Post-Election Debrief

6 mins read

We defeated Donald Trump, but down-ballot Democrats in PA and nationwide did not share the same success.

Read our early report below, and RSVP for an in-depth, virtual 2020 Election Debrief, December 14 at 6:30 PM Eastern.


After we woke up in 2016 to a world that seemed unrecognizable, we started Turn PA Blue to fight back. We became activists, we ran for office, we marched in the streets, and we talked to millions of voters on the phone, at the doors, by text, and through postcards.

We made Donald Trump a one-term president.
This is a tremendous victory and huge step forward for our country and for the world. We made big gains at the Presidential level, including 7-point or more swings towards the Democrats in Chester, Cumberland, and Montour Counties.

How sweet it is that Pennsylvania was the state to put Joe Biden and Kamala Harris over the top. You did this.Turn PA Blue volunteers made more than 4 million calls, wrote over a million postcards, staffed the voter protection hotline, knocked on doors, and served as poll observers. You donated an astounding $800,000 to General Assembly candidates, vote by mail programming, and Election Day support.

Unfortunately, the story down-ballot in PA and across the country hurts.
We will do a deeper dive into what happened in the coming weeks once all data is available. With some races still uncalled, Republicans will maintain about the same majority in both houses of the General Assembly.

Please save the date and join us on Monday, December 14 at 6:30 PM for a 2020 Election Debrief. Sign Up Here.

What we know for sure is that we had outstanding candidates who ran strong campaigns under unprecedented circumstances. We could not be more proud of them.

If you’re wondering what happened, here are some contributing factors

  1. Radically gerrymandered maps held. PA’s state legislative district lines were drawn to entrench GOP power, and it worked.
  2. The lack of in-person campaigning. Our candidates lost opportunities to meet voters at events and at the doors. The pandemic shut down months of knocking on doors and the face-to-face conversations that are critical for down-ballot candidates. It was a challenge to forge personal connections and to break through the noise to talk about the issues that most matter in their communities.
  3. Elimination of Straight Ticket Voting played a role. This was the first year that voters could not vote straight party. While we are still waiting on the data, we can already see that many voters split their ticket. This is an area that we will be studying.

Don’t miss our deep dive into the data after all results are final. Save the date and join us on Monday, December 14 at 6:30 PM for a 2020 Election Debrief. Sign Up Here.

This election reaffirmed three core beliefs:

  1. Every election matters. This moment builds on the foundation of four years of local and state organizing. There’s no such thing as an “off-year” election. By flipping county commissioner seats in 2019, we installed Democrats on the Boards of Election in counties where they had vital roles. These Boards of Election worked tirelessly to implement new voting laws during a pandemic and to ensure fair, transparent, and open voting processes – and they helped deliver Joe Biden and Kamala Harris their margin of victory.
  2. Every vote matters. There were more ways than ever to vote in PA. While this was good news, it was also confusing to many voters. You did everything possible to make sure that voters had the info they needed so that their voices were heard and their votes were counted. From staffing the PA Dems Voter Protection hotline and working the polls to phone banking and more, you got the job done! And, after the polls closed, you kept working. You cured ballots and you showed up in the streets to demand that every vote would be counted and to cheer the election workers counting around the clock.
  3. There is more work to do. We work on elections to bring about change, to implement policies that make people’s lives better, and to move toward a more just and equitable future. We will keep fighting to ensure affordable healthcare for all, to raise the minimum wage, to fairly fund our public schools, to protect the environment, and to end systemic racism, and more. We all have a role in creating a more perfect union, and we will keep working toward that goal.

But for a moment, let’s take a breath, and celebrate.

Then, join us on Monday, December 14 at 6:30 PM for a 2020 Election Debrief. Sign Up Here.

Thank you for staying in the fight.

— The Turn PA Blue Team

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Turn PA Blue
PO Box 934
Narberth, PA 19072

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Turn PA Blue is committed to harnessing the power and energy of committed volunteers to help elect Democrats up and down the ballot in 2020. The grassroots energy enhanced by Turn PA Blue has the ability to drive turnout and energy upward to help Democrats running across the state at all levels. Our goal is also to integrate the inclusion of new voices into the Democratic Party on all levels, with particular emphasis on strengthening the local parties whose infrastructure is vital to the growth and efficacy of the Democratic Party will also serve to “build our bench” for future candidate recruitment.

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