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November 3, 2010

Election Wrap-Up: Strong Showing for Pro-Industry, Pro-Gun Candidates

Following an unprecedented and robust midterm NSSF Voter Education campaign, including the establishment of an NSSF Political Action Committee, the 2010 elections proved to be exceptionally strong for pro-industry candidates at both the federal and state levels. In the election, Republicans took back control of the House of Representatives while picking up six seats in the Senate and 10 governorships.

Though the Democrats maintain control of the Senate, pro-industry/gun Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) won re-election – a move that keeps either anti-gun senators Chuck Schumer (D) or Dick Durbin (D) from assuming the leadership position.

At the state level, pro-gun/hunting measures fared very well. Three of four states overwhelmingly passed Right to Hunt and Fish measures, including: Arkansas, South Carolina and Tennessee. The state of Kansas passed, with 90 percent approval, the right to keep and bear arms. And in Montana, financing measures for big- game hunting were approved.

Also worth noting at the state level is the New York State Senate election results.  This year NSSF waged a significant battle to defend the empire state against ill-conceived microstamping legislation. Our win, largely attributable to NSSF being able to successfully educate state legislators on the problems of microstamping, may once again be tested as control of the state senate awaits final poll results in several close races.

In California, the projected winner in the race for Attorney General, Kamala Harris (D), will likely certify firearms microstamping as being unencumbered by patent restrictions, a move that will result in the implementation of the already passed microstamping law. NSSF is continuing to engage on this issue and will update industry members and enthusiasts as information becomes available.

As members of the firearms industry review and consider yesterday’s election results and the new face of our Congress, we are reminding all NSSF voting members of the importance in attending the 2011 NSSF Congressional Fly-In (April 6-7). This annual event serves as an opportunity to meet with the country’s new lawmakers and educate them on issues affecting our industry, such as protecting the right of sportsmen to shoot traditional ammunition and combating firearms microstamping legislation. To learn more about the NSSF Congressional Fly-In, click here.

NSSF is also encouraging all industry members to reach out to recently elected lawmakers and invite them to tour your factory or store. There is no better opportunity to demonstrate the economic impact you deliver.


Pro-industry senate candidates fared well in the election that ultimately saw the GOP make strides by flipping six seats in the Democrat-controlled chamber.

Pro-industry pick-ups and retentions:

  • Alabama: Richard Shelby (R) defeats William Barnes (D)
  • Arizona: John McCain (R) defeats Rodney Glassman (D)
  • Arkansas: John Boozman (R) defeats incumbent Blanche Lincoln (D)
  • Florida: Marco Rubio (R) defeats Charlie Crist (I) and Kenneth Meek (D)
  • Illinois: Mark Kirk (R) defeats Alexi Giannoulias (D)
  • Kentucky: Rand Paul (R) defeats Jack Conway (D)
  • Louisiana: David Vitter (R) defeats Charlie Melancon
  • Missouri: Roy Blunt (R) defeats Robin Carnahan (D)
  • Nevada: Harry Reid defeats Sharron Angle (R)
  • New Hampshire: Kelly Ayotte (R) defeats Paul Hodes (D)
  • North Carolina: Richard Burr (R) defeats Elaine Marshall (D)
  • North Dakota: John Hoeven (R) defeats Tracy Potter (D)
  • Ohio: Rob Portman (R)  defeats Lee Fisher (D)
  • Pennsylvania: Pat Tommey (R) defeats Joe Sestak (D)
  • South Carolina: Jim DeMint (R) defeats Alvin Greene (D)
  • Utah: Mike Lee (R) defeats Sam Granato (D)
  • West Virginia: Joe Manchin (D) defeats John Raese (R)
  • Wisconsin: Ron Johnson (R) defeats incumbent Russ Feingold (D)

To be determined

  • Alaska: Too close to call
  • Colorado: Too close to call
  • Washington: Too close to call

In gubernatorial races around the country, pro-gun candidates did particularly well. This is important for many reasons, chief among them redistricting. The GOP grabbed 10 governorships from sitting Democrats in Michigan, Tennessee, Kansas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico and Oklahoma.  A quick breakdown as of Wednesday morning shows Republicans controlling 27 states, Democrats controlling 15 states, Independents (Chafee) controlling one state (RI) and seven states being too close to call.

Standout Races

  • Arizona: Jan Brewer (R) defeats Terry Goddard (D)
  • Florida: Rick Scott (R) defeats Alex Sink (D)
  • Kansas: Sam Brownback (R) defeats Tom Holland (D)
  • Michigan: Rick Snyder (R) defeats Virg Bernero (D)
  • Oklahoma: Mary Fallin (R) defeats Jari Askins (D)
  • Pennsylvania: Tom Corbett (R) defeats Dan Onorato (D)
  • South Carolina: Nikki Haley (R) defeats Vincent Sheheen (D)
  • Tennessee: Bill Haslam (R) defeats Mike McWherter (D)
  • Texas: Rick Perry (R) defeats Bill White (D)
  • Wisconsin: Scott Walker (R) defeats Tom Barrett (D)

House of Representatives
Anyone waking up this morning saw that the GOP retook control of the House of Representatives with a pick-up of 60 plus seats. Though the House was a pro-gun chamber under the Democrats, the Republican takeover, combined with the election/re-election of pro-gun Democrats, has led to an increased number of pro-industry lawmakers in the House.

For a complete list of House election results, please click here.

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