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What is red to blue DNCC?

What is red to blue DNCC?

The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) is the formal governing body for the Democratic Party in the United States. Every four years, the DNCC oversees the process of nominating and confirming a presidential nominee to represent the party in the general election. Recently, there has been discussion about the so-called “red to blue” program of the DNCC, which aims to flip Congressional seats from Republican to Democratic control.

Background on the DNCC

The DNCC is composed of elected members from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. In presidential election years, the DNCC is responsible for planning, hosting, and funding the Democratic National Convention, where the party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees are formally selected. The DNCC also sets rules for the Democratic presidential primary process and assists state parties in promoting the Democratic platform and candidates. In non-presidential election years, the DNCC focuses on electing Democrats to Congress and state offices.

The chair of the DNCC oversees the committee’s operations and works closely with party leadership and Democratic candidates. Past chairs have included prominent Democratic politicians like Howard Dean, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Tom Perez. The DNCC has a national staff based in Washington D.C. that handles fundraising, communications, research, and other day-to-day activities. The staff works under the guidance of the chair to execute the DNCC’s program.

DNCC’s Red to Blue Program

The DNCC’s red to blue program is an effort focused on electing Democratic Congressional candidates in districts currently held by Republicans. Redistricting after each census re-draws Congressional district lines, presenting new opportunities for each party. The red to blue program strategically identifies the most promising pickup opportunities for Democrats in the upcoming election. The program has three main components:

  • Candidate Recruitment – The DNCC actively recruits and encourages strong candidates to run in targeted red districts.
  • Financial & Strategic Support – Endorsed red to blue candidates gain access to DNCC financial contributions, national voter data, and strategic advice.
  • Visibility – The DNCC gives extra promotion to endorsed red to blue candidates, helping them fundraise and get media exposure.

Getting the DNCC’s red to blue designation signals that national Democrats see a candidate as highly viable and worth investing in. Candidates are thoroughly vetted to ensure they are strong contenders before receiving the red to blue endorsement. Between candidate recruitment, fundraising help, and media promotion, the program aims to put candidates in the best possible position to flip red seats blue.

History and Impact of the Program

The origins of the red to blue program can be traced back to the 1996 election cycle, but it really became an institutionalized focus starting in the 2000s. In the 2008 election, Democrats won a net gain of 21 House seats, many of which were red to blue victories. The program also helped lead to winning the House majority in the 2006 and 2018 midterm election years. Here is a table showing a history of red to blue gains over the last decade:

Election Year Total Red to Blue Seats Won
2008 12
2010 2
2012 9
2014 2
2016 5
2018 22
2020 10

As the table shows, red to blue gains can vary significantly by election year depending on the national political environment. But cumulatively, these flipped seats have helped move the balance of power in the House of Representatives. This has enabled Democrats to gain control of committees, set the legislative agenda, and check the President’s power. Even in election cycles when Democrats did not retake the majority, vital red to blue victories gave the party momentum for future elections.

Red to Blue Process and Selection Criteria

Candidates interested in earning the DNCC’s red to blue designation must go through an extensive screening and application process. The DCCC looks at factors like the districts voting history and demographics, the candidate’s fundraising ability, and background/experience. Applications include written questionnaires, interviews, and formal presentations laying out the candidate’s electoral strategy and justifying why national support is deserved. The DNCC has become more selective over time, ensuring candidates can prove they are positioned to seriously contest a red district.

Some of the criteria considered in the red to blue selection process include:

  • Fundraising strength – Candidates must demonstrate robust fundraising without heavy dependence on DCCC support. Generally, candidates need to raise at least $250,000 from individual donors.
  • Competitiveness – The district must be winnable for Democrats based on past voting margins, redistricting changes, and the political climate.
  • Local support – Endorsements from community leaders and influencers shows the candidate has legitimacy.
  • Grassroots mobilization – Field programs and volunteer networks expanding the base of support are positive signs.
  • Campaign infrastructure – Staff, advisors, data resources, offices, and other foundations for executing strategy must be in place.

These and other criteria allow the DNCC to thoroughly vet candidates and ensure they merit the party resources that come with being named to the red to blue program. It is not just about recognizing candidates who may win, but strategically deciding where extra support could make the difference in flipping a tough district.

Current Outlook and 2022 Red to Blue Candidates

Entering the 2022 midterm election cycle, Democrats hold a narrow 220-212 advantage in the House. However, Republicans only need to flip a net of five seats in November to regain the majority they lost in 2018. Historical precedent suggests the president’s party typically suffers losses in midterm cycles, adding to Democrats’ challenge.

For 2022, the DCCC has named over 60 candidates to the red to blue program after extensive vetting. These candidates are running in districts from California to Pennsylvania, covering every region. They have raised over $162 million collectively based on latest filings, outpacing GOP counterparts in targeted races. The DNCC will be making major investments in these red to blue campaigns through television ads, voter outreach tools, and more. Democrats are hoping the program can minimize losses or even achieve an unexpected net gain despite political headwinds.

Some of the top red to blue campaigns attracting national attention include:

  • Val Hoyle (Oregon) – Running for open seat in competitive OR-4 district.
  • Emilia Sykes (Ohio) – State legislative leader challenging vulnerable GOP incumbent in OH-13.
  • Josh Riley (Pennsylvania) – Veteran and attorney vying for open PA-8 seat in swing district.
  • Rudy Salas (California) – State legislator running against Republican incumbent in agricultural CA-22.

The DNCC will be monitoring these and other races closely through November, providing strategic and financial support where it is most needed. With Democrats defending a slim House majority, the red to blue program will be instrumental in deciding which party controls Congress in 2023.


In summary, the Democratic National Convention Committee’s red to blue program has become a strategic pillar for the party’s efforts to gain House seats from Republican control. The extensive vetting and endorsement process allows the DNCC to maximize limited resources for candidates with the strongest chances of flipping districts. Since its inception, the program has led to dozens of electoral victories, helping Democrats win House majorities in 2006, 2008, and 2018. The program will once again play a pivotal role as Democrats try to hold their majority in the hotly contested 2022 midterms.