The narrative of 1994’s Republican takeover of both houses of Congress was accompanied by the loud victory crowing of the NRA. Similarly, in 2000, when Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee, few questioned the NRA’s assertion that gun politics had a lot to do with it. But lately? If there are any scalps on the wall of the NRA lately, they are at the state level or lower. In the 2012 Indiana Republican primary, the NRA supported Richard Mourdock in his race against Sen. Richard Lugar, but analysts aren’t crediting the NRA for Mr. Lugar’s defeat. And Mr. Mourdock then went on to lose to Democrat Joe Donnelly in the November general election.
What about the tons of money the NRA deploys for lobbying? An independent group, Open Secrets, ranked them 176th in lobbying expenditures among Washington players in 2012. And another analysis by the Sunlight Foundation showed that only .83 percent of all the money the NRA spent on federal campaigns went to winning candidates.