On November 5, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety emerged from the Republicans’ historic midterm victories to say that gun control is a proven “winner.”
According to Capital, Group President John Feinblatt said, “We are showing that after years of talking about this issue, you can talk about gun sense in elections and you can win.”
To be clear–a number of Bloomberg-endorsed candidates won, but that was because Bloomberg waited until late in the election cycle to endorse anyone, and they were largely endorsed incumbents who had already proven they were going to win.
On October 7, Breitbart News reported that Bloomberg endorsed 78 candidates, 68 of whom were incumbents, thereby shielding his group from the appearance of losing in the event that there was a huge Republican win overall. Indeed, there was a huge Republican win–in part a backlash against gun control, it seems–but Everytown claims victory because approximately 70% of their list of safe picks managed to win.
How far did Bloomberg go to prevent the appearance of loss? He went so far as to endorse some candidates who were endorsed by the NRA. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) is one such candidate. This allowed his group to benefit from the work the NRA did to help Snyder, and then once Snyder was re-elected, this allowed Everytown to claim victory.
However, Snyder is pro-gun, so this is no shot-in-the-arm for gun control.
Bloomberg got shellacked on his high profile picks. For example, he endorsed Senators Mark Udall (D-CO) and Kay Hagan (D-NC), both of whom lost. He also endorsed candidates Michelle Nunn (D-GA) and Bruce Braley (D-IA), both of whom lost, as well. They fell victim to the national shift away from gun control candidates–the shift that helped take the Senate out of Democrat hands and give it to Republicans.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.