginia blue? Start writing letters to Virginia voters right now, from wherever you live.

Swing Left

A national grassroots network of over 300,000 volunteers supporting Democratic candidates in Swing Districts with the goal of taking back the House in 2018.

Catherine Vaughan

Written by

Chief Strategy Officer, Swing Left and Co-Founder, Flippable

Swing Left

A national grassroots network of over 300,000 volunteers supporting Democratic candidates in Swing Districts with the goal of taking back the House in 2018.

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