The 2019 Challenge

Mobilizing the SEPA* Blue Community to Win in 2020

*South-East Pennsylvania


2019 is the critical bridge connecting mobilization of 2018 to winning in 2020.

The 2018 task was straightforward

The PA Blue Victory Fund was started in July 2018. Our goal: Turn PA Blue by 2020.

In 2018, the task was straightforward: raise money, mostly for state house and senate candidates, and grassroots organizations supporting those candidates – primarily Turn PA Blue. Strong candidates and broad Blue community mobilization resulted in a good start toward our 2020 goal.


2019 presents a less obvious challenge.

In 2019, the electoral landscape shifts from congressional, state-wide and state legislative races to county-wide and municipal. But the Blue community lets up in 2019 at its peril. 2019 is the critical bridge connecting the mobilization of 2018 to winning in 2020. The 2020 election will help determine the next U.S. President and PA redistricting for a decade.

 To rise to this challenge, the PA Blue Victory Fund will undertake a more proactive role. In addition to raising money to directly support candidates, grassroots organizations and collaboration, we will become a catalyst to convene, connect and facilitate across the Southeastern PA Blue community.


SEPA Suburbs & Philadelphia require different strategies in 2019


2019 Suburban Strategies - Still fighting for Blue control
Municipal and county-wide elections provide the ideal vehicle to build on mobilization of 2018.


  1. Develop clear understanding of suburban “opportunities & threats” electoral map based upon 2018 state house and senate elections. Identify and focus efforts on:

    • Districts of greatest opportunity.

    • Districts of greatest vulnerability.

  2. Use that understanding to target election efforts:

    • 2019 municipal and county-wide races especially as vehicle to maintain and enhance 2018 mobilization in targeted districts.

    • Get a head start on 2020 state house and senate races.

  3. Use that understanding to identify and address ”gaps” in grassroots capacity needed to support election efforts.

2019 Philadelphia Strategy - Building relationships for 2020

Maximizing voter turn-out in Philadelphia will be critical to winning PA’s 20 electoral votes in 2020. However, given overwhelming Democratic control and potential for division of primary elections, Philadelphia requires a 2019 mobilization strategy that does not center on the 2019 municipal primaries or mostly noncompetitive November elections.

  • Philadelphia is solidly Blue and highly Balkanized.

  • Philadelphia is diverse racially and ethnically.

    • 44% African-American

    • 36% White

    • 17% Latino

    • 7% Asian

  • Economically, there are two Philadelphias – those participating in a thriving economy and those left out. Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate of the nation’s ten largest cities.

  • In 2020, there will be no competitive statewide or local elections to drive local mobilization.

  • A 2019 strategy needs a non-electoral vehicle to foster relationships across Philadelphia’s economic, racial, ethnic, geographic and political divides. 


“Don’t show up two weeks before the election and expect my vote.”


No one size fits all.

Each racial and ethnic community has different core issues. And within those communities, there are sub-communities – geographically or ethnically based. Efforts to build relationships need to start with connecting to local organizations on their issues. Because coalitions seem few and far between, it will be difficult to scale our organizational efforts.  


Additional Philadelphia strategies

  • Work on fostering connections between Blue communities within Philadelphia especially around voter registration & voter turn-out. Use May primaries as focus of voter registration.

  • Encourage Philadelphia Blue community political giving in 2019 to build upon suburban electoral efforts and build capacity for 2020. Not to wait until 2020.


Read more about our election goals >