“I need one seat to get control of the Senate, and we can pass common sense gun laws,” said Terry McAuliffe the night before the elections, and he did everything he could to push for those gun laws, soliciting anti-gun groups from out of state to pour nearly $3 million into Virginia, primarily in two key Senate races.
Michael Bloomberg pushed ads costing $730,000 against NRA-backed Glen Sturtevant in Senate District 10 in Virginia’s elections, attempting to flip the “red” seat “blue.” Americans For Responsible Solutions (ARS) spent an additional $720,000 on pro-gun control advertising, opposing Sturtevant and supporting his opponent.
Bloomberg also dumped $1.7 million to merely maintain a Democrat in another “deep blue” Virginia district. Jeremy McPike, his gun control candidate under-performed Obama’s 2012 election by nearly 10%, probably due to the fact Bloomberg’s ads roused pro-gun voters in his district.
As a result of the clear loss and closer than expected victory after nearly $3 million in anti-gun ad buys, Democrats are wondering if their gun control focus backfired:
When Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his fellow Democrats study what went wrong for them in Tuesday’s crucial legislative elections, one possible mistake stands out: Their aggressive advocacy of gun control in a pivotal Senate race in the Richmond area may have backfired by producing a pro-Republican backlash.
In a race that proved decisive in enabling Republicans to retain control of the Senate, Republican Glen H. Sturtevant won the 10th District seat after benefiting from a huge turnout in conservative Powhatan County, which analysts attributed in part to the gun issue.
Sturtevant beat Democrat Daniel A. Gecker after GOP supporters ran ads blasting Gecker for trying to win the seat with $700,000 of outside help from pro-gun-control TV advertisements paid for by a group linked to former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.
McAuliffe had backed Gecker as far back as the Democratic primary and has broken with typical past Democratic practice in Virginia by openly opposing the National Rifle Association. That approach sparked some second-guessing in the wake of Gecker’s loss.
“The gun thing — I would have done it differently,” Sen. J. Chapman “Chap” Petersen (D-Fairfax) said. “It’s speculation at this point, but I feel the Gecker seat was one we thought we were going to win. . . . [The gun issue] was one variable that was thrown in at the last minute.”
A Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial said Gecker “made a massive mistake” by accepting the ads from Bloomberg. “A campaign focused on guns redounded to Gecker’s despair,” it said.
Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe bragged and boasted when he won office despite challenging the NRA. He mistook his victory over a weak Republican candidate as a sign that gun control was a winning argument.
Now? He’s pretending that his strong gun control push didn’t happen, and wouldn’t have mattered anyway:
Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Thursday brushed off Democrats’ failure to win the state Senate, noting that the GOP-dominated House can block his agenda no matter who controls the upper chamber.
“I wanted to win the Senate. I gave it all I have,” he said. “But at the end of the day, you know, it wasn’t going to make a difference really one way or the other. I still have only 34 Democrats in the House of Delegates.”
The comments were McAuliffe’s first since Election Day, when Republicans held their 21-19 advantage in the Senate. Democrats could have grabbed control by flipping just one seat because Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam presides over the chamber and has the power to break most ties.
Throughout the enormously expensive Senate battle, Democrats and Republicans alike portrayed the outcome as critical to advancing or blocking McAuliffe’s legislative goals. McAuliffe barnstormed the state ahead of Election Day and solicited millions in out-of-state donations. In the aftermath, McAuliffe acknowledged that even with the leverage of a Democratic Senate, the overwhelmingly Republican House stood ready to kill his priorities.
Folks, we all know Clinton acolyte Terry McAuliffe. If Gecker had won after Bloomberg’s late cash infusion, he would have claimed it was as a result of a “mandate” for “common sense gun laws,” and he would have ridden it mercilessly in the media.
Of course, he lost, so now he’s all:
The Clinton/Bloomberg machine was using races as a testbed for Clinton’s 2016 run, which is incredibly heavily invested in radical gun control and even confiscation as their primary domestic policy issue.
It looks like they’ve made a huge mistake in attempting to run against the NRA, which won 92% of their election on Tuesday.
You have to wonder if Hillary Clinton’s calculus in attacking the 5 million men and woman of the NRA isn’t shaping up to be a major disaster.