How 2020
Shapes 2022

This cycle, there are opportunities stacked upon opportunities: to win the White House, the Senate, the House, state chambers, Governor’s races, and local races. Our collective work will affect policy outcomes by electing the right people, and expand the electorate by centering women, Black, brown, and other communities most impacted by injustice.

Based on data and carefully analyzed electoral and demographic trends, The Plan to Win takes on 293 races up and down the ballot that underpin the path to the White House and Congress. And, because we know the way to win, not only are we fighting to defeat Trump, but in doing so, we are preparing for a new era in governance. By centering local movements, our investments will yield results far beyond short-term wins—laying the foundation for long-term power.

We have a plan, and if we work together, we can build the future we want—join us!


How 2020
Shapes 2022

In 2020, we made history together and secured big wins. As 2022 rapidly approaches, it’s critical that we understand how we won, so we can secure sustainable, long-term progressive leadership, and true change for those closest to injustice. The data we’ve analyzed identifies where both massive potential, and risk for base erosion lie ahead.


Dig into the full 100+ slide presentation with detailed data findings and analysis.

Our Key Findings

Way to Win’s 2020 post-election report includes data gathered from 11 key battleground states—Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia—as well as select national datasets.

Our analysis of 2020 election turnout patterns and modeled race and partisanship data uncovered three key findings and implications:


High Potential Voters are the Future of the Democratic Party

High-potential voters are the future of the Democratic Party. To expand the Democratic base with a durable coalition of individual voters, high-potential voters must be invited to become more habitual voters who consistently break for Democrats. Democrats cannot afford a scarcity mindset where we only talk to high-frequency “persuadable” voters in 2022.


Democrats Must Contend With Double Threats

Democrats must contend with a double threat in these 11 key battleground states—erosion of Democratic support and new voter enthusiasm for the GOP among voters of color and younger voters. At the same time, Democrats gained with some white voters in 2020, particularly non-evangelical Christians. These trends across our multiracial coalition demonstrate the urgent need for campaigns and independent groups to stop assuming voters of color will vote Democrat and silo them into nonpartisan mobilization messages with the majority of resources—and genuine persuasion efforts—targeted at white voters. Given losses among certain voters of color and gains among certain white voters, Democrats should take the stance of actively persuading all voters.


The Winning Progressive Coalition is Multiracial and Multigenerational

The winning progressive coalition is multiracial and multigenerational, which includes white voters and voters of color at almost equal weight, unlike among the GOP, in which voters of color comprise only a small fraction of the total. Rather than treating the multiracial coalition independently from one another based on race/ethnicity, class, gender, or age, progressives must find messages that unify the whole coalition around a shared vision.


In addition to voter file analysis, we worked with partners like Avalanche on qualitative research, as well as reviewed programmatic impact from 31 partner groups that illuminated insights such as these to the right.

These data-backed lessons from 2020 are the key to securing wins in a changing landscape in 2022 and beyond. Look back with us to stay ahead of the curve.

  • In 2020, Biden voters largely based their vote on character—and within that, largely voted against Trump while Republican voters were more actively engaged with the Republican Party’s agenda. To keep Biden voters coming back in 2022, those same Democratic voters will need a strong, clear vision to vote for.
  • That said, Biden voters are more likely to say their vote in 2022 can make a difference, with Latino and Black voters saying that their vote can make a big difference at higher rates than white voters.
  • The ground game in states like Georgia and Arizona was vital. When matched to voter file data, the calls, canvassing, and other forms of local-to-local voter outreach done by groups like LUCHA and New Georgia Project outpaced the margin of victory in the state.
  • 2020 non-voters are persuadable. In our qualitative analysis as well as that of our partners at Public Wise, they cite barriers and lack of information as the main reasons why they did not participate. These voters are gettable and should not be written off in 2022, as we will need historic turnout to win.

Organizing Partners

The data collected and analyzed includes programmatic impact data from the voter file gathered from MOUs with 31 grassroots partner organizations, in partnership with The Movement Cooperative. These organizations, of which there were 2–3 per key state, are run by leaders from the communities they organize, have scaled program, and build independent political power year-round. This is not an exhaustive list of Way to Win organizational partners, but those who were invited to participate in Way to Win’s 2020 Data Partnership.

Research Partners

The data collected and analyzed in our report also includes:

  • An analysis of 2020 Congressional TV advertising messaging done in April 2021
  • A 10,000-sample national poll conducted by Avalanche in June 2021
  • A national poll conducted by Data for Progress of voters in November 2020
  • Polls of Latinx voters conducted by Equis Labs in three states in 2021
  • TargetSmart voter file data from 2020 as well as from past election cycles
  • Results from a series of focus groups in 5 states with non-voters completed by Public Wise
  • Results from a series of studies to test the effectiveness of Race Class Narrative implemented by ASO Communications
  • Results of implementation of the Race Class Narrative by We Make The Future, in collaboration with organizing and research partners