The Colorado gun revolt of 2013 is being bandied about in Washington, D.C. as “the lesson of Cory Gardner’s 2014 election” — a case study in how the issue of gun control can boost Republican successes.
An editorial in Tuesday’s Washington Times puts Colorado at the center of the battle between gun owners and the Obama administration, thanks to Hickenlooper and the state legislatures gun restrictions that resulted in the successful recall elections.
But the ultimate victim was former Sen. Mark Udall, a supporter of the president’s gun measures.
The editorial cites a post-election NRA poll that shows just how important gun issues are to Coloradans, our growing sense that Democrats are overreaching on so-called control measures, and how that translates at the polls.
The voters who said they had seen NRA ads on television broke for Mr. Gardner over Mr. Udall by 57 percent to 40 percent, and of the 51 percent who said that they agreed with the values and goals of the NRA, 78 percent said seeing the ads made them more likely to vote for Mr. Gardner as opposed to only 8 percent who were turned off by them.
While 55 percent said they voted for Mr. Gardner because he was a better candidate, 38 percent added they cast their votes to demonstrate their opposition to Mr. Obama’s gun control agenda. That’s about 20 percent of all of those who voted: an incredible indicator of one organization’s impact.
Gardner’s strong Second Amendment record assured that he would receive NRA backing, which totaled more than $2 million.
And what of Sen. Michael Bennet’s record?
The NRA graded him with a “C” in previous years for supporting magazine bans and restrictions on gun show sales.
We don’t expect his record has improved any, if at all, and anticipate that gun issues and the money it brings to elections will be back just as strong in Colorado for the 2016 race – against Bennet.