NRA Backs Pro-Gun-Rights Democrats Over Republicans in Some Key Races

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Tom Diemer
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Subscribe :Help for some imperiled Democrats is coming from a place where many of the party faithful might least expect it -- the National Rifle Association, sworn foe of the gun-control cause.

The NRA, a non-partisan organization that traditionally leans heavily toward the Republican side, has endorsed 58 incumbent House Democrats, including a dozen in key seats viewed as critical in the party's struggle to hold its majority, the Washington Post reports.

The gun lobby, which can make a difference in any district that is home to a fair amount of hunters and sportsmen, isn't flirting with the Democratic Party, an organization that's often in the forefront of gun-control legislation on Capitol Hill. Rather the NRA has a policy of backing incumbents in contests where both candidates are deemed equally supportive of Second Amendment issues. Many individual Democrats -- albeit a minority in the Democratic caucus -- consistently support gun rights and oppose gun control measures.

Among those Democrats hoping to benefit from the NRA's blessing are Reps. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota, Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota, John Boccieri of Ohio, Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania and Tom Perriello and Rick Boucher of Virginia, the Post said. Overall in the House, the NRA has endorsed many more Republicans than Democrats, and those candidates have gotten twice as much NRA money, $350,000, as have Democrats.

Since gun control has not been a burning issue on Capitol Hill in the past year or two, most of the NRA's favorites were spared tough votes where they could have been forced to buck their party's leadership. When Attorney General Eric Holder said last year that the Obama administration might try to bring back the federal ban on the sale of assault weapons, several dozen House Democrats sent him a letter opposing the idea -- and it went away.

It's a different picture in the Senate. Not a single Democrat has NRA backing -- not even Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has been endorsed by the NRA in the past. The group has not issued an endorsement in Nevada, where Reid is in a close race with Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle.
Filed Under: Senate, House, Democrats, Republicans, Guns, 2010 Elections, Congress, Harry Reid, Campaigns
Tagged: 2010 Elections, 2010 House Elections, 2010 House Races, 2010 Senate Elections, 2010 Senate Races, dailyguidance, Earl Pomeroy, Harry Reid, National Rifle Association, Nevada Elections, Nevada Senate Race, North Dakota House Race, NRA, Sharron Angle, Tom Perriello, Top 2010 House Races, Virginia 5 Race, Virginia Elections, Virginia House Elections
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