New Virginia Poll Shows Gun Violence Prevention Is A Top Concern For Virginia Voters, And Opposition to Republican Positions on Gun Safety Is One Of Most Powerful Motivators
Spend Will Include Direct Mail, Ads on YouTube Pre-roll, Facebook, Instagram, Plus Banner and Google Search Ads in 8 Virginia Delegate Districts
NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund announced that it is launching a $500,000 campaign to protect and expand the gun sense majority in the Virginia House of Delegates, including digital and mail ads in eight key House of Delegates districts. The ad campaign is part of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund’s $1.8 million spending effort in Virginia’s 2021 election to protect Virginia’s gun sense trifecta.
As detailed below, Everytown is also unveiling today new polling showing that gun violence prevention is a top concern for voters, especially in the swing areas of Northern Virginia, the Richmond suburbs and Hampton Roads.
“The people of Virginia sent a gun sense majority to the statehouse because they wanted long overdue laws to keep their families safe from gun violence — and that’s exactly what they got,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Everytown is going all out this year to make sure voters know which lawmakers are going to build on this progress, and which ones want to roll it all back, putting the lives of Virginians at risk.”
The ads will target: Roxann Robinson in HD-27; Steve Pleickhardt in HD-50; Tim Cox in HD-51; Kim Taylor in HD-63; Christopher Holmes in HD-72; Mary Margaret Kastelberg in HD-73; Tim Anderson in HD-83; and Karen Greenhalgh in HD-85. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund has endorsed the Democratic candidates in each of those races.
Hundreds of thousands of pieces of direct mail will be sent to voters to make sure they turn out for this election. As part of the digital offensive, 30 and 15 second video ads as well as static ads will run on Youtube pre-roll, Facebook, Instagram and as banner ads. The ads will focus on persuasion and mobilization targets across the districts, including women and low-propensity voters.
Everytown is also unveiling results of a Virginia battleground poll conducted by Schoen Consulting, which shows gun violence prevention is a top concern for voters, especially in the swing areas of Northern Virginia, the Richmond suburbs and Hampton Roads. Specifically:
- Analyzing a series of statements made against Glenn Youngkin and Republicans running for House of Delegates across a wide range of topics, a gun violence prevention-centered message was among the top-testing statements for voters, stronger than statements on Republican responses to COVID, the economy, and the environment.
- There is broad support for a variety of specific, individual gun safety policies in Virginia, including 93% support for requiring background checks on all gun sales.
- Following the landmark gun safety laws passed in Virginia in 2020 and 2021, the vast majority (78%) of Virginia voters want gun laws in the state to be as they are now or strengthened.
- Telling voters about Republican positions on gun safety increased support for Terry McAuliffe on the candidate they trusted on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and domestic abusers (+14 net gain in support), reducing gun violence (+13), and strengthening gun laws (+11).
- Large majorities of likely voters in the Hampton Roads (87 percent), and Northern Virginia (82 percent), Richmond Suburbs (79 percent), believe that a candidate’s position on guns is important to their voting decision.
WATCH “KEEP FAMILIES SAFE” HERE
View one of the mail pieces, “DO ANYTHING,” here
A sample of the static ads is below:
The digital ads will click through to https://gunsensevoter.org/va21statehouse/, which highlights how the Virginia Republican politicians running in these districts have opposed common-sense gun safety and allows voters to look-up Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidates who are running for office in their district and who have demonstrated that they will govern with gun safety in mind. Candidates were awarded with a Gun Sense Candidate Distinction after filling out a questionnaire demonstrating their commitment to gun safety.
After the 2019 Virginia Beach mass shooting, polls showed that gun safety was the number one issue for Virginia voters. Everytown made major investments in Virginia in the 2019 elections, buying TV, digital, and mail advertising and activating its grassroots network to make sure voters knew who was on the side of gun safety and who was on the side of the gun lobby. And Virginians voted for gun safety, creating gun sense majorities in Virginia for the first time in nearly 25 years. The legislature then passed a suite of gun safety reforms, including landmark legislation to require background checks on all gun sales. Today’s announcement follows joint ads released with the McAuliffe campaign and Ayala campaign in recent weeks.