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314 Action backed former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly for the U.S. Senate in Arizona and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a former geologist, for the Senate in 2020. The group was also an early supporter of registered nurse Lauren Underwood, who won her 2018 election for the U.S. House from Illinois and has since launched the Black Maternal Health Caucus…. [314 Action] has grown exponentially from 40,000 members at its 2016 founding to 400,000 in the 2018 midterms and now has a network of 6 million supporters.
The group 314 Action, referring to the mathematical number for Pi, seeks to raise $50 million for the 2022 election, an increase from about $25 million in the 2020 cycle. It also wants to raise $10 million for its preferred candidates, up from $5 million in 2020…. The group’s legislative agenda includes limiting global warming and addressing health care and cybersecurity concerns.
A group backing Democratic candidates with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math is looking to raise and spend $50 million in the 2022 midterms, listing two open Senate seats as top priorities…. The group, 314 Action, is aiming to recruit candidates with STEM backgrounds in seven Senate races and 39 House races, according to a list of targets shared first with CQ Roll Call.
One of the first scientists 314 Action helped elect was Joe Cunningham, a Democrat running in a red congressional district in South Carolina. Here’s how 314 Action helped elect this scientist to the U.S. House of Representatives:
Going into Election Day 2018, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver gave ocean engineer Joe Cunningham just a 9% chance of winning, but Joe pulled off a stunning victory. Winning with 50.7% of the vote, Cunningham’s win was called “one of the biggest upsets of the midterms” by the New York Times.
Previously a safe Republican seat, the race was put into play when Trump endorsed little-known State Rep. Katie Arrington, who built her campaign around his policies, specifically those in support of offshore oil drilling. Our candidate, Joe Cunningham, was able to leverage his experience as an ocean engineer to speak credibly on this issue.
We endorsed Joe and worked closely with him and his campaign team. With four weeks to go, our polling showed Joe within striking distance, but he needed backup, and no outside groups were getting involved. We saw an opportunity where our support could move the needle in an overlooked race in a relatively inexpensive media market.
Our PAC spent $523,000 to blanket the airwaves in the Charleston and Savannah media markets with comparative ads highlighting Joe’s opposition to offshore oil drilling in contrast with his opponent’s own words supporting offshore oil drilling. In a last-ditch effort to save Arrington, the NRCC spent $228,000 in the last week of the campaign, but it was not enough. Joe won with a relentless focus on local issues using his scientific background in a way that credentialed him to voters. With our help, he was able to overcome the challenging fundamentals of an R+10 district.
In races like SC-01, the stakes could not have been higher. If 314 Action hadn’t been able to pull together the resources to support Joe Cunningham, he would not have been elected to Congress and helped flip the U.S. House to a pro-science majority.
An example of our commitment is in the pivotal and highly competitive state of Arizona. During the 2020 campaign cycle, 314 Action raised more than $2.6 million for former astronaut Mark Kelly in his U.S. Senate campaign against close Trump ally Sen. Martha McSally. Thanks to the grassroots supporters of 314 Action, Kelly was elected to the U.S. Senate and helped flip the upper chamber of Congress.
Looking ahead to 2022, we’re maximizing our national and local impact. With so much at stake for our country, it’s imperative we elect scientists and STEM professionals up and down the ballot.
As a geologist, I’m proud to have the support of 314 Action Fund. Thanks to their support, my campaign for Senate got off to the strongest start possible. 314 Action Fund identified 60,000 grassroots backers for my campaign and raised over $110,000 for me in just the first 48 hours of the race.— Governor John Hickenlooper
We’re changing politics as usual across the country by electing scientists and STEM professionals up-and-down the ballot. For 2022, with the help of our network of grassroots supporters, we’re multiplying our impact.
October 2019 GSG Survey of 1321 voters in battleground states