We founded Progressive Takeover to target the most competitive state-level races in the country. Our programs use the latest in research-backed mobilization strategies and data-driven field tactics to increase Democratic voter turnout in key contests.

Our successes have included:

  • Helping flip Virginia’s legislature in 2017
  • Electing Democrats to all five statewide offices in Wisconsin
  • Working to elect state Supreme Court justices in North Carolina and Wisconsin

In 2021 and beyond, we’ll prioritize state-level races where we can have the most impact — like in Virginia and New Jersey’s off-year elections. Our Turnout Fellows will offer critical support to candidates who need it. And, wherever possible, we overlap our efforts in federal races with key state legislative districts for maximum downballot impact.

Why State Races?

Across the country, 30 state legislatures are under Republican control. (Minnesota’s and Alaska’s are split.)

State legislatures are the front line for so many of the fights we’ve seen over the last few years: reproductive rights, police violence, and ballot access, to name a few.

Redistricting in particular will be a huge battleground in 2021, and we’re determined to help elect the legislators, judges, and others who will fight to end gerrymandering and draw fair maps.

And with a 6–3 far-right majority on the U.S. Supreme Court ready to rubber-stamp the Republican agenda, it’s even more important that bad laws never get passed in the first place.


Going into the 2020 elections, Republicans held 29 state legislatures. That number is now 30. 

Democrats can’t win back these statehouses by only showing up in election years. It means building the party’s back bench and voter base with a continued presence on the ground.

That’s why Progressive Takeover and our parent organization, Progressive Turnout Project, are investing millions in Turnout Fellows to support legislative candidates at the state level. In these out-of-the-spotlight races, our investment can have a real impact — and pay dividends for Democrats for years to come.

In 2021, New Jersey and Virginia will elect governors and state legislators, and we’ll be there to make sure Democrats turn out.