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Election Post Mortem

With several races yet to be determined, we do know that Republicans have gained a majority in the U.S. Senate.  With this change, pro-rights forces have also strengthened their hand in the chamber.  Here in Virginia, it appears that NRA “C” rated Senator Mark Warner has survived a scare from Republican Ed Gillespie with Warner clinging to a lead of just under 13,000 votes, although Warner has yet to claim victory and Gillespie has yet to concede.  It is possible that neither will happen until the state canvass votes is complete.  One note on the Gillespie race, if all of the people who cast a vote for 7th District GOP candidate Dave Brat and 10th District GOP candidate Barbara Comstock had also cast their ballots for Ed Gillespie, he would be celebrating victory.  For instance, in Chesterfield County, Gillespie underperformed the two GOP House Candidates also on the ballot (Chesterfield is split between the 4th and 7th Congressional Districts) by almost 5500 votes – almost half of his overall margin of loss.  How people could vote for Dave Brat and then cast a vote for Mark Warner, someone who has supported Barack Obama 97% of the time, is beyond me.

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Even though he is likely to win, Warner has to be smarting this morning.  Dan Palazzolo, a professor of political science at the University of Richmond, told the Richmond Times Dispatch:

“Voter turnout matters greatly. Too many Democrats stayed home, which is as much a reflection on Warner than Obama. He has lost 15 percent of his vote share from 2008.”

Over all, it was a good night for gun owners but there were some While candidates supporting firearm freedom won across the nation, gun owners in Washington State suffered a loss with the passage of Initiative 594 (I-594).  That is the initiative that supporters said would require background checks before you sell your privately owned firearm to another private individual, but in reality does much more. I-594 was approved with about 60% of the vote and the competing initiative I-591, which would not allow any background checks that exceeds what federal law was losing with about 55% of the vote against.  The gun ban lobby is already gathering signatures for a similar initiative in Nevada, and future campaigns are being planned for Arizona and Maine.  Look for them to push even harder for such a law in Virginia from the General Assembly.  Virginia is not an initiative state and their only avenue is to get the General Assembly to pass a law.

So, this election is behind us (with one runoff to be held in Louisiana) and we now look forward to the General Assembly elections in Virginia in 2015 where all 100 seats of the House of Delegates and 40 seats in the State Senate are up.  We have a very slim pro-rights margin in the State Senate and we need to protect and hopefully build in that next year.  Gun owners and take a break and enjoy the holidays, but then it’s time to get back to work in 2015.

Why Your Vote Matters

Do you think your vote matters?  If gun owners lose interest or don’t vote, someone else will fill the void and you lose control of what happens to your rights.

The Richmond Times Dispatch has this story on Thursday’s 7th District Congressional candidate forum sponsored by the Goochland Chamber of Commerce.  Republican Dave Brat, Democrat Jack Trammell and Libertarian James Carr were all in attendance.  The RTD noted it is the only time the three candidates have been, or will be, on stage together this election and they covered a number of issues, including gun control.

Brat, Carr and Trammell were also in unison about their support of Second Amendment rights, but shared different ideas about the federal government’s role in enforcing these rights.

“I don’t think it’s the government’s job to manage rights; rights are endowed by our creator and it’s the government’s role to protect them,” Brat said.

Trammell, a gun owner and hunter, said background checks still play an appropriate role in the way the Second Amendment is managed, noting that mental health is an underlying issue.

Carr said he is against additional regulations of gun ownership. “The issue is not instituting more background checks but enforcing the laws that we have now,” he said.

It’s interesting that the RTD noted Trammell said he supported the Second Amendment yet he did not return his NRA Candidate Questionnaire as he has a “?” as a rating for this election.NRAPVF2014

Dave Brat is the NRA-PVF endorsed candidate and deserves the support of all gun owners in the 7th District.

National Review has this piece that talks about Virginia’s NRA Endorsed U.S. Senate Candidate Ed Gillespie:

While Gillespie is focused on selling positive solutions, there is plenty in Warner’s record that should turn off not only conservative voters but also centrists aplenty. For one, Warner has slavishly voted for every one of President Obama’s nominees to the courts and executive agencies — even for radical lawyer Debo Adegbile, infamous for playing the race card while pushing for the release of the vicious cop killer Mumia Abu-Jubal. Seven other Democrats — but not Warner — joined Republicans in killing Adegbile’s nomination to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. This put Warner to the left even of Delaware’s leftist Chris Coons, who has a rating of 100 percent from Americans for Democratic Action and a lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union of just 2 percent.

Add to the above list that Warner voted to criminalize the private sale of firearms between longtime friends and gun club members.  Warner has worked hard to carefully craft the illusion that he is a “radical centrist.”  Don’t believe it.  Warner has done nothing to move any of the bills passed in the House but languishing on Harry Reid’s desk.  Gun owners can make the difference in this race.  Off-year elections are about who shows up on election day.  You can find out how to volunteer for Gillespie by going here.

 

The Richmond Times Dispatch reports this morning that a new Quinnipiac University poll has Mark Warner’s lead at nine points and under the magical 50% number with the election less than six weeks away.  The RTD notes that Warner may have more to fear from outside the Commonwealth than inside referring to a possible “GOP Wave” that could take Warner down much as the Democrat wave of 2006 took down then Senator George Allen:

Sen. Warner probably has more to fear from outside rather than inside Virginia. If the election turns out to be the kind of national wave for which Republicans are hoping, he might be the kind of incumbent who could find himself tossed around like Republicans were in 2006 and Democrats were in 2010,” Brown said.

Brown added that while Gillespie is within single digits of Warner, significant challenges remain for the challenger in the closing days of the campaign.

 “Actually Gillespie is tied with Warner among independents but the incumbent’s lead rests on Sen. Warner doing about 15 percentage points better among Democrats than Gillespie does among Republicans,” Brown said.

The article also noted that Warner has been able to maintain a lead and remained popular in Virginia because he is “one of the more conservative Democrats in the Senate.”  That is more appearance than reality.  While Warner was forced to govern more conservatively as Governor of Virginia because he had a GOP controlled legislature, he has voted in favor of initiatives supported by President Obama 97% of the time, including a vote to criminalize the private transfer of firearms.

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Other polls released in the last couple of days show Warner with a larger lead.  The sample in the Quinnipiac poll is just a little over a thousand people with a margin of error of approximately 3%, which is considered a good size sample.

Yesterday, the NRA Political Victory Fund endorsed Ed Gillespie.  You can download an NRA flyer here that can be distributed at your gun and/or hunting club.

NRA Commentator Natalie Foster talks about what she tells her friends who are not necessarily gun friendly, when they ask her why she carries concealed.

I hope not.

Click the tab above to join NRA or renew your membership and save $10.

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