50 Days Out to Election Day: What You Need to Know About the Role of Gun Safety During the Midterms
Today marks 50 days until Election Day 2018. As voters make their plans and candidates make their pitch to voters this cycle, one thing is clear: Guns will be a deciding issue for Americans as they head to the ballot box.
This election cycle, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, are all in on electing gun sense champions up and down the ballot. With just 50 days to go, there is a groundswell of action to create a gun sense majority.
Elections 2018: by the numbers so far
- 48,000 new voters registered
- More than 1,100 elections focused events (including canvassing and phonebanks)
- Nearly 3,000 candidates with Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinctions
- 1,000 volunteers and gun violence survivors attended Gun Sense University
Here is a look at our electoral plan and what’s coming down the pike:
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund just announced its first wave of targeted spending of up to $10 million and key endorsements in four critical states ― Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and New Mexico ― to elect Gun Sense Candidates. The announcement is just the start of spending activity, which will include contributions to candidates and independent expenditures such as mail, television, digital and radio advertisements.
To date, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund has endorsed more than 40 Moms Demand Action volunteer leaders and gun violence survivors running for office up and down the ballot. These endorsements are in addition to endorsements already distributed to other gun safety candidates around the country who have pledged to put the safety of their constituents first if elected into office. Just recently, Everytown endorsed Governor Gina Raimondo (Rhode Island), Governor Kate Brown (Oregon) and Governor Andrew Cuomo (New York) during events with local Moms Demand Action chapters. And this morning, Everytown also endorsed Stacey Abrams, candidate for Governor in Georgia; Gretchen Whitmer, candidate for Governor in Michigan; Dana Nessel, candidate for Attorney General in Michigan; Steve Sisolak, candidate for Governor in Nevada; Aaron Ford, candidate for Attorney General in Nevada and Michelle Lujan Grisham, candidate for Governor in New Mexico.
Did you know? Moms Demand Action volunteers complete an action
every minute of the day.
Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate Distinction
For the past seven months, Moms Demand Action volunteers have distributed questionnaires to candidates across the country and are educating them on key policies and what it means to be a “Gun Sense Candidate.” To date, nearly 3,000 candidates have sought and received a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction in 48 states ― red, blue and purple. Of the nearly 3,000 candidates, 53 percent are women, 1 in 5 are people of color and at least 250 candidates self-identified as personal firearm owners. The distinction is being used by candidates in their campaign materials ― in radio and TV ads, on social media and mail pieces and more.
Make no mistake, this represents a significant shift in electoral politics. No longer are candidates running away from the gun issue ― candidates are now actively running on (and winning due to) their gun safety bonafides. In fact, in races where Gun Sense Candidates are running, more than 90 percent have had a Gun Sense Candidate advance.
Grassroots Electoral Work
None of our electoral goals would be met without the countless Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors who are talking to their family, friends and neighbors every single day to get out the vote for gun sense champions. This summer, volunteers have been registering voters, knocking on doors and making phone calls. To date, Moms Demand Action volunteers have completed more than 1,100 election focused events, including 500 canvassing events and more than 200 phonebanks ― and they’re just getting warmed up.
Last month, Moms Demand Action held its 5th annual training conference ― Gun Sense University ― for 1,000 volunteer leaders. During the three-day conference in Atlanta, volunteers learned best practices on how to get out the vote for Gun Sense Candidates in their communities. They took the lessons learned home, spreading the message far and wide to our more than 5 million supporters. Moms Demand Action volunteers are all in on getting out the vote in November.
Registering High School Students to Vote
Everytown, NextGen America, Giffords and ACRONYM have partnered up for a new nationwide initiative ― Our Lives, Our Vote ― to register young voters and bring attention to the gun safety issue. The initiative will register 50,000 Americans aged 18-19 for the midterm elections. Collectively, the four organizations have invested an initial $1.75 million to youth voter registration. The program focuses on 10 key states where NRA-aligned candidates are on the ballot, including: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. So far, 33,000 young people have registered to vote. What’s more, volunteers with Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are organizing their own voter registration events, signing up their peers on high school and college campuses as new voters.
National Weekends of Action
Moms Demand Action volunteers will be knocking on doors and making calls to get out the vote all fall, but especially during our national weekends of action on September 22 and 23 and October 13 and 14. Already, more than 300 events are on the books for the first weekend of action. Sign up for a local event here.
How Do We Know We’ll Win?
Apart from the phenomenal volunteerism of Moms Demand Action and the clamor from candidates to be designated Gun Sense Candidates, the polls show gun safety popping as a major issue for voters this election. The NRA’s favorability ratings are now underwater for the first time since 2000 and while the NRA A-rating used to be a kingmaker, it has increasingly become a kiss of death in many districts, while at the same time, the NRA has scrapped its grades from its website. At the end of the day, Americans are fed up with the status quo.
- A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that guns will be the third most important voting issue ― just behind health care, and the economy and jobs ― when Americans decide on who to vote for in Congress.
- 58 percent of those who cite guns as a major voting issue favor Democratic control of Congress compared with 33 percent who favor Republican control.
- A joint poll Everytown conducted with Giffords found that gun violence is the number one voting issue among young people, with 91 percent saying a candidate’s position on guns is important when deciding who to vote for in 2018.
This is just a brief overview of what Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Moms Demand Action are doing to elect a gun sense majority this November. If you’re interested in learning more about the election plans for Everytown and Moms Demand Action, don’t hesitate to reach out.