NRA Endorsed GOP Candidate Rick Saccone, Issued Him an A+ Rating, and Spent Money to Support Saccone’s Campaign
Apparent PA-18 Loss is the Latest in String of High-Profile NRA Electoral Blunders: NRA Backed Losing Candidates Ed Gillespie in Virginia, Luther Strange and Later Roy Moore in Alabama
NEW YORK – The National Rifle Association appears to have continued its string of high-profile electoral blunders this week, after endorsing Pennsylvania Republican State Rep. Rick Saccone, who lost to Democratic candidate Conor Lamb in a special election in Pennsylvania’s eighteenth congressional district.
The NRA endorsed State Rep. Saccone in every general election he ran in since 2010. In this special election, the NRA endorsed him once again, issued him another A+ rating, spent last-minute money to try to get him across the finish line, and also gave direct financial support to his campaign through its federal PAC. While Lamb’s campaign did not center around gun issues, he did not shy away from supporting criminal background checks on all gun sales, and even ran a TV ad contrasting his position on background checks with Saccone’s.
STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“The NRA made another bad bet and lost. The old narratives die hard, but political commentators should take note – it’s 2018 and common-sense gun safety, not the toxic NRA endorsement, is the vote-getter in competitive races.”
STATEMENT FROM RAY WARNER, A VOLUNTEER WITH THE PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“The politics of gun safety are continuing to shift in the favor of common sense. In this special election, there was a clear choice on the ballot between a candidate who supports gun safety and one who does not. Rick Saccone was in lockstep with the NRA, whose dangerous agenda is simply out of touch with the vast majority of Pennsylvanians. We congratulate Conor Lamb, and will continue our work to ensure gun safety is a winning issue in 2018 and beyond. ”
Republican State Rep. Rick Saccone’s apparent loss in Pennsylvania’s eighteenth congressional district is the latest in a string of NRA electoral missteps:
- In Virginia’s recent gubernatorial election, the NRA spent more than $1 million to support losing candidate Republican Ed Gillespie over Democrat Ralph Northam. Exit polling showed that the so-called “enthusiasm gap” has closed (with voters whose top issue was guns split evenly between the candidates, contrary to the previous conventional wisdom). Everytown’s own post-election polling found 48 percent of voters said Gillespie’s A-rating made them more likely to vote for Northam, while only 23 percent said it made them more likely to support Gillespie. Among voters who named guns as their top issue, Northam won by double digits.
- The NRA gambled on former Alabama U.S. Sen. Luther Strange in the Alabama U.S. Senate primary, and lost.
- The NRA then spent money to elect Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, and lost.
- The NRA opposed Tim Keller in the Albuquerque mayoral race, and also lost.