Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said Friday that the party aimed to contest every state in the 2018 mid-term elections rather than focusing energy and resources just in the regions where they have the best prospects.
"We're on a roll. If we carry out our strategy in all 50 states next year, we can take back the House. But I don't have to tell you that it's going to take a lot more to win in 2018 than it did in 2017. We have to compete across the country, and we're not going to catch Republicans off guard like we did this year," Perez said in a fundraising pitch to party members.
Parties usually tacitly concede states where the opposition is strong to focus resources on states where polls indicate that seats are up for grabs. So 50-state strategies are highly expensive for parties to execute.
Perez argues that the party's recent winning streak, including the Alabama Senate race and gubernatorial contests in Virginia and New Jersey, indicates that they have an opportunity to contest areas they otherwise wouldn't.
The upcoming election will be a major test for Perez, who is in his first year as head of the DNC and is under pressure to perform. He had to fend off a strong challenge Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who was backed the party's more liberal wing, to win the seat.