Winning from the Bottom Up: Turn Bucks Blue (Bucks County, PA)
A key part of MVP’s strategy to win the biggest federal elections is to invest in local groups working year-round to win the smallest local elections.
One example: Turn Bucks Blue, our local partner building power in Bucks County, PA — the state’s fourth most populous county and its largest “swing” county.
Turn Bucks Blue: A Blueprint for Contesting Swing Counties
In short, Turn Bucks Blue (TBB) is on the very frontlines of the battle for Pennsylvania’s political future, in a county that could determine control of the U.S. Senate and the presidency in 2024.
Bucks County was a GOP stronghold for decades, until the early 2010’s when Democrats began gaining ground in county and municipal races.
Among the largest four counties in the state, Bucks still remains the least racially diverse county with the oldest population.
In 2021, Democrats suffered defeat in every county-level election and many local and school board elections, making TBB’s work all the more crucial in November 2023.
2023 Priorities and Successes
Turn Bucks Blue laid out the following strategic priorities for 2023:
1. Win targeted township races with Democratic candidates.
2. Retain majority Democratic control of the Bucks County Board of Commissioners.
3. Defeat school board extremists who would deny every public school student the right to reach their potential in an inclusive school system.
• We helped gain Democratic control of four township supervisory boards, including Doylestown Township, New Britain Township, Tinicum Township, and Upper Makefield Township, electing supervisors who will be strong stewards of the environment, public safety, and responsible community development. And by winning elections we continued to fortify the Democratic base and build a deeper bench for higher offices in the future.
• We kept the Bucks County Board of Elections majority Democrat, a testament to our collective commitment to voter access, fair and transparent elections, rebuffing election deniers, and protecting the electoral process in 2024 and beyond.
• We successfully supported common-sense candidates and restored sanity in our community, especially in three major school districts (Central Bucks, Council Rock, and Pennridge), rejecting extremists and preserving the essence of our prized public education system.
Implications for the 2024 Elections
In 2024, Pennsylvania could determine the outcome of the U.S. presidential election as well as control of the U.S. Senate.
Presidential polling so far is tight, and of the four most populous counties — Philadelphia, Allegheny, Montgomery, and Bucks in that order — Bucks County delivered the smallest margin of victory for Biden in 2020.
As Turn Bucks Blue points out, in the biggest presidential battleground states including Pennsylvania:
“Swing-voter support in the suburbs will be the key to any Republican revival. … That’s why Bucks is one of the G.O.P.’s four “must-win” counties in 2024. We can’t let this happen.”
Our successes in Bucks County in the 2023 elections give us momentum heading into 2024 — but it’s up to us to intentionally keep it going.
In order to ensure that Democrats win Pennsylvania’s 19 Presidential Electors in November 2024, we need to invest not just in turning out the base in reliably Democratic strongholds, but in local organizing groups like Turn Bucks Blue that can fight for every vote in the more contested counties across the state.