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Monday, September 22, 2014

Will NRA Strategy Hanging Bloomberg Around Necks of Democrats Work?

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reports that the NRA will begin running an ad in Georgia today tying gun ban advocate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn. Bloomberg has contributed the maximum amount an individual can contribute ($2500) to Michelle Nunn.
The Wire then compares this to the strategy Democrats have employed trying to tie the Koch Brothers, who have been major donors to conservative candidates and causes, to the NRA ads tying Bloomberg to various candidates.
Yet these types of strategies take a lot of time and money to bear fruit. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in April found that only 21% of Americans had a negative view of the Koch brothers – half didn’t know who they were and a fifth had a neutral opinion.
I would argue however that the NRA is not targeting the entire electorate in Georgia, but are targeting gun owners.  And gun owners know who Michael Bloomberg is and what he means for our rights.

The article also notes that Nunn has not made gun control a central part of her campaign, but, just like Virginia's Mark Warner, who is running for re-election this year, Nunn favors so-called "expanded" background checks.  Besides criminalizing the private transfer of firearms between lifelong friends and family members, the Manchin/Schumer/Toomey amendment (which Nunn's campaign used as a defense against the NRA ad) would have created a number of gun control measures.

I might agree with the Journal that in normal cases, trying to make a boogie man the reason not to vote for a candidate takes a lot of work.  But in the case of the NRA ads, they have a targeted audience to which they are playing and to that audience, Michael Bloomberg is like the plague and should help turn out votes for the pro-rights candidate.

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