Some Democratic strategists and aides are apparently hoping that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to spend $50 million on a new gun control group will help the party in the 2014 midterm elections.
Though gun control has rarely been an election day winner, Democrats have traditionally had a problem with voter turnout in the midterms. The thinking is that an anti-gun ad blitz could fire up the core Democratic base.
“If he is successful, the people he will motivate to vote are extremely likely to vote for Democrats, period, end of story,” a senior Senate Democratic aide told the New York Daily News.
The group hopes to recruit 2.5 million supporters this year and motivate them to go to the polls. That could be crucial in a year when Republicans have their eye on winning control of the Senate.
A Democratic strategist, also speaking anonymously told the newspaper, “It could help drive Democratic turnout.”
The Bloomberg-founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns merged with the organization Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to form the new group, Everytown for Gun Safety. The merger was announced late last year, while the name change was announced just last week, along with former three-term mayor’s vow to spend $50 million on the group.
Bloomberg’s group has a mixed record with electoral success, dumping money into two Colorado campaigns last year to fund two state senators who still lost their seats in recall elections.
Meanwhile, some Democrats aren’t keen on Bloomberg. Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor was attacked in ads funded by Bloomberg. Alaska Sen. Mark Begich has also opposed gun restrictions.
Bloomberg, elected mayor twice as a Republican and once as an independent, has publicly said the group will target politicians of any party that don’t support gun control.
But Democrats think this will be a net gain, with any impact on turnout helping Democrats, as voters not happy with Pryor and Begich on guns aren’t going to vote for the more conservative candidates.
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