Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama's hopes for carrying Montana have diminished over the past few months, and Montanans say it comes down to one word: guns.
"In Montana, we like our guns. We like big guns. We like little guns. We like shotguns. We like pistols. Most of us own two or three guns. Gun control is hitting what you shoot at," the state's Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer told the New York Times in April. When asked why he thought the Democratic nominee would not win his state, he replied, "guns."
This year, Mr. Obama's voting record, coupled with that of running mate Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, has resurrected the gun issue, and John McCain's campaign sees it as a major wedge issue to win over gun-owning swing Democrats and working-class union members in key Democratic bastions.
"Absolutely, we're going to emphasize guns and the Second Amendment. They're fundamental issues for Democrats, independents and Republicans in the battleground states that will decide this election," said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.
Mr. McCain has compiled a largely pro-gun voting record in the Senate, but he has had some differences with the National Rifle Association on his support for background checks at gun shows and his campaign finance reform law, which restricts certain campaign TV ads among advocacy groups such as the NRA. More recently, though, his selection of running-mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a hunter and NRA member, has boosted his standing.
Article here. Try as they might, today's Democrats seem unable to pick pro-gun candidates for the presidential and vice-presidential race. Which is surprising, given gun control is such a loser issue for them.