In response to an outstanding showing for democracy and personal freedom in Virginia — Democrats flipped the House and retained a majority in the Senate, securing a crucial check on rightwing Gov. Glenn Youngkin — The States Project’s Founding Partner Daniel Squadron released the following statement:

“Tonight’s results are a resounding victory for Virginians who value their personal freedom and their democracy. These results prove something that The States Project has known all along: when we treat state legislative elections with the seriousness they deserve, we can defeat rightwing extremism. We hope the success of The States Project powering $4.7 million in Virginia – more than double any other national funder – is enough for others to heed the call. Because this is not just about winning some local seats before the main event next year; it is about protecting individual rights and improving people’s lives in Virginia and beyond.”

In Virginia, TSP made critical investments as part of its Core Electoral Program to secure governing power for lawmakers that will safeguard individual freedoms, defend democracy, and improve lives:

  • Better spending overall: TSP was laser focused on fueling evidence-based tactics to boost vote share. Those tactics included:
    • Candidate door knocking: In June, TSP launched its data-backed Candidate Door Knocking Challenge in competitive districts. The Challenge provided additional campaign investments to participating candidates who knocked the most doors — incentivizing the candidates themselves to spend their time meeting face-to-face with voters, instead of dialing donors for dollars. Candidate door-knocking has been shown to be one of the most effective tactics in state legislative efforts.
    • Local press: After successfully piloting its Local Press Project through a randomized controlled trial in 2022, TSP this year powered individualized local press support for campaigns in Virginia to increase the opportunity for earned media coverage and boost name recognition for key non-incumbent.
    • Ad testing: In 2022, TSP fueled TV ad testing – a best practice that’s never been deployed at scale for state legislative elections before – to ensure candidates’ television ads were most likely to persuade voters. This year, TSP did it again in Virginia.
    • Relational organizing: In a year where there was no top-of-ticket race, voter persuasion was necessary, but driving voter turnout was also vital. That’s why one of TSP’s investments this cycle fueled a relational voter contact program in key districts to increase turnout by helping campaign volunteers reach voters in their social networks.