The NRA has been a bi-partisan group, at least since the formation of the NRA-ILA in 1972. The NRA-ILA is the lobbying arm of the NRA.
In the last few elections, few Democrats have been endorsed, because few Democrats supported the Second Amendment in any meaningful way.
As they say, the NRA did not leave the Democrat Party. The Democrat Party left the NRA. There are exceptions. A controversial pick was Harry Reid, Senator (D) from Nevada, who got an A rating from the NRA. Many have wanted the NRA-ILA to broaden their criteria to issues other than the right to keep and bear arms.
There are problems with that approach as well. How can you judge someone's future actions? The best approach is to rely on past actions; but it is not a 100% predictor.
Democrat politicians who have actively supported Second Amendment rights are still being endorsed by the NRA.
The best of all worlds for the Second Amendment Supporter is to have all parties competing for the NRA endorsement.
That is what is happening in Missouri. Both the Republican and Democrat candidates for governor are strong supporters of the Second Amendment.
In this case, it is the Democrat who received the NRA endorsement. From governing.com:
The NRA Political Victory Fund said Koster's commitment to the Second Amendment earned him an "A" rating.The reasoning of the NRA-ILA is clear. They base ratings on actual performance that can be measured, not on campaign promises or the answer to questionnaires.
"For over 17 years, he has fought to preserve the constitutional rights of law-abiding Missourians," said Chris W. Cox, chairman, NRA-PVF. "The NRA is proud to endorse Chris Koster and we urge Missouri's gun owners and sportsmen to get out this November and vote to elect a governor with a proven record of fighting to preserve the Second Amendment."
It is a defensible strategy. No strategy is perfect, but a clear one is necessary if you want candidates to pursue your goals. From wikipedia.com:
The NRA endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time in 1980 backing Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter. The NRA's policy is to endorse pro-gun incumbents because of their established record. For example, in the 2006 Senate Elections the NRA endorsed Rick Santorum over Bob Casey, Jr., even though they both had an "A" rating.
Eric Greitens is the Republican candidate, emerging from a field of four in the primary. He is committed to restoration and defense of Second Amendment rights. The NRA gave him an AQ rating. That is an "A" rating, the same as Koster, except it is based on a questionnaire instead of votes and actions.
One of these two candidates will be elected governor of Missouri, barring an unforeseen event.
It appears that either one will work hard to restore and preserve Second Amendment rights. Both candidates have said that they would have signed SB 656, which Governor Nixon vetoed.
Both Candidates are good choices for Second Amendment Supporters. In this case, either vote is a win, and Second Amendment Supporters can look to the next priority to make their decision.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.