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As the Primaries Turn

Friday, February 26, 2016

As the Primaries Turn

The process of selecting the major party nominees for the presidential election moved forward this past week with results for the GOP from South Carolina and Nevada, and results for the Dems from Nevada (Democrats hold their South Carolina primary on Saturday, February 27).

Here are the important facts. Hillary Clinton is still fighting to lock up the nomination on the Democrat side.

The GOP field has been winnowed down to just five; with businessman Donald trump winning both the SC primary and the Nevada caucuses.  Jeb Bush has suspended his campaign, leaving Trump, Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Perhaps more surprising than who is and is not remaining on the GOP side is the fact that Hillary Clinton is still fighting to lock up the nomination on the Democrat side.

The results from Nevada highlight her difficulty.  Clinton defeated Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders by just 5%, garnering only 641 more votes than he did. The coronation that the Clinton Campaign has been predicting for the past year seems to be eluding them and might be slipping away. This reality highlights Clinton’s weakness even among the Democrat base.  Hillary Clinton effectively has universal name ID due to being in the public spotlight for nearly 25 years. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has been a low profile Senator from a small state and was never even elected as a Democrat, running as an Independent for the past 25 years. In spite of these facts, Clinton has only narrowly defeated Sanders in caucuses in Iowa and Nevada, while Sanders soundly trounced her in the New Hampshire primary.

And that brings up another issue.  Caucuses usually involve fewer voters as opposed to primaries, but the Nevada statewide Democrat turnout was only 11,985.  On the other side of the aisle, the GOP had 75,216 voters participate.  That is a record turnout and demonstrates significant voter enthusiasm for the GOP candidates in a true swing state.

Next week comes “Super Tuesday,” with 11 states holding primaries, many of which are in the south. It will be interesting to see if Hillary Clinton continues to highlight her radical anti-gun positions in pro-gun states like Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Arkansas.  If she follows her past pattern, there won’t be too many stump speeches featuring her hard-core anti-gun supporters.

Tuesday night we will likely have a much better idea who will be the nominee from both parties. In the meantime, however, the process has revealed two important points. Gun owners should take this to heart, because it proves that with dedication and hard work, we can defeat Hillary Clinton

First, all the remaining GOP candidates have staked out solid pro-gun positions, allowing gun owners to choose from a number of qualified allies.  The Democrats have only fielded radically anti-gun candidates.

Secondly, the inevitability of Hillary Clinton has been seriously damaged by Bernie Sanders’ unlikely run, and her inability to push him aside.

Gun owners should take this to heart, because it proves that with dedication and hard work, we can defeat Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders if he pulls off the upset).  And with the Supreme Court vacancy awaiting the next President on inauguration day, the importance of denying the White House to an anti-gun radical is more important than ever.

One additional item was reported this past week that may hold relevance in the ongoing primary fight among the Democratic candidates.  On Feb. 23, Gallup reported a poll that included a question on what comes to mind when either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is mentioned.  For Clinton, the top answer was “Dishonest/Liar/Don’t trust her/Poor character” at 21% of the sample, followed by “Dislike her” with 9%.  For Sanders, “Socialist” topped the list at 12% (another 3% said “Communist”).  How the campaigns overcome these striking responses from the American people remains to be seen.



The NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is NRA's political action committee. The NRA-PVF ranks political candidates — irrespective of party affiliation — based on voting records, public statements and their responses to an NRA-PVF questionnaire.