Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Rebeccca Zisser/Axios

The National Rifle Association has spent $9.2 million on political expenditures this cycle, about one-sixth of the $54.4 million reported in 2016, according to Federal Election Commission data tracked by Open Secrets.

Why it matters: While the group has vowed to support President Trump's re-election, mounting fees from fights with regulators, internal infighting and the pandemic have devastated its finances — and could mute its future influence.

By the numbers: The NRA has spent less than one-fifth on TV ads this year compared to what it spent in 2016, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

  • So far this year, it's spent $4.7 million on TV ads compared with $27.34 million through the end of 2016.
  • It's spent about $3.7 million for online ads this cycle, mostly Facebook and some Google ads, per Advertising Analytics. The group doesn't track digital advertising dating back to 2016.

NRA spokesperson Amy Hunter told Axios that given that it's still September, it "wouldn't be fair to compare where we are now with our spending with what we spent total in 2016."

  • To her point, about 56% of the NRA's television ad spend last cycle occurred in October. But according to Advertising Analytics, the group hasn't booked any ads yet for October or November.
  • And it still spent more than $10 million through September 2016. It's spent less than half of that so far through mid-September 2020.

The NRA will have to spend massively this cycle to match its huge outlay for Trump in 2016, and it will have to do so while triaging plummeting finances and fighting lawsuits from regulators.

  • Legal battles — including lawsuits from the attorneys general of New York and Washington, D.C. — combined with the inability to host big-money fundraisers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, have forced the once cash-rich group to lay off and furlough hundreds of employees, per The Guardian.
  • The NRA's current financial woes, experts argue, reflect volatility in the group's business model long-term.

Between the lines: The NRA was once considered one of the most powerful lobbies in American politics. Now, its inability to shell out as much cash to support Republicans across the country could mean that its days of outsized political influence are numbered.

  • "I think that there's no question about it even if you look over the last several years the NRA has fallen from maybe perhaps the most powerful political group in America to an organization that's on the brink of dissolution," John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, tells Axios.
  • A 2019 analysis from the New York Times found that voters over the past six election cycles generally did not punish lawmakers who broke from the NRA's policies.
  • Gun control groups eclipsed the NRA in political spending for the first time during the 2018 midterms.

The big picture: The NRA's woes come as gun sales in the United States are soaring, sparked by fears over civil unrest relating to the coronavirus pandemic and a national reckoning around race relations.

  • In July, the FBI said that background checks, a proxy metric for gun sales in the U.S., hit an all-time high.
  • But the sentiment around guns in the country has changed in recent years amid more mass shooting events.
  • Today, a majority of Americans say gun laws should be stricter, per Pew Research Center. In the past 10 years, a growing percentage of Americans say that the laws governing the sale of firearms in the U.S. should be made stricter, according to a survey from Gallup conducted over the past 30 years.

The bottom line: "You know, there was a time, truthfully when ... both Democrats and Republicans shied away from the issue of gun safety out of fear of the NRA. That's anything but the case today," Feinblatt said.

Go deeper

Cyber Monday sets record for biggest online shopping day in U.S. history

Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Americans spent $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday this year, making it the largest online shopping day in U.S. history, according to Adobe Analytics data reported by CNBC.

Why it matters: The surge in online shopping comes as the pandemic has accelerated the decline of Black Friday shopping at traditional brick-and-mortar stores, which saw in-store traffic plunge by roughly 50% compared with last year, according to data from RetailNext and Sensormatic Solutions.

Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.