The NRA fired mostly blanks in the 2012 election, spending $3.4 million to oppose Democrats who won six key Senate races.That's two presidential elections in a row.
The NRA's PAC and its Institute for Legislative Action also spent $11.7 million supporting defeated former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney and opposing President Barack Obama, according to campaign finance data for the 2012 election cycle compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics and its Website, opensecrets.org.
In all, the National Rifle Association spent more than $17 million on the 2012 presidential and congressional contests, $11.9 million specifically in opposition to Democrats and $5.4 in support of Republicans.
With a membership of 4.3 million gun owners and gun-rights supporters, the NRA has long enjoyed a reputation as an influential lobbying group with enough clout to doom lawmakers from red states who oppose their agenda.
The 2012 election results undercut that perception, gun-control advocates insisted.
"It shows their influence over elections is a myth,'' said Brian Malte, political director of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. ``Right now, it's important to see that the NRA is ineffective, and if you're a politician weighing a vote and thinking `the NRA can take me out,' well, they don't have a very good track record.''
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