After a failed 2014 election season, Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Group is getting ready to try again in 2016. American’s for Responsible Solutions spent $10.5M in the midterms and has a pathetic scorecard to show for it.
The group is claiming nine wins out of 18 congressional and gubernatorial races and a dismal record on competitive Senate races. Of North Carolina, Louisiana, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire, only New Hampshire was a victory and Louisiana will probably be lost once December rolls around.
The most visible failure or virtual failure is that Gifford old seat (AZ2) has still not been decided. Martha McSally (R) holds a very small lead (161 votes) over incumbent Ron Barber (D). Giffords couldn’t even ensure the victory for her own former seat with a $2.3M investment in that race.
But the gun control group marches forward. ARS believes it can change public opinion with a $250,00 investment it made in 2014 on data and analytics.
“Our hope is that the major parties’ nominees are good, if you will, if not perfect. … That some of the work we’ve done is helpful in paving a way for these candidates to talk about these issues,” Pia Carusone, a senior adviser to ARS, said in an exclusive post-election interview with POLITICO that detailed the group’s spending strategy and vision.
Gun control was not a big 2014 election issue. Gallup’s list of Most Important Problems facing the country has guns/gun control weighing in at 1%, both before and after the election.