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View Diary: We are winning! Voters Rejecting the NRA! (151 comments)

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  •  Yes, I think NRA liked to push that concept (8+ / 0-)

    but there were some studies which showed the losses may have been attributable to other causes.

    At least, that's the way I remember it.  I'm open to correction if someone has the facts.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:44:11 PM PST

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    •  indeed (13+ / 0-)
      Other studies looked not at the NRA but at the effect of a vote in favor of the crime bill on incumbents’ chances of re-election, and found that if the crime bill had any effect on the 1994 election results, it was a relatively small one, only as one of many controversial votes. What happened in 1994, according to most of the political scientists who examined that election, was that the highly partisan politics of the 1992-1994 period left Democrats in Republican-leaning districts vulnerable. Congressional scholar Gary Jacobson examined roll-call votes and electoral outcomes and found that all the controversial bills together reduced Democratic incumbents’ vote share where they represented large number of Republicans. “Republicans won the House in 1994,” Jacobson wrote, “because an unusually large number of districts voted locally as they had been voting nationally,” which is to say they voted for Congress as they had for president. As another study put it, “The results are quite clear. Where Clinton ran poorly in 1992, Democratic incumbents with a pro-Clinton voting record in Congress were much more likely to be defeated [in 1994] than those with lower levels of presidential support.”

      In other words, the best way to understand 1994 is in terms of partisanship, not in terms of the specifics of the gun issue, or any other one issue. To the extent a vote in favor of the crime bill made a difference to a Democratic incumbent’s election prospects, it was as one of a group of indicators – on issues like health care, gays in the military, and taxes – of whether the candidate was with or against his party in a year when that party did poorly in Republican areas. All these factors combined to create a wave election in which issues could not be separated from party. And if there was any single issue that did the most damage to Democrats that year, it was more likely the failed attempt at health care reform, according to post-election polling conducted by Stanley Greenberg, Clinton’s pollster at the time.

      The 1994 election was a Republican wave, and as 2006 and 2010 demonstrated, wave elections can happen in a variety of contexts. In 2010, for instance, Republicans won even more seats than they did in 1994 – without any significant debate about guns. In fact, the only new laws about guns that took effect during Obama’s first two years expanded gun rights, allowing people to bring guns to national parks and on Amtrak.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:23:51 AM PST

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    •  I worked on the Hill in '94. (20+ / 0-)

      I didn't work there in '95--we got trounced.

      Anyway, here's a real life anecdote.

      I worked in a subcommittee and our chairman was reelected despite losing his perfect NRA record by voting for the crime bill that contained the assault weapons ban. And he represented a fairly conservative district.

      The NRA came after him hard. It was honestly the least of our worries.

      In my opinion, the NRA was at best the third biggest problem for Dems that year.

      First, it was a mid-year election (generally tough for the party in the WH), and the public was angry over Clinton's tax increases.

      First-A, the House Bank scandal was a pox on leadership and the whole party. People really resented the fact that members were writing literally thousands of bad checks with impunity. It was a classic kitchen table issue.

      Oh, then there was NAFTA. Labor was really pissed at Dems for supporting it and it hurt turnout and support.

      Assault weapons? Hardly the biggest issue.

      •  That's how I remember it as well. I lived in (10+ / 0-)

        Northern Virginia at the time and the assault weapons ban was not an issue, even in the conservative parts of the state. Virginia, while it's always had issues, was in no way the batshit crazy looney bin it's become...I mean we had elected the first African American (and the grandson of slaves) in US history as governor just 4 years earlier in a state that had housed the capital of the Confederacy and whose capital city, Richmond, is a monument, literally, to the leader's of the Confederacy. And we were pretty damn proud of that. (Wilder is just a bitter old tool now...) Try to imagine that happening now...

        "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

        by mindara on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:27:00 AM PST

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        •  I lived in NOVA when Wilder got elected. (5+ / 0-)

          I was thrilled, part of history.

          Now I'm in reliably blue MD. LOL there are still Kerry bumper stickers on cars around here.

          •  ZOMG! In 1998 I escaped from VA back to my (5+ / 0-)

            native state of, wait for it.......

            Maryland!!! ROFL....and yes, by late 1998, part of the reason was the right wing crazy was starting to infiltrate Virginia by then and Maryland is definitely a reliable blue!
            I was thrilled as well to be a part of history with Doug Wilder's election...President Obama's election (and re-election) was single handedly the most amazing and awe inspiring event in my lifetime, for sure.

            "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

            by mindara on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:27:42 AM PST

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            •  infiltrate from where? and why? nt (0+ / 0-)

              "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

              by BlueStateRedhead on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:20:53 AM PST

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              •  Maybe infililtrate was the wrong word, infect may (0+ / 0-)

                be more appropriate...What I noticed from about 1995 to late 1998 while living in Richmond & Charlottesville, was how the vitriol of the likes of Newt Gingrich and the GOP's 8 year witch hunt against the Clinton's led to a gradual rise of politicians like Eric Can'tor and a real surge of anti-Democrat sentiment that was unlike anything I'd ever experienced before and I'd lived my whole life in the DC Metro area. I was a single woman who worked hard and supported myself and I saw policies being enacted by Republicans that were affecting me financially and the writing was on the wall regarding women's issues, social issues, racial issues, income and class inequality, you name it. Now, they couldn't get away with some of it in Northern Virginia, but NOVA had a smaller footprint then. I had a feeling it was going to get way worse before it got better (had no idea it would ever get THIS bad) so I felt it prudent to move back to my native state of Maryland. And I am extremely glad that I did. I mean, George Allen would never have dared make his famed macaca statement, in Northern Virginia of all places, in the 80's and 90's...I relished both of his defeats.  

                "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

                by mindara on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:35:12 AM PST

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            •  I rolled north in '94 (0+ / 0-)

              Year of dem doom as luck would have it.

              I loved NOVA, but traffic/commute to Hill was intolerable. I lived 14.4 miles from the Capitol--it was always at least an hour each way. Even longer by public transportation.

              Not a hell of a lot better here, but housing is more affordable. I have to say though that Alexandria, Fairfax City, Arlington where I lived in NOVA is cooler than where I live now. Oh well, I visit.

              Like the crazy person that I am, looking to get back into a Hill or K St. situation again. Once know.

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