Democrats have largely ceded control of state governments to the GOP, allowing them to rig our political system and undermine democracy itself. Now, we must do the work to repair it. After the 2016 election, Republicans had their largest majority in the states since 1928, controlling legislative chambers in thirty-two states and governor offices in thirty-three. They also held both chambers of the Congress and the presidency despite losing the popular vote. What happened? Meaghan Winter argues that the Democratic Party and left-leaning political establishment have spent the past several decades betting it all on the very risky and increasingly foolhardy strategy of abandoning the states to focus on federal races. For the American public, the fallout has been catastrophic. Taking us to three key battlegrounds–in Missouri, Florida, and Colorado–Winter reveals that robust state and local politics are the lifeblood of democracy and the only lasting building block of political power.