Democrats face fierce urgency of 2018

More than three-dozen states will choose governors in the next two years, while voters pick state legislative candidates in thousands of districts across the country.

In the vast majority of cases, those legislators and governors will draw new political boundaries following the 2020 census that will determine just how competitive the battle for the U.S. House of Representatives will be in the following decade.

“The 2018 races are central not only to the individual states, but also to the federal policies in the House of Representatives,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, vice chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said in an interview. “The key that unlocks the governors’ doors also unlocks the House of Representatives. And we’ve got to get the national team to understand that.”…

“We all woke up over the past few years to the realization that Republicans beat us at the state and local level, and that that had far-reaching consequences for our numbers in the House,” Israel said. “We whistled past the graveyard in 2008, when Republicans just decided they would focus their money and their field operations on knocking off Democratic governors and legislators and seizing control of redistricting for a decade.”