Two Key House Members Targeted by Food Policy Action During Campaign Go Down in Defeat
Food Policy Action’s digital campaign targeting a slice of eligible voters with a powerful message about safe, healthy, affordable food and the ways it reaches our plates helped make the difference in two of the mostly closely watched Congressional races in the country.
In Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, Congressman Dave Brat (R) has an 8% lifetime score on Food Policy Action’s An Eater’s Guide to Congress Scorecard. In California’s 25th Congressional District, Congressman Steve Knight (R) has a 32% lifetime score on Food Policy Action’s An Eater’s Guide to Congress Scorecard.
In these districts, Food Policy Action-Education Fund used social media to get out a message about Congressmen Brat’s and Knight’s poor records on how food gets to their families’ plates. FPA focused solely on a select group of low-turnout voters where we could make the most difference and then leveraged messages from FPA’s chef network highlighting their “Recipes for Voting” to these individuals, urging them to get to the polls and vote.
RESULT: Dave Brat was defeated by Abigail Spanberger by less than 1.5%.
RESULT: Steve Knight was defeated by Katie Hill by 2.5%.
Food Policy Action reached out to busy, low-information women voters through paid, targeted advertising on social media. We chose key districts where our message could make a difference and that no other organization’s message could persuade in the same way.
“The bottom line is that in this election, FPA was the right messenger to persuade and motivate these voters on the critical issues before Congress about how and who has access to healthy and affordable food – something many of these folks think about with every single meal,” said Monica Mills, Executive Director. “They needed the information we could provide – and validate – to become informed voters and get to the polls. Our elected leaders in Congress should take positions that bolster a safe, healthy, and accessible food system. And these voters helped deliver that important message by pushing out two of the worst bad actors in Congress on food policy.”
Polling information from Lake Research Partners indicated that messages around “healthy, safe, affordable food for all” can persuade low-propensity voters in suburban areas–especially unmarried, college-educated women, with or without children. These voters expect incumbents to vote for good food policies, and when they find out that their representatives have voted otherwise, they are rightfully angry.
VIDEOS: Below are links to our “Recipe for Voting” videos taped by leaders within our chef network.
- Chef Andrew Zimmern, award-winning TV personality, writer, and teacher based in Minneapolis, MN, outlines the steps he took to make his plan to get to the polls, because “people with a plan are twice as likely to get to the polls.”
- Chef Marie Yniguez of Bocadillos in Albuquerque, NM, talked about getting out to vote “to make sure my voice is heard.”
- Chef Joy Crump and India of FOODE and Mercantile in Fredricksburg, VA, explained that “safe, healthy food shouldn’t be a luxury, it should be a right.”
- Chef Katie Button of Cúrate in Asheville, NC, uses her vote to hold elected officials “accountable for the votes you take on food and how it gets to our plates.”