The NRA's bark was certainly loud, but its bite was toothless.
The facts are staggering. In all, less than 1 percent
(actually 0.81 percent) of the (inaptly-named) NRA Political Victory
Fund's political spending was spent in support of winning candidates.
The NRA spent more than $100,000 in each of seven Senate races; its
candidate lost in six of those seven. Not many House incumbents lost -- 26 as of last Tuesday -- but more than two-thirds of losing candidates (18 in all) had the NRA's support.
2012 is hardly the first election to prove that the NRA is not the political force it pretends to be. Paul Waldman
analyzed NRA influence in federal elections from 2004-2010 and found
that "NRA contributions to candidates have virtually no impact on the
outcome of Congressional races."
Waldman also disproved
the widely-repeated claims that the NRA was key to the GOP's takeover
of the House in 1994, and to the 2000 presidential race. When one looks
at the facts, it is clear that both races turned on partisan politics,
To those of us who study the facts, it is not surprising that the NRA
is so ineffective delivering votes against candidates who support
common sense gun laws. After all, the vast majorities of NRA members and other gun owners
support the common sense gun laws that the NRA vehemently opposes. So
no matter how many millions the NRA spends to tell gun owners that their freedom is at stake in an election, not many are buying it.