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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Four Virginia Senate Races Test Ground for Anti-gun Election Message

The Trace, Michael Bloomberg's online anti-rights mouthpiece has this article on how gun ban advocates are using four Virginia state senate races as a proving ground to show pushing gun control in elections can be a winning formula:
In this Virginia races, those messages are being guided by the results of experiments conducted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2014 cycle, says a source familiar with the planning. Married women ages 18 to 60, for instance, seem to react best to gun messages focused on family safety when specifically delivered by a law enforcement official or other first responder. Black voters, a group that tends to vote less frequently in non-presidential election years, can be mobilized by receiving mail about high-profile shootings of unarmed black youths.

“We are starting to build an analytical model of who to target, how to target them and how to do that well,” says Arkadi Gerney, vice president of campaigns and strategies for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Some of the most sophisticated analytics firms, the guys from the Obama campaign, are involved. It’s getting better, but still has a ways to go.”
Up until now, gun ban advocates have tried using the 2013 election of Terry McAuliffe as Virginia's governor to show that gun control is no longer the recipe for defeat.  But even the folks over at the Trace know that is a stretch as a number of factors played in the defeat of the GOP candidate in that race.  Plus, all of the pro-rights House of Delegate candidates the gun ban lobby targeted in 2013 won.  So, the gun ban crowd is hoping wins in the four targeted races will prove gun control is no longer a loser.

The basis for their strategy appears to be this:
One eye-opening stat is already driving the Virginia project: Gun messages are the No. 1 issue that voters there say can motivate them to turn out this November, according to polling seen by The Trace on condition that the exact numbers not be disclosed. Notably, the survey was conducted before the on-air shooting in August of two Roanoke journalists, a local event that operatives believe only intensified the sense that something needs to be done to curb gun violence.
The other side thinks our side is already motivated to go to the polls and we can't turn out more than we already do.  They are looking to do something that for the most part hasn't worked up to this point - get people who support restrictions to vote solely on that issue, and/or get people who may not usually vote in off-year elections to go out and vote for gun ban candidates.

As this blog reported at the end of last week, the gun ban lobby is dropping over a half million in Virginia to help the Democrat anti-rights candidates.  The candidates mentioned in that post are the folks mentioned in the Trace article plus a forth, State Senator Frank Wagner.  The previous post did not mention Wagner because his opponent has made some major missteps (misleading statements about prior military service, his employer cutting ties) recently and it looks as if that race may no longer be competitive.  The candidates that gun owners need to support in addition to Senator Wagner are:

10th District: Glen Sturdevant (The Trace incorrectly said Sturdevant is an incumbent)
13th District: State Senator Dick Black
29th District: Hal Parrish

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