By Jeff Knox
(October 6, 2016) GunVoters don’t like to reward squishy Republicans, but in this very high-stakes election year, who you vote against is just as important – if not more more so – as who you vote for. Just as many GunVoters distrust Donald Trump – especially after his unfortunate comments and missed opportunities during the first debate – but intend to vote for him anyway, as a vote against Hillary Clinton, so to are many GunVoters faced with an unsavory choice in their U.S. Senate race. Several incumbent Republicans have less than stellar records on gun issues, making it very hard for GunVoters to get excited about them. On the other hand, all of the Democrats in close races have embraced Hillary Clinton’s anti-rights mantra, calling for bans on private firearm transfers and use of the secret Terror Watchlist to deny Fifth and Second Amendment rights..
More important though, is the critical role the Senate plays in limiting the power of the President, and how the parties play into that role.
If Donald Trump wins, he will face an uphill battle regardless of which party wins the majority in the Senate. With all of the Democrats and half of the Republicans in Congress, as well as the media, openly hostile toward him, it would be very difficult for him to accomplish much of anything unless he actively climbs on board with whichever party dominates Congress.
On the other hand, the media and Democrats in Congress, along with at least a quarter of the Republicans, would fully support, or at least go along with, just about anything Hillary Clinton wanted to do. There would still be resistance from the House to hopefully keep things from coming completely unraveled, but Paul Ryan has not been impressive in his battles with Obama, and Clinton is a much more formidable opponent.
The vacancy on the Supreme Court emphasizes the critical importance of maintaining Republican control of the Senate. As I recently noted in this column, this isn’t just about the Supreme Court, but lower federal courts as well. Obama has taken great strides in “liberalizing” the courts by appointing over 300 judges over the past 7 years. A Democrat-controlled Senate would mean that Trump judicial appointments would be blocked and Clinton judicial appointments would be unstoppable.
A Democrat majority in the Senate would also mean that rabid, anti-rights zealot, Chuck Schumer would be Senate Majority Leader, setting the agenda for the Senate, and blocking good bills while advancing bad ones. Just the thought of that should make every gun owner shudder.
You can impact Senate elections – even those outside your own state.
First, be sure that you and your family are educated and get to the polls on November 8 to vote for the people who will keep the serious enemies of liberty out of office. That might mean holding your nose, but sometimes that’s what it takes.
Second, make sure that your friends, folks at the ranges and gun clubs, church, fraternal organizations, etc., all know why voting is so critical this year, and why they can’t afford to sit this one out or use their vote for making symbolic gestures. Share this article with them. Post it on bulletin boards and your social media pages, and tell folks specifically who they need to vote for to slow the anti-liberty slide. Make them cheat-sheets to take to the polls with them if necessary.
Third, go through your contact lists and reach out to everyone you can to share this message – especially people living in battleground states where just a few votes could mean the difference between a pro-rights majority, and a majority led by Chuck Schumer. Again, share this article and make specific requests for votes, and ask the people you contact to contact others with the same message.
Most of the races are not races at all, with the outcome already easily predictable, but there are 7 races that are still considered toss-ups. In Nevada, where Harry Reid is retiring, leaving an open seat, Republican Joe Heck has a good shot. Nevada also has a terrible Bloomberg initiative on the ballot so heavy GunVoter turnout is expected and should help Heck.
Indiana, another race where Republicans have an opportunity to pick up a seat, is not looking great. Incumbent Democrat, Evan Bayh has a pretty good edge over Republican challenger, Todd Young, but a good GunVoter turnout could swing that race in Young’s favor.
North Carolina, Republican incumbent Richard Burr is facing a surprisingly strong challenge from a vocally anti-rights Democrat challenger. This should have been an easy win, but the challenger keeps coming on strong, so Burr needs all the help he can get.
Missouri Senator Roy Blunt is doing a little better in his race against a strong challenger who has effectively used his National Guard weapons experience to promote himself and undermine rights. Blunt needs GunVoters to see through the ploy and get to the polls.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio is looking pretty good in recent polling against his Democrat challenger, but the race could still go either way, so GunVoters shouldn’t take any chances.
Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire is in a close race with the state’s governor, Maggie Hassan. Ayotte has been heavily targeted by Bloomberg’s forces ever since she stood with GunVoters against the Manchin-Toomey bill, and she needs GunVoter support now.
In Pennsylvania, incumbent Pat Toomey appears to be holding on to a thin margin against a rising star in the Democrat Party named McGinty. I can’t, in good conscience, ask anyone to vote for Toomey. I’d prefer to see him slapped down for his call to ban private transfers, but I also don’t want to see McGinty’s aspirations fulfilled. This is a race where each GunVoter will have to go with their own conscience.
Republicans are likely to lose seats in Wisconsin and Illinois. Ron Johnson is being challenged by former senator Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, and is currently far behind in the polling. A reversal in that race would be a welcome surprise, and GunVoters could make a big impact on making that happen. In Illinois, the most anti-rights Republican in the Senate is losing to a Democrat challenger. This is one race I’m willing to cede to the Democrats. Kirk has been nothing but trouble for gun owners.
Money is not enough this year. You must get personally involved. If you can’t actively support the Republican candidate, then actively oppose the anti-rights Democrat. This is too important to leave to others. Please take action now. We’ll have more details about these races posted at GunVoter.org.