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View Diary: Abbreviated pundit roundup: The NRA is seriously overplaying its hand (137 comments)

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  •  What, practically, is the NRA's electoral clout? (5+ / 0-)

    Does their endorsement actually swing a huge number of votes that would be otherwise available for a progressive or Democratic candidate?   It is reported that 72% of the NRA membership supports various limited forms of gun control.   So the nuts and bolts vote counting question would be - how many of the remaining 28% are the kind of survivalist, creationist, UN-fearing crazies who would never vote for a Democrat anyway?   Most, I would guess.

    Then, does their endorsement stimulate a lot of great volunteer door-knockers and phone bankers?   Similarly, I'd guess not.   LTE letter-writers?   Maybe, but I'd bet that a lot of that is astro-turfed anyway.

    So...at the end of the day...I'd submit that the importance of the NRA endorsement is the money that they give in campaign contributions.   Not that that is insignificant, but 2012 showed that a good ground game can overcome a financial deficit - at least to some extent.  

    A quick OpenSecrets search indicates that the NRA disposed of about $20M (between direct contributions and PACs) in 2012.   That's a lot, but - as Bush Bites points out - not as much as many of the new PACs and 503c's.   This was spread over 176 candidates, for and against.  

    I have to run, so I'll let others parse the success rates and impact.  I think it is lower than people think.  But the bottom line is that their resources are not unlimited, and if we make them spread them over more candidates who oppose their extremism, their impact will be further diminished.

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