Roll Call reported Wednesday morning that the National Rifle Association will be targeting mostly Democratic senators running for re-election in 2014 with a print advertising campaign.
The campaign will cost more than $375,000 and feature full-page ads in local newspapers and regional editions of USA Today, along with supplemental digital advertising. The NRA hopes to reverse its dismal election results of 2012, when the group received less than one percent return on investment out of more than $10.5 million spent.
The ads will appear in 15 states. Incumbent Democratic senators to be singled out by the campaign include Mark Pryor of Arkansas, rated a C- by the NRA, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana with a C and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, who gets an F. Maine, where GOP senator Susan Collins is up for re-election, will also be targeted, as she earned a C+ grade. The ads will also run in West Virginia, where Sen. Jay Rockefeller is retiring.
Pryor, Landrieu, Hagan and other potentially vulnerable Senate Democrats have already been taking a cautious approach on articulating whether they support President Obama’s gun safety measures.
However, in the aftermath of the Newtown mass shooting and President Obama’s call for common-sense gun laws — all of which the majority of Americans support — groups such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (backed by NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg), and Tuscon shooting survivor Gabrielle Giffords’ new SuperPAC Americans for Responsible Solutions, plan to challenge the NRA in 2014.
Giffords’ group aims to raise $20 million by the midterm elections. And Bloomberg’s own SuperPAC, Independence USA, has spent $2.1 million running attack ads in Illinois against NRA A+ rated Debbie Halvorson, who is a candidate in a special election for ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s seat in Congress. Independence USA is also supporting Robin Kelly, who is devoting her campaign to fighting gun violence.
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