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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Warner’

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.

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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.

 

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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.

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Warner leads Gillespie 53-31.  Bearing Drift has the story here .Warner is benefitting from stronger support among Democrats than Gillespie has among Republicans, and strong support from independents. He also has significant support from Republicans.

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In the latest mailing to Virginia gun owners, NRA-ILA calls out Mark Warner for his vote in April of 2014 that would have criminalized gun sales between lifelong friends and family members:

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As the above graphic shows, NRA-ILA also reminds gun owners that Mark Warner has voted for every anti-gun U.S. Supreme Court nominee.

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In their last mailing, NRA-ILA simply noted that GOP nominee Ed Gillespie would stop the Obama/Bloomberg gun ban agenda without any mention of Mark Warner.  In this mailing, they have stepped up their support for Gillespie by calling out Warner for his voting record.

warner2014This race is still considered a safe Democrat seat.  However, Warner has made the unusual move to agree to six joint appearances with Gillespie between now and the end of the campaign.  Incumbents who are in races that polls show a double digit lead usually ignor their opponents.  Be that as it may, Warner has agreed to meet Gillespie in two televised debates: on Oct. 7 in Fairfax County and on Oct. 13 in Richmond.  They will also have four joint appearances: two in Northern Virginia in September (one of which was held yesterday), one in Danville in October and another TBA.  It should be noted that in the four “joint appearances” the two candidates are unlikely to interact as they would in a debate.

In a Q&A that the Richmond Times Dispatch published this past Sunday, Warner told the paper that while he was a supporter of Second Amendment rights, he believes that “reasonable rules” should be passed to strengthen background checks.

Gun owners should do all they can to help Gillespie defeat Mark Warner.  You find the closest Gillespie office to you by clicking here.

 

 

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That’s the question the Washington Post asked in this article over the weekend:

In addition to airing TV ads in several states, the NRA blanketed its home state — the group’s headquarters is in Fairfax County — with direct-mail material touting Republican Ed Gillespie, the former lobbyist who is running against Sen. Mark R. Warner (D). Gillespie, the mailer says, is the antidote to the “Obama/Bloomberg gun control agenda.” And more are expected.

The ad could have unintended consequences for Gillespie, who secured the nomination in part by courting tea party conservatives but who is now trying to woo more-moderate general-election voters.

Gillespie risks alienating the electorate in vote-rich Northern Virginia who may be turned off by Second Amendment rhetoric, especially after mass shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007 and an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.

As the article goes on the Post points out that in some parts of Virginia, that message may resonate but in others like Northern Virginia and Tidewater, they may alienate “moderate” voters that Gillespie needs to pull an upset.  But the Post should know that the NRA is mailing that piece to friendly voters – either NRA members, or lists they have purchased or acquired of like minded voters like hunters.  So, that flyer is likely not to have a negative impact on Gillespie.

However, Tom Gresham brought up a more important point on his radio program yesterday about the larger NRA ads hitting Michael Bloomberg, ads also discussed in the Post article.  The ads in question start out talking about how “liberals” view our country then goes on to talk about Bloomberg and “elitists.”  Gresham question if the term liberals might not turn off some people who are with us on gun rights.

Gresham is not the first to make this point.  Shortly after this year’s NRA Annual Meeting this year, Sebastian over at Shall Not Be Questioned asked if NRA’s messaging was getting too doctrinaire conservative:

If we’re going to have long term security for this issue, it needs to be bipartisan. I believe the Republican Party may enjoy some short-term success over the next several years, if only because of overreach by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. But over the long-term, if the Republicans do not adjust their own message to be more palatable to younger voters, demographics will turn to the Democratic Party into the dominant party. And then what? Any strategy for preserving gun rights has to recognize that there are a lot of gun people out there who are not doctrinaire conservatives, and even liberals. I’m always surprised by how many liberal gun owners read this site.

I don’t presume to know more than NRA on this subject, but I do think both Gresham and Sebastian make good points.

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I got this mailing piece from NRA-ILA yesterday:

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It’s clear that incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Warner’s support for both of Obama’s anti-rights Supreme Court nominees and his vote for Manchin/Schumer/Toomey cost him his previous “A” rating and any chance of an endorsement for re-election.

Please contact the Gillespie campaign today and take some time to volunteer in your area.  You can find a campaign office near you by clicking here.

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