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2020 Primary Analysis

March 2020: Super Tuesday Analysis

March 2020: Washington, Mississippi, Missouri and Michigan Presidential Primary

May 2020: What We Can Learn from CA-25 Special Election

June 2020: New Mexico's Historic Primary

Deep Democracy 2.0 by County Data April 28, 2020


Deep Democracy 2.0 — National
Strategy, Research, and Endorsement Criteria for Maria's List

Background on Deep Democracy 1.0


In 2018, Rivera Consulting, Inc. worked closely with Maria’s List to develop a formal and informal qualitative and quantitative methodology for political giving that includes literature review of local/regional newspapers, local election results, voter history research, and stakeholder interviews (e.g. campaign staff, candidates, movement staff and consultants). Driven by the core Maria’s List values of equity and access, deep democracy is a political giving strategy of stacking your political and philanthropic contributions EARLY and VERTICALLY over a political cycle in a geographic region to candidates, movement organizations, and intermediaries who strategically complement each other. This increases the likelihood to win races formerly deemed impossible when using only traditional indicators like polling, TV spending, and fundraising. The cornerstone of Maria’s List is applying a mixed method research approach that reviews primary and secondary sources from across traditional political research, movement organizations and leaders, and donor collaboratives. This allows us to better connect the dots to leverage political giving for the short term and/or long term.


Last year, the primary season strategy for Maria's List national strategy was funding the Southern progressive candidates and organizations that will create the turnout needed to elect a Democrat in the White House in November 2020. More specifically, our deep democracy identified specific races in Texas, New Mexico, Massachusetts, and New York. We identified women and people of color candidates in US Congressional races with expansion electorates. Just as important, we supported down-ballot state house and state senate pickups, movement organizations, intermediaries, and 2018 pioneers who needed protection.


In 2020, after a year and half of research and working closely with Maria Jobin-Leeds, Progressive Mass Funder Collaborative, and Mass Alliance, we are launching the deep democracy 2.0 strategy, research, and endorsement criteria for Maria’s List.


Future of Deep Democracy 2.0


In her March 24th analysis titled “A Post-Democratic Primary Update to the Bitecofer Model”, Rachel Bitecofer makes a compelling case for the Democratic and progressive path forward in the 2020 election cycle. Bitecofer, who’s 2018 election model aptly predicted Democratic gains in perceived longshot districts, presents three baseline metrics for predicting presumptive party vote share statewide for the 2020 Presidential election. Bitecofer is not considered to have the popularity of Nate Silver and other male counterparts, but she is slowly emerging as the most accurate electoral data scientists in this new emerging political reality. Those metrics include:

  1. The Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index

  2. The percentage of college-educated population within a state

  3. The percentage of non-white population within a state


As past Rivera Consulting, Inc. analysis has shown , college-educated voters have been highly motivated throughout the Democratic primary cycle, accounting for record turnout across several demographically distinct states. While vote share for people of color has primarily remained static or slightly below average, this environment presents a distinct opportunity to boost the political power of regions, districts, and communities that will benefit from motivated college-educated Democratic turnout.


For the remainder of this year, Maria’s List national will continue its strategy of funding the Southern progressive candidates and movement organizations that will deliver the turnout needed to elect Democrats to the White House, Congress, and state legislatures in November. Based on our deep democracy 2.0 research findings, the focus for the General election will be the following top five deep democracy states, with Massachusetts and New York on our secondary value tier.


2020 Deep Democracy States by Congressional District — Tier 1:


We have also compiled data on a slate of Tier 2 deep democracy states. While the data leads us to believe the value of return on investment is higher in Tier 1, the data is clear that there will be a number of opportunities for progressive gains in the following states:


2020 Deep Democracy States by Congressional District — Tier 2:


By identifying congressional districts and county-level down-ballot races within these targeted states, progressive donors will be better able to intentionally boost turnout amongst people of color while benefiting from self-motivated college-educated voters in the 2020 cycle. We will take this data to prioritize US Senate and Congressional races, as well as to inform county and down ballot research for candidates and movement organizations. By focusing our efforts on bolstering the turnout of people of color in these targeted regions, we can increase the viability of women and women of color candidates at all levels of the ballot. This will ultimately benefit Democrats at the U.S. Senate and Presidential level who will rely on people of color to put them over the top in closely contested races.