Victory Report: Election 2004
Working together, NRA Members,
gun owners and sportsmen played
a deciding role in election
victories across the nation,
including the race for the White House.
BY CHRIS W. COX
NRA Institute for Legislative Action
A sharply divided America went to the polls on Election Day 2004, the political pundits all said. Without a doubt, there were two very different sides.
Aligned in one camp were: a George Soros-led anti-gun club of billionaires that raised upwards of $100 million to buy a “regime change;” the gun-hating media elite; litigious trial lawyers; frivolous celebrity activists; poisonous propagandist Michael Moore; a network news anchor with an affinity for forged documents; assorted rocker/rappers yelling “Vote or Die;” an irate 50-year-old shock jock with a giant audience; a meddling foreign press, and, finally, some highly suspicious exit pollers. Together with the usual anti-gun and anti-hunting groups, they all supported John Kerry, a presidential candidate shamelessly faking support for the Second Amendment in order to camouflage his 20-year anti-gun voting record.
|Victory by the Numbers
In addition to election materials in millions of NRA magazines and 4 million visits (from August through Election Day) to the www.NRAILA.org, and www.NRAPVF.org websites, thanks to your generous support, NRA and the NRA Political Victory Fund were able to spread the truth across America. Focusing on Presidential battleground and key U.S. Senate race states, we were able to distribute:
We proudly stood on the other side—ordinary Americans of common bond. Men and women who revere the entire Bill of Rights; who believe homeland security begins at home, not in the United Nations; who decide for ourselves how to vote; who resent having our values mocked, and who find Sen. Kerry’s notion that Hollywood represents “the heart and soul of our country,” very strange.
We are the ordinary Americans who re-elected President George W. Bush with the largest popular vote in history. President Bush also achieved the first popular vote majority in 16 years and became the first candidate to be re-elected President and have his party gain seats in both houses of Congress since Franklin Roosevelt in 1936.
Together, we also were able to defeat Democratic Minority Leader Tom Daschle, who worked behind the scenes to kill the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act last spring and who led unprecedented filibusters against pro-gun judicial nominees. The stunning victory of former Congressman John Thune, a staunch Second Amendment supporter, made the highly partisan Daschle the first Senate leader in 52 years to be defeated for re-election.
Thanks to your support of NRA and the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) we were able to run 300 ads in 150 South Dakota newspapers, air 1,200 radio spots and 750 television spots, put up 30 billboards and make 150,000 combined mailings and phone calls. In the closing days of the campaign, we sent 82,000 pieces of mail to the Mount Rushmore State voters.
In the U.S. Senate, we saw a net gain of four pro-gun votes, with victories in Florida (Mel Martinez), Louisiana (David Vitter), North Carolina (Richard Burr), South Carolina (Jim DeMint) and South Dakota (Thune), and a loss in Colorado. In fact, 13 of the 14 Senate candidates we profiled in the November NRA magazines won their races. Of the 251 candidates endorsed by NRA-PVF in U.S. House of Representatives races, 241 won, for a 96% winning percentage!
Roughly 7,000 state legislative races were held November 2, and your NRA-PVF was involved in more than half. NRA-PVF-endorsed candidates won 86% of their races. Pro-Second Amendment gubernatorial candidates supported by NRA-PVF won 9 of 11 elections, with the Washington race still too close to call. In state Attorneys General races, all of our candidates carried the day.
We were able to achieve tremendous victories November 2, because you responded time and time again to our requests for support. You realized that the challenge to the Political Victory Fund was acute this year, as the new federal “campaign finance” censorship rules forced the PVF to shoulder the vast majority of our expenditures in this election cycle. But loyal PVF donors answered that call in droves, putting victory within our reach. Take a moment to congratulate yourself on a well-earned major victory, and please accept my heartfelt thanks for your time, effort and contributions!
We did our level best to ensure that your donations were deployed as effectively as possible in precisely targeted races. We were able to defeat our anti-gun and anti-hunting opponents in unprecedented fashion, setting records for electoral activity.
NRA Election Volunteer Coordinators (EVCs) covered 360 congressional districts nationwide, rallying Second Amendment support at gun clubs, ranges, gun shows and gun shops, recruiting thousands of new political volunteers and registering thousands of new voters. To provide EVCs with energized campaign volunteers, NRA-ILA conducted 36 Grassroots Election Workshops in 21 key states.
Three months before election day, we launched the www.NRAPVF.org website, posting federal and state candidate grades for all 50 states on October 1. Well over half a million Americans visited the site in October, with 130,413 visiting in the two-day span of November 1-2.
I hope all NRA members will visit www.NRAPVF.org. Already we must gird for new battles that loom in the near future. And bear in mind, our opponents only have to win once to inflict major damage, while we must win every battle, every day, to successfully protect our rights.
Embittered anti-gun and anti-hunting extremists at all levels—from town councils to the United Nations—will be stopping at nothing to seek revenge for the drubbing we gave them at the polls. Billionaire George Soros has spoken for them all in declaring: “I’ll be back.”
Covering the Map
The words “Sportsman’s Paradise” that decorate Louisiana license plates became even more meaningful November 2 when 81% of Bayou State voters approved a Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing the right of every citizen to hunt, fish and trap.
At the same time, voters rejected anti-hunting advocates who sought to ban traditional methods of bear hunting in Alaska and Maine through ballot initiatives. In Maine, an initiative that would have banned three traditional methods of bear hunting was defeated, 53-47%. An even greater margin of Alaska voters turned down an effort to outlaw bear management techniques commonly used by the Department of Fish and Game.
In Colorado, an initiative that would have redistributed the state’s nine electoral votes was overwhelming rejected by a margin of 2 to 1. Had it passed, Amendment 36 would have changed the allocation of the state’s electoral votes, with the winner receiving five electoral votes, and the second place finisher receiving four. The initiative was funded by out-of-state activists intent on changing the outcome of the 2004 elections.