Ohio’s future depends on us.
The Stakes: High
“Ohio wasn’t like this when I was growing up.”
Since Republicans took over Ohio’s statehouse, our state has fallen behind. Struggling towns, crumbling schools, stagnant wages and constant scandals are the GOP’s legacy.
The Ohio GOP is so drunk on the statehouse’s power they’re ready to sell out your town – and your democracy – to keep it. They’re arrogant enough to think you won’t notice their lawlessness.
But they have a problem: you do notice. And we know you want to do something about it.
The Strategy: Show Up Everywhere
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. And for far too long, too many statehouse races have gone uncontested and unsupported. Democrats in these districts feel abandoned, ignored… forgotten. Meanwhile, GOP nominees get free passes.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Working together, we can show up for Ohio’s Democrats, making sure no Democrat gets left behind … no Ohio voter is left without a choice … and no Republican gets a free ride.
The Solution: You
By joining Blue Ohio, you become part of a community of thousands of people who understand we are fighting for the future of Ohio.
We can win that fight, if we work together.
No more unsupported races. No more forgotten voters.
No more free passes for the GOP.
Finally, accountability for all politicians in Ohio’s broken statehouse.
You can make that happen. Starting right now.
How Blue Ohio Works
Think of us as crowdfunders – for Ohio’s Democratic nominees for state legislature.
We make it easy for you to join thousands of other people and crowdsource democracy – supporting our nominees for a few dollars a month (which, these days, is less than you might spend on a fancy cup of coffee). And, as a monthly program, you just set it and forget it, knowing that you’re doing your part – no matter what else you have going on.
Thousands of people just like you want a Blue Ohio too, and understand that chipping in a few dollars a month (our average is $14/mo) is a small price to pay to protect democracy. Together, you’re amassing power to support Ohio Democrats in every corner of the state.
After the primary, Blue Ohio distributes 100% of the community funds directly to the Democratic state legislative nominees who need your help the most. And you rest easy, knowing that you are part of the solution. Job done.
Blue Ohio's Bottom-Up Bathtub Model
Blue Ohio funds the races that are usually left behind using our unique “bottom-up bathtub” model. After the Democratic primary, we use campaign finance filings to determine what nominees have the fewest resources. Then we distribute community funds first to those nominees who have raised the least – raising everyone’s “water level” and making sure that every nominee has a base level of support.
In 2020, 13 Democratic nominees for Ohio state legislature had less than $5,000. In 2022, because of the Blue Ohio community, no nominee had less than $5,800.
How Blue Ohio Helps
We have the data to prove it.
(C’mon, we’re Democrats. Of course we did a study!)
Running Nominees Matters
Just having a nominee for state house on the ballot increases the vote share for the top of the ticket by 1.5%.
But in 2020, 19 Ohio Districts had no Democratic nominee on the ballot.
The over 2.2 million Ohioans live in those 19 districts didn’t have the option to vote for a Democrat for state house … because there wasn’t one on the ballot.
Districts with no Democratic nominee
Ohioans in Districts with no nominee
Funding Nominees Matters
There’s more: Funding nominees boosts turnout, too. In fact, funding a challenger at $0.36 per eligible voter increases turnout by 1%.
But in 2020, another 27 Districts were underfunded – averaging just $13,400 to reach over 115,000 people.
Those 27 Districts include another 3.1 million Ohioans, who probably didn’t hear from their cash-strapped Democratic nominee.
Ohioans in Districts with an underfunded nominee
Running Funded Nominees = Massive, Data-Backed Impact
That’s over 5.3 million Ohioans left behind – either because they didn’t have the option to vote for a Democrat for state legislature, or because the nominee didn’t have what they needed to run a real campaign.
If we don’t run supported nominees in every Ohio district, we are leaving votes on the table.
Ohioans Left Behind
Here’s the good news:
Reaching those 5.3 million forgotten Ohioans is as simple as running and supporting Democratic nominees for Ohio state legislature.
You can help make that happen.
In 2022, I ran as a write-in candidate for State Representative in House District 37 after researching the unopposed Republican in my district and learning about his extreme positions. From the start, I knew I was in a red district and that my write-in status was a huge hurdle. But I firmly believed that voters deserved a choice—particularly in the wake of Dobbs. With Blue Ohio’s help, I was able to reach thousands of voters with postcards, canvassing materials, and yard signs. My reach scaled massively with Blue Ohio’s support. The best part? Many voters I spoke to told me they would show up to support me, even if they weren’t frequent flyers at midterm elections. My team got them to the voting booth in 2022, and that helped other Dems up and down the ticket. In the end, I got about 4,000 people to write my name in. I hope to never again see an unopposed Republican on an Ohio ballot—and this group is laser focused on making that wish a reality.
Showing up in every district across the state is key to our success as Democrats. Right now so much in politics is nationalized, with people talking about what’s happening in the White House, on Fox News or MSNBC. The way we cut through that is by talking face to face with people on their doorstep. The people who are going to be able to do that, especially in our more rural areas, are statehouse candidates and the volunteers that they’re able to recruit. It’s hard to be a statehouse candidate, and to have financial support from a community like this will mean a lot.
Investing in statehouse races gives people who are stepping up to run for office the ability to run good campaigns, get some experience, and establish political capital. Over and over again, we’ve seen individuals who run in unsuccessful statehouse races go on to run successful races for township trustee, or school board member, or city council member. Building our bench in communities all across the state is really how we get to the point where we start turning the state around. Republicans figured this out a couple decades ago, and they’re very disciplined about doing it. We have to be just as disciplined, and just as determined, because statehouses are so critically important.
I sit on the board of Lead Ohio, a progressive think tank that recruits and trains people to run for office. I often talk to people who are interested in running for the state legislature, but decide not to because they can’t get financial support for a race that looks like such a long shot. Their big question is “Why would anybody invest in me?” Having a system like this in place where everyone could get support alleviates that barrier and will absolutely help us recruit candidates.
When people ask me what they can do to turn Ohio around, I tell them how important it is to support Democratic nominees for state legislature. We’ve got to help the people who are fighting for democracy. Blue Ohio makes supporting these nominees something we can all do together.
For me and the activist groups I organize, Blue Ohio has emerged as a simple, smart, strategic method to support Ohio Legislative Democratic candidates who most need support. We love the goal to have a Democratic candidate for each Ohio House & Senate race … no matter what the odds of winning might be. Also, we love that each Democratic candidate will receive financial campaign support from Blue Ohio so viable races will be organized in each corner of Ohio. These candidates and campaigns will lift the entire Democratic slate up and down the ballot. We are super enthused about Blue Ohio!
State legislatures are the sweet spot of American politics: large enough for economies of scale but small enough that you win elections by knocking on doors. Ensuring every Democratic nominee for Ohio state legislature has the funding they need to run a professional campaign will make all the difference.
What You Get When You Join Blue Ohio
Membership in the only grassroots community that’s focused on making sure every Democratic nominee for Ohio state legislature has resources to run a campaign.
If you’re a member at the $10/month level or more, you’re automatically invited to participate in our members-only monthly Team Blue Ohio calls with acclaimed author and former Ohio Democratic Party Chair, David Pepper.
Knowledge – backed up with data – that you are boosting the vote share for the top of the ticket and local turnout, while helping reach the 5,367,872 Ohioans who were left behind in 2020. (See our Washington University study results!).
Pride that no matter what else you have going on, you’re doing something that’s meaningful and impactful.
Peace of mind that you’re fighting for a better future for yourself and your loved ones.
Satisfaction that just by being part of our community you’re telling the Ohio GOP that you’re on to them. You’re not letting their corruption and lawlessness slide, and you won’t let them sell out your democracy without a fight.
Gratification that you play a role in holding people in
the statehouse accountable.
In the News
Gaslit Nation, October 5, 2022 David Pepper has witnessed Ohio devolve into an electoral autocracy...
This month we're joined by special guest and Youngstown, Ohio native Ed O'Neill! You may have...
Nathan Hart, Report for America Corps Member, September 16, 2022 ASHLAND — Democrat Drew Burge of...
Frequently Asked Questions
How does supporting down-ballot Ohio Democrats boost results statewide?
In 2020, we ran a study and found that having a Democratic nominee for state legislature on the ballot increased the vote share for the top of the ticket by 1.5%. We know from a peer-reviewed study of 20 states that funding a challenger at $0.36 per eligible voter adds a whopping 1% boost to voter turnout!
So there’s a potential 2.5% bump for the top of the ticket if we run and support a Democratic nominee. Statewide, that leads to massive gains up and down the ticket! Bottom line: we can elect more Ohio Democrats. We just need to work together. Ready to get started? We’re glad to have you on board. Click here to join>>
Which nominees does Blue Ohio fund and how?
What are some of the "soft benefits" of running a supported Democratic nominee in every Ohio district?
Just by supporting the Democratic nominees that are running for state legislature, Ohio Democrats can build a bigger bench, build up local Democratic infrastructure, make Republicans fight (and spend) everywhere, and spread a progressive message through a local lens.
If we’re serious about reaching voters across all 99 Ohio Districts (and we are), then supporting the Democrats already doing the hard work is the most efficient and effective way to do it.
How much do most people contribute?
The average is just over $10/month. As an added bonus, everyone who contributes at $10/month is eligible to join our monthly team call, featuring David Pepper! They’re always informative and often entertaining – and a great time to ask any questions you have about Ohio politics.
What do I get for contributing?
Most importantly, you know that you’re part of the solution, and you’re doing something really powerful every single month. And – if you’re contributing at $10/month or above, you’re also added to our monthly Blue Ohio Team call, where we get together on Zoom with our Blue Ohio family to talk about recent events, progress, and all things Ohio. It’s a great time to ask David Pepper, former Ohio Democratic Party Chair and Blue Ohio founder, any questions about politics! All donors are added to our Blue Ohio Update email.
What percentage of my donation will Ohio Democratic nominees receive?
100% of your donation to the nominees goes to the nominees. Blue Ohio does not take a percentage. We rely upon tips revenue to grow this movement, and those tips are greatly appreciated! (Hint: Please leave one if you can!)
We’re also completely transparent about credit card processing fees. You may not realize it, but entities like ActBlue deduct credit card processing fees from your donation before sending it to candidates. So the candidate you’re supporting is getting less than you intended! Not with us – 100% of your donation goes exactly where you intended it to go. So if you want your donation to be $10/month, it is $10/month; the $0.57 in processing fees is added to your donation total for a monthly charge of $10.57. If you want your monthly charge to be a flat $10, no problem – just enter $9.44 into the donation field, and together with the processing fees that will all come out to $10/mo.
We also use a processor, Democracy Engine, LLC, that charges a lower percentage in processing fees. While ActBlue collects 3.95% and Kickstarter keeps 5% on top of processing fees, Democracy Engine collects a 3.75% + $0.20 processing fee.
Are you part of the Ohio Democratic party?
No. While we support the efforts of the collection of national, state, and local organizations that make up the Democratic Party, we do not coordinate with them. Our goal is to break radical Republican control, support and elect more Ohio Democrats, and preserve democracy.
Are you doing this kind of project in any other states?
Yes! We have an active project in Missouri and Texas and are hard at working bringing this project to other states that could use the same short-term electoral benefit and long-term investment. (The states on our short list of expansion projects include AZ, GA, MI, NC, PA, and WI. If you are interested in discussing any of those states, we’d love to hear from you. Just send an email to email@example.com.)
How does guaranteed funding help us run more nominees?
Fundraising is one of the toughest, and most detested, parts of running for office. It’s even worse for nominees who are in challenging, conservative districts. Eliminating the fundraising barrier means more people are willing to run, which makes recruitment much easier.
How can I help?
Glad you asked! First, you should join! (Do that HERE.) Second, we need people like you from all over the state (and country) to help spread the word. If everyone who asked this question could get five friends to join, we’d be well on our way to amassing the power that Ohio Democrats need.
Also: if you would like us to speak to your local group or organization, just reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When will my subscription end?
Democracy is a long game, and we’re in this for the long haul. So unlike most Democratic organizations, we’re not focused on any one cycle. Your subscription will continue until you tell us to stop. Just contact us at email@example.com at any time. We’re very approachable!
How do I stop or change my recurring donation?
Easy! Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time. We’re very approachable! (A tech build to create a software application that would allow user-modifiable donations runs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and right now our focus is on fundraising for the nominees rather than fundraising for technology. It was a priority call of ours, and we think it’s the right one. Still, that sort of platform is on our radar and wish list for future cycles.)
How do I contact you?
You can contact us at email@example.com at any time. We’d love to hear from you.