Nov 1, 2019

Gun safety group is biggest outside spender in Va. state elections

Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Ahead of Virginia's elections Nov. 5, gun safety group Everytown tells Axios they're "outspending the NRA by more than 8-to-1" to help Democrats flip the state's General Assembly.

Why it matters: Everytown says it is the biggest outside spender in the election. Gun politics is changing rapidly around the country and within a swing state once predictably red and pro-gun rights. Gun policy is the top issue for Virginia voters, but those supporting Republicans were just as likely as those supporting Democrats to say it will be "very important" for their vote, per a Washington Post poll.

  • Public opinion in Virginia has shifted toward stricter gun control laws over the past several years, but only a little, Roanoke College political scientist Dr. Harry Wilson told Axios. But the spending from gun safety groups and the politics have "changed significantly."
  • Parts of the state are still adamantly pro-gun rights, and Democrats know they’re no longer competitive there, Wilson said. But with shifting demographics and growing cities, gun control has become a winning issue in some crucial swing areas such as Northern Virginia, Tidewater and Richmond — areas Everytown has targeted.

Go deeper: Where the 2020 candidates stand on gun control

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Democrats take control of both houses of Virginia legislature

The Virginia General Assembly. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Democrats on Tuesday took control of the state House and Senate in Virginia's General Assembly in the state's off-year elections, the AP projects.

Why it matters: The results in Virginia may foreshadow dynamics for 2020, including Democratic turnout, mobilization by gun control activists and concerns about Trump among suburban voters, Axios' Margaret Talev says.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 6, 2019

Gun safety was a winning issue for Democrats in Virginia swing districts

People voting in the 2019 Virginia election. Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Guns played an influential role in flipping Virginia's General Assembly blue this week, according to new polling of 600 Virginia swing district voters by Schoen Consulting for the gun safety group Everytown.

Between the lines: The stances of candidates on guns was "important" to 83% of Virginia swing district voters. A plurality (28%) said it was the most important issue to them in deciding who they voted for— a more common response than health care (24%) or the economy (24%). Of those who said gun issues were their top concern, 66% voted for Democrats.

Methodology: The poll was conducted by Schoen Consulting from Nov. 5-6 in 22 Virginia state legislative districts. The poll had a margin of error of ± 4%.

Supreme Court allows Sandy Hook lawsuit against gunmaker to move forward

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The Supreme Court announced Tuesday it will not block a state-level lawsuit against a gun manufacturer by the parents of the children who died during the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, reports USA Today.

Why it matters: Remington Arms was seeking to be protected from the lawsuit, which alleges that the company marketed its military-style rifles "for use in assaults against human beings," per USA Today.

Go deeperArrowNov 12, 2019