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Posted: 9/15/2004 8:49:10 AM EST
In 1994, the Senate voted to pass Feinstein's amendment banning semi-autos 56-43. In 2004, they voted again to renew it 52-47. In ten years, we gained four votes on this important RKBA issue in the Senate. It is progress; but slow progress.

This November, there are 7 critical Senate races where gun owners face a clear choice between a candidate who supports our rights and a candidate who opposes us and favors more bans. We could have a pro-RKBA majority in both the Senate and the House. With a pro-RKBA President (or at least one who hasn't vetoed anything in four years), we could actually pass some repeals. We could gain more pro-RKBA votes in this one election than we have in the last ten years; but first we have to get out and vote and put pro-gun candidates in office.

South Dakota
Pro-gun change to March vote if Republican wins: +1
Pro-gun change to March vote if Democrat wins: 0

Candidates:
John Thune (R) - GOA B rated. Opposes renewal of ban.
Tom Daschle (D) - GOA F rated. Supported ban renewal in March.

Status: 9/8 Rasmussen poll shows Thune leading Daschle by 3 points, despite Daschle having set new records for political spending per capita. Thune also enjoys a favorable/unfavorable edge of 13 points over Daschle.

Washington
Pro-gun change to March vote if Republican wins: +1
Pro-gun change to March vote if Democrat wins: 0

Candidates:
George Nethercutt (R) - GOA A- rated. Opposes renewal of ban.
Patty Murray (D) - GOA F rated. Supported Kennedy Ammo ban, semiauto ban, and federal approval of private sales in March.

Status: Murray has a 3-2 spending advanatge on Nethercutt; but despite that Nethercutt has been steadily (if slowly) closing the gap. He faces a hard fight; but he can win. His campaign could use some money to help offset Murray's edge as an incumbent though. As of 9/8 he is 7 points behind Murray with a 4 point margin of error.

Colorado
Pro-gun change to March vote if Republican wins: 0
Pro-gun change to March vote if Democrat wins: -1

Candidates:
Pete Coors (R) - No rating from GOA; but the candidate participate in the "I'm the NRA" ad many years ago. He is also on record in the Rocky Mountain News as opposing the ban as well as supporting a repeal of the Lautenberg Amendment, Brady Bill, 1968 GCA and 1934 NFA. All words so far; but some pretty bold words.
Ken Salazar (D) - No rating from GOA but opposes ban renewal and signed MMM pledge card.

Status: Statistically this race is a tie. SUSA 8/19 shows Coors up by one point. Coors has a big campaign chest; but he had to fight a tough Republican primary battle that drained it. Salazar was annointed by the Dems and faced no real opposition, so he has money to burn.

South Carolina
Pro-gun change to March vote if Republican wins: +1
Pro-gun change to March vote if Democrat wins: 0

Candidates:
Jim Demint (R) - GOA A rated (and GOA rates very few politicians as A), opposes ban
Inez Tenebaum (D) - No rating, former state education secretary, supports ban.

Status: On 8/18 Demint had a 13 point lead over Tenebaum and that was before Tenebaum had to announce that South Carolina's SAT scores had dropped to last in the nation under her tenure as education secretary. This race should be easy pickings for gun owners but a 9/9 Harrison-Hickman poll shows Tenebaum closing to within 3 points of Demint. Let's not take any chances here as this is one of only two GOA A rated candidates with a past voting record running for Senate this year.

Louisiana
Pro-gun change to March vote if Republican wins: +1
Pro-gun change to March vote if Democrat wins: 0 (likely guess as it would depend on which Democrat won)

Candidates:
David Vitter (R) - GOA A- rated.
John Kennedy (D), Chris John (D), Arthur Morrel (D) - no info

Status: As of 9/12 Vitter leads by 42%. His opponents are polling 19/16/3% respectively; but there is a big chunk of undecided voters (21%). Louisiana runs multiple candidates all at once on the ballot with a runoff if no candidate gets a decisive win.

Florida
Pro-gun change to March vote if Republican wins: +1
Pro-gun change to March vote if Democrat wins: 0

Candidates:
Mel Martinez (R) - On record opposing ban renewal
Betty Castor (D) - On record supporting Brady Campaign and ban renewal.

Status: 9/14 poll shows Castor leading by 4 points with a 4 point margin of error. Previous polls show a dead tie between the two. Flordia gun owners, here is a clear choice between someone who trusts you with guns and someone who does not.

North Carolina
Pro-gun change to March vote if Republican wins: +1
Pro-gun change to March vote if Democrat wins: 0

Richard Burr (R) - GOA B- rated. Opposes ban.
Erskine Bowles (D) - GOA F rated, former Clinton Chief of Staff.

Status: As of 9/8, all polls show Burr trailing Bowles between 8-10 points. Again, this is another clear-cut choice for gun owners between somebody with a record of gun-grabbing and somebody who has supported them in Congress.

Here is a chance to pick up SIX votes against a semi-auto ban in the Senate plus establish a pro-gun majority in both houses. It is now up to us whether we can make the most of this opportunity.

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