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A Link Between NRA and Cambridge Analytica

March 22, 2018

In light of Cambridge Analytica’s recent data scandal, we wanted to flag this Guardian report from September 2016 for you, titled “NRA to spend $15m on ads to defeat Hillary Clinton in key states”.

Based off this 2016 report, it appears the NRA contacted Cambridge Analytica either directly or indirectly to work together on voter registration efforts:

“Another key big-money link involves the hedge fund tycoon Robert Mercer, who has given a pro-Trump Super Pac at least $2m, and is also a lifetime NRA member and a Koch network donor. This year Cambridge Analytica, a voter data firm in which Mercer is a key investor, has worked with the Herald Group, a DC-based consulting firm, to implement the NRA’s “Trigger the Vote” drive to register new voters and get them to the polls. i360, a big voter data firm that is closely tied to the Koch donor network, has also been involved in the Trigger the Vote campaign.”

So, it appears that the NRA has had a working relationship with Cambridge Analytica. Will the NRA come clean and explain the full extent of Cambridge Analytica’s work for the NRA, or work on NRA campaigns?

This also raises the fact that most of the money spent by the NRA to elect Trump was spent by an arm of the organization that is not required to disclose its donors, and according to McClatchy, NRA spending may have exceeded $70 million during the 2016 election.

McClatchy noted that the $15 million discrepancy between the NRA’s reported spending that year, and the $70 million figure, may be due to the fact that the NRA isn’t required to report its spending on internet ads — a specialty of Cambridge Analytica.


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