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The Arizona State Capitol building.
The Arizona State Capitol building. Joe Sohm / Universal Images Group via Getty

Outside groups looking to flip state legislative chambers make their closing arguments

Republican messaging includes focus on inflation and crime, while Democrats talk election deniers, abortion and education.


With less than two weeks left to Election Day, most eyes are tuned to the battle for control of Congress, but some groups are laser focused on securing majorities in state legislatures across the country.

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) is out with new digital ads in three states where they hope to break up Democratic control in the Nevada, Maine and Colorado statehouses.

"Pump the brakes on Carson City liberals, vote Republican for legislature," a narrator in the Nevada ad says.

All three ads highlight inflation, crime and healthcare to convince voters to vote for Republican state representatives.

"The people of Colorado, Maine, and Nevada continue to suffer from devastating Democrat-one party rule that has been a disaster for the financial and economic security of their constituents," Dee Duncan, the president of the RSLC, said in a statement.

At the same time, one Democratic group called Forward Majority is supporting candidates in 25 seats across three state legislatures -- Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona. They're spending over $20 million this cycle, joining another Democratic group called the States Project, which plans to spend $60 million by the end of this cycle in legislative races in five states.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Vicky Hausman, the co-founder of Forward Majority said, "We are trying to flip state legislative chambers in places like Michigan, where the Michigan Senate has been in Republican hands for nearly 40 years and in places like the Arizona House, where Republicans have controlled the chamber since 1966, literally when Lyndon Johnson was in office."

One of the top messages Forward Majority has found to be resounding in all three states they're targeting is protecting abortion rights, Trent Armitage, the group's campaigns director said at a briefing. But, with less than two weeks until Election Day, Armitage says they've also honed in on hyperlocal issues that resonate with voters.

In Michigan, Armitage said, those local issues include improving water quality and increasing funding to schools. In Pennsylvania, local issues include public education, election denialism among some candidates and property taxes. And in Arizona, local issues that Democrats are focusing on also include education and election deniers.