Oct 31, 2018

How NRA spending shows the shifting midterms landscape

Michael Bloomberg. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images.

In the days leading up to the midterm elections, several gun control groups have seen a spike in their spending as part of a larger effort to elect candidates that will back their policies, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: The desire for policy change is finally backed by big money. U.S. gun-control groups have outspent gun-rights groups for the midterm elections by 40%, unraveling the NRA's longstanding dominance in spending on gun politics.

Between the lines: The shift has largely been a result of several high-profile mass shootings, including those in Las Vegas, Parkland, and most recently a Pittsburgh synagogue. The NRA's 2018 rebranding issue has also been a contributing factor.

By the numbers

The drop in the NRA's political spending is a rare shift, one that hasn't occurred in 20 years, according to data from the Federal Election Commission:

  • The NRA spent $11 million for midterm races this year, nearly half of what gun-control groups spent, per the same data.

Meanwhile Everytown for Gun Safety, a group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has pledged to dedicate $30 million to the 2018 midterms.

  • After the Pittsburgh shooting, Everytown bought an additional $700,000 in advertisements targeting Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.).

The PAC for former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was wounded in a shooting in 2011, is spending nearly $5 million.

  • In October, Giffords' PAC spent $1.3 million on an ad blasting Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn.) for accepting "corporate gun lobby money" from the NRA.

Mike Bloomberg alone is spending $120 million on the midterms, with a portion of the total going toward gun control groups in an effort to match or surpass the NRA's spending.

What to watch: The NRA could still throw in more money last-minute. The final numbers will come out after the election.

Go deeper:

Correction: An earlier version of this story labeled former Rep. Gabby Giffords as Sen. Gabby Giffords.

Go deeper

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

CNN crew arrested live on air while reporting on Minneapolis protests

CNN's Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested Friday by Minneapolis state police while reporting on the protests that followed the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city.

What happened: CNN anchors said Jimenez and his crew were arrested for not moving after being told to by police, though the live footage prior to their arrests clearly shows Jimenez talking calmly with police and offering to move wherever necessary.

First look: Trump courts Asian American vote amid coronavirus

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The president's re-election campaign debuts its "Asian Americans for Trump" initiative in a virtual event tonight, courting a slice of the nation's electorate that has experienced a surge in racism and harassment since the pandemic began.

The big question: How receptive will Asian American voters be in this moment? Trump has stoked xenophobia by labeling COVID-19 the "Chinese virus" and the "Wuhan virus" and equating Chinatowns in American cities to China itself.

How the U.S. might distribute a coronavirus vaccine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Now that there are glimmers of hope for a coronavirus vaccine, governments, NGOs and others are hashing out plans for how vaccines could be distributed once they are available — and deciding who will get them first.

Why it matters: Potential game-changer vaccines will be sought after by everyone from global powers to local providers. After securing supplies, part of America's plan is to tap into its military know-how to distribute those COVID-19 vaccines.