Skip to comments.Democratic Gun Politics In Arkansas Senate Race Are Already Confusing
Posted on 08/10/2013 1:15:26 PM PDT by neverdem
Sen. Mark Pryor gets an assist from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to save him from Bloombergs money, then cuts the ribbon at an ammunition factory. Gun control advocates are fine with the factory thing, but not Gillibrands money. Welcome to Arkansas 2014.
WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Pryor broke ground at an expanded Remington ammunition factory in his home state of Arkansas Thursday — a gun-friendly move by a gun-friendly Democrat.
That’s not normally something that would make much news: Even ardent Democrats in Arkansas are firmly supportive of gun rights. But with pro-gun control Democrats coming to his aid, Pryor’s 2014 race highlights the tension between ideological purity and electoral realities.
The event sent a strange and unpredictable ripple through national Democratic politics, and exposed how the fight against gun violence is already proving to be awkward for Democrats in the 2014 cycle.
Pryor is getting help from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York Democrat who wants to see him reelected over the whims of people like New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is trying to punish Pryor and other Democrats who didn’t support gun control legislation after the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shootings.
Bloomberg’s group ran TV ads against Pryor after he voted against the Manchin-Toomey background check bill, helping to doom President Barack Obama’s goal of gun control legislation in his second term.
It’s an unusual backdrop for the run-up to the next election, which will see gun control advocates pushing to get their goals onto the agenda by spending money in races across the country, while Democrats — natural allies of the gun control side — fight to hold onto a majority in the Senate by waging battle in the gun-friendly red states. Gun control advocates sniping at allies like Gillibrand, and Democrats like Gillibrand urging gun control advocates to leave Democrats like Pryor alone, will be likely be par for the course.
Here’s the weird thing: The gun control side is OK with Pryor going to the factory, but they’re mad at Gillibrand for helping Pryor raise money.
“I wouldn’t say he has to diss the industry,” said one prominent gun control advocate. “We’re fine with guns and commerce.”
Gillibrand, meanwhile, says she doesn’t necessarily support Pryor’s visit to the Remington plant — which manufactures ammo used in so-called assault weapons — but does think Pryor should be reelected to Congress over the objections of Bloomberg and his allies. She sent a fundraising email to her supporters Wednesday calling for them to send money to Pryor, a conservative Democrat facing an uphill climb for reelection next year.
“Sen. Gillibrand believes that it is important to the future of our country to retain a Democratic majority in the Senate,” Glen Caplin, Gillibrand’s Senate spokesperson, said. “And she believes it’s important to send Mark Pryor back to the Senate. We’re not going to agree on every issue with Sen. Pryor, just like she doesn’t agree on every issue with the rest of her colleagues on every issue, and even the president.”
Gillibrand supporters note Pryor backed the idea of cracking down on gun trafficking, which was the focus of a bill Gillibrand introduced during the Senate gun debate, which eventually failed to produce any meaningful legislation.
The gun control advocates just don’t understand what Gillibrand is up to in Arkansas.
“Now that she styles herself a major gun control advocate, her time might be better spent raising money for the senate women from red states who voted for the background check bill — Hagan, Shaheen and Landrieu — than the guy who didn’t,” the advocate said.
A Gillibrand supporter noted the New York Senator sent a fundraising email mentioning the three women in June.
None of the national controversy appeared to phase Pryor at the Remington plant Thursday.
“I have a Remington shotgun and I use Remington shells,” Pryor said at the groundbreaking.
McConnell performed very poorly in ‘08, and Zero was viscerally unpopular there then (as he was here in TN). Zero got just 41%. Bruce Lunsford, McConnell’s opponent, got 47%. McCain got over 57%, McConnell was below 53%.
I honestly believe McConnell could lose if he’s renominated, even if by just 51-49%. It won’t be due to an uptick in Dem turnout or support for Grimes, it will be due to anger amongst Conservatives not voting for a guy who acts like his job is a real chore and doesn’t like dealing with Tea Partiers.
My opinion is that he ought to just outright retire. He is not the right person to lead the Senate GOP anymore than Boehner in the House, who is utterly incompetent (if not compromised).
Ick, I hate that folsky BS.
She related to this guy from the classic Simpson's episode?
I'm skeptical for the reasons you mentioned but I can't help but worry with him trailing her in a poll, I didn't think Heidi Heidcamp would win (or rather get close enough for Indian reservation fraud to put her over the top) either. No one seems to like McConnell. I would assume his favorability is low.
Jim Bunning almost lost as Bush was winning the state by 20 points.s episode?
Essentially, the situation mirrors Indiana 2012, except Kentucky is more Republicans in terms of national representation. As long as Bevin doesn’t Mourdock himself in the foot (and he doesn’t seem like the type), he would defeat Grimes. It’s not like he’s strapped for cash, and there is not a lot of material that Grimey could use against him.
I had no idea Kentucky had a runoff. Forgot about that. This puts McConnell in even more dire straights. Tell me, is it an open primary or a closed primary?
We cannot afford a Grimes victory. We already have to net 6 seats as it is. A tough climb, even in a 2nd term midterm with a host of retirements. Same goes for Nunn in Georgia.
I don’t like the polling either, same with Georgia.
Remember, at one point leading up to 2012, we were set to win the senate in a landslide. Bill Nelson was down in Florida, Heitkamp was down in North Dakota, Tester was down in Montana, McCaskill was waaaay down in Missouri. Unfortunately a combination of candidate implosions and the rat presidential ticket lifted all of those boats the closer we got to election day. They rose along with Obama’s approval ratings (which promptly deflated after the election).
We actually lost 2 seats, Indiana and Massachusetts.
Now, we won’t be dealing with Obama on the ticket this time. In fact, my prediction is that he’ll stay out of the limelight because Obamacare is going to be causing job losses, and Democrats won’t want him there. However, we still have to be very focused and not let our guard down. The ground operation has to be effective 100%. We have three incumbents to pick off, and that is tough, almost without precedent as far as I can tell.
Well, we wanted Dick Lugar to retire, but he stubbornly refused. We’re going to have to give Mitch a push.
Well, the problem with Lugar was that he was likely more popular with Democrats than with the GOP base. McConnell isn’t liked by either. There’s always the unknown X factor amongst any of our candidates that we can’t take into account (such as saying something incredibly dumb). I’m not sure if KY has an open primary or not (we do in TN, and no runoff, a double bad mess).
There are three candidates running in the primary at present, though Bevin is the only candidate registering in the polls, so more than likely, it will be won without a runoff. He’s going to have to make the case that McConnell has been in too long, isn’t effective as leader, isn’t interested in reducing big government or aggressively fighting the Zero agenda, and lastly, that he’s too damaged to win against Grimes. Grimes already scored a landslide win for Sec of State. Against a fresh face, the odds would be even, and he could carry a more aggressive agenda to DC. The question is whether Rand Paul will choose to help him.
Maine too (if you consider that a loss), though that was expected. Almost lost NV and AZ too.
Only gained Nebraska. Total FUBAR, could not have gone worse.
More often than not we get boned in Senate elections. 2010 was okay but we should have gained more. 2008 and 2006 were horrible, lost way too many. 2000 was awful. Breaking even in 1998 was awful. 2002 and 2004 stand out as the only exceptions in that time frame.
Yeah, I was counting Nebraska as having made up for Maine. That seat was gone as soon as Snowe packed her things. We’re going to have an even bigger task when Collins goes, because we’re never getting that seat back either.
I was surprised we won Nevada. At one point, that was going to be a tossup, and we should have lost it. Then again, Heller is an idiot, so who cares?
I wish we’d have axed Reid in 2010. That’s one of my biggest regrets.
I have no doubt in my mind that Rand Paul would stump for Bevin if he won the primary.
I have heard a few of Matt’s speeches. He’s measured, someone who thinks before he speaks. With Akin, I knew something might go wrong, and I have the same feeling about Broun in Georgia. Mourdock was a wild card, but I had high hopes.
I’m supporting the Bevin campaign mainly because McConnell is a weak, mushy candidate and he might lose. I don’t relish turning the leadership over to Cornyn (hope we can do something about that).
As for our good friend Grimey. She has won offices through outspending opponents from what I’ve read. (She was a successful attorney). I doubt that’s going to be the case this time round. Bevin is wealthy, and unlike other years when Republican defense money would be spread thin, in 2014 its only going to be divided between Kentucky and Georgia. No other red seats are in play.
“(we do in TN, and no runoff, a double bad mess)”
Oh, jeez, I feel for you. Represented by Bob Corker and the biggest male backbench RINO of all, Lamar Alexander! That’s terrible. It sickens me that people like Corker and Alexander have their tentacles in the state legislatures and parties to do everything they can to prevent a challenger rising up. Same with Linseed Graham.
I called her Grimey precisely because of the Simpsons episode. If you recall, Homer’s co-worker hated how Homer called him Grimey, but after he died, in the eulogy, Reverend Lovejoy said his full name but added “or Grimey, as he preferred to be called.” I have to assume tbat the RAT Grimes is not called Grimey by her friends and family, and certainly doesn’t prefer to be called that, but I’m going to call her Grimey and insist that she prefers to be called that from now to next November.
As for taking McConnell’s underperformance in 2008 as evidence of him going down in 2014, I vehemently disagree. KY votes a lot more Republican for president than for other offices, mostly due to national Democrats being much more liberal than those from KY (or at least than how KY Dems project themselves), which is why it is incorrect to point to 2004 and 2008 as “good GOP years in KY”—they were good for the GOP presidential candidate, but not necessarily for other Republicans. The liberalism of Kerry and Obama made them unpopular among Kentuckians, but it didn’t filter down to other offices.
But I think that a change took place in 2012. About the same percentage of Kentuckians voted against Obama as 4 years prior, but the percentage of ticket-splitting fell off dramatically. Incumbent congressmen Yarmuth and Chandler each ran ahead of Obama, but only 4.5% ahead, which in Chandler’s case meant that he got under 47% of the vote and got tossed from office by Republican Andy Barr in a district with Dem-trending Lexington, Democrat Frankfort and several historically Democrat coal counties. Chandler had outperformed the Dem presidential nominee by 15-20% in 2004 and 2008, and managed to get 50% and eke out reelection in 2010 against Barr (when Obama’s popularity was just about at its nadir), but in 2012 he saw 10-15% of the KY-06’s voters swing from McCain/Chandler to Romney/Barr.
McConnell has always been elected by rather narrow margins, and I don’t expect 2014 to be any different. This time he’s facing a fairly popular, attractive Democrat in Grimey (as she prefers to be called), and has a larger percentage than usual of Republicans pissed off at him, but he has the advantage of KY finally becoming a bona fide Republican state in federal (not just presidential) elections, and an electorate that won’t want the RATs to retain control of the Senate, particularly when one of their own stands to be Majority Leader with all that entails for the state. I think that McConnell will win with 53-54%: your typical McConnell win.
FReepmail mosaicwolf & ConservativeMan55 to get on their Arkansas ping list. Their's is probably more up to date.
I FReepmail mosaicwolf & ConservativeMan55 when I see stories about Arkansas.
I have a continuous list of the ping list of the fifty states & D.C. in alphabetical order on about the middle of my homepage. Alabama starts with JLS. I made it for rare stories that will get short shrift from the BS media. If the story is limited to a singe state, I prefer to FReepmail the keeper or keepers of that state's list.
Keepers of state ping lists
Alaska Jet Jaguar
Arkansas mosaicwolf; ConservativeMan55;
District of Columbia BufordP; trooprally
Florida Joe Brower
Kentucky SLB; RonPaulLives
Maryland Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Mississippi WKB; Islander7
Nevada Las Vegas Ron
New Mexico CedarDave
New York neverdem; The Mayor
Ohio Las Vegas Dave
South Carolina SC Swamp Fox; upchuck
Texas Texas Fossil; Windflier; texas booster
The keeper or keepers of a state's ping list is at the bottom of my homepage.
“...And the public votes for them anyway...”
That’s up to Arkansas gunnies to organize and educate; get into the Arkansas GOP and start educating people, going door to door if necessary.
The old days are gone; it’s not enough to just count on brand name. I’ve hammered my local GOP folks for not doing this in prior election cycles; the local Dems go door to door.
Our local guys started this last election for township seats. And they won.
Face time counts.
“Do you think he could actually lose to the rat?”
It’s possible, though unlikely. McConnell has overstayed his welcome and is seen more as a national Republican than a Kentuckian. Also, his opponent has won statewide before. The TEA Party challenge is even less likely to win, though their candidate is making a good impression in some quarters.
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