Sunday, July 19, 2009

NRA will score Sotomayor vote

So reports Jennifer Rubin in Commentary Magazine:
As I noted in the last round of questioning of Sonia Sotomayor yesterday, Republican senators seemed increasingly focused on the Second Amendment. Sotomayor’s evasiveness did not help her cause. Shortly after her questioning ended, the NRA announced it would officially oppose her confirmation. Some question then arose in conservative circles as to whether the vote would be “scored” — that is, count for the score which the NRA uses to rate incumbents on Second Amendment issues. In a close race it can make the difference, particularly in a Red state. I contacted the NRA last night. A spokesman promptly replied by email: “It’s an important vote and it will count.”

What does that mean in practical terms? It may influence a shaky Republican or two who might think twice about “deferring” to the president’s nominee. But the real impact is not with regard to Sotomayor, but in the 2010 senate races. For each Democrat who votes for her, there will be at least a small price — a ding from the NRA. Might it be significant in races in Arkansas (Blanche Lincoln), Colorado (Michael Bennet), North Dakota (Byron Dorgan), and elsewhere? ...

This is a positive step. NRA ratings are an important data point for voters in gun-friendly districts, and politicians hoping to get reelected know this. It probably won't change the final outcome given the large Democrat majority in the Senate, but may at least cause a few of those Dems (and some faux Republicans) to vote against her.

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