NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, celebrated a win for the gun safety movement tonight as voters elected gun sense champions up and down the ballot. In races across the country, Americans turned out to support candidates who will make gun safety a priority and rejected NRA-backed candidates and the gun lobby’s extreme, out-of-touch agenda. Of the 110 Everytown-supported races that have been called so far, nearly 80 percent of candidates have won.
In total, Everytown spent $30 million this cycle on targeted contributions, independent expenditures and voter motivation and mobilization. Everytown invested strategically to elect members of Congress, governors and state legislators who will pass and enforce stronger gun safety laws. Whether it was holding adversaries accountable for blocking progress on gun safety bills, supporting allies who will stand up to the NRA or ensuring new gun sense champions are in a position to advocate for public safety, Everytown focused on races that matter for legislation in 2019.
Everytown’s strategy this cycle included reaching young voters, women and communities of color. One way Everytown did this was through a voter motivation and mobilization campaign “Not One More,” which reached more than 10.3 million voters through digital advertising in 16 critical congressional districts. Moms Demand Action volunteers, who spent months phone banking and canvassing, also had conversations with more than 1.2 million voters this cycle.
The NRA once was an electoral kingmaker but, this cycle its support was a liability in many races. This year candidates in many races ran away from the NRA and its dangerous agenda. And NRA darlings including gubernatorial candidates Kris Kobach in Kansas, Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado and Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia lost their races. Tonight showed more and more voters are siding with gun safety and rejecting the NRA’s extreme agenda.
Voters made it clear in pre-election polling that gun safety is a
top priority, with 61 percent of voters favoring stronger gun laws. Now, lawmakers must heed the call to take action. Pre-election polling also showed that by a two-to-one margin, voters preferred candidates who do not take gun lobby money. Polling also showed there were twice as many single-issue gun safety voters as single-issue NRA voters.
STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“It’s official: The 2018 midterms represent a significant victory for the gun violence prevention movement. Gun safety advocates helped gain control of the House and elect new gun sense champions to statehouses across the country. In the process, we established new gun safety strongholds. The NRA has gone from a political kingmaker to a liability, and that’s because Americans are fed up with its divisive rhetoric and extreme policies. Now it’s time for lawmakers to listen to voters and pass common-sense gun laws.”
STATEMENT FROM SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“The hard work of Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors, many of whom put their lives on hold to elect gun sense champions, paid off and we’ll carry that momentum into 2019. Now is the time to double down, and our grassroots army will make sure the leaders we fought so hard to elect follow through on their commitment to pass stronger gun laws. And we’ll show the nation what a gun sense majority can do.”
Everytown focused primarily on voter motivation and mobilization among youth, women and communities of color in 16 critical congressional districts through our $5-million “Not One More” digital advertising campaign. From September to November, it reached more than 10.3 million voters. Produced by Wieden+Kennedy, the campaign urged Americans to “vote gun safety” through provocative videos, billboards and banner ads. Districts included: CA-48, CA-49, CO-06, GA-06, KS-03, MN-03, NV-03, NV-04, FL-27, MI-08, MI-11, MO-02, NJ-03, NJ-11, VA-10 and WA-08.
In addition, in CO-06, Everytown spent more than $700,000 to elect veteran Jason Crow and oust NRA-supported Rep. Mike Coffman, who had taken more NRA PAC money than anyone in Colorado’s congressional delegation. Everytown also spent significantly to support gun violence survivor and gun safety movement leader Lucy McBath in GA-06, a district that was home to the most expensive congressional race ever in 2017. McBath is running against NRA A-rated incumbent Karen Handel in a district that leans Republican. As of now, the race is too close to call.
Everytown devoted its resources to support candidates in states where there is an opportunity to pass good bills or block bad bills. They include: Colorado (governor), Kansas (governor), Michigan (governor), Minnesota (governor), Nevada (governor), New Mexico (governor), Oregon (governor), Pennsylvania (governor) and Rhode Island (governor).
In addition, Everytown contributed $1.5 million to the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) this cycle. The DGA was involved in critical races, including in states like Colorado, Michigan and Rhode Island. Everytown’s significant contributions helped the DGA elect gun sense champions and educate voters about their candidates’ stance on gun safety laws. Everytown also contributed to the Democratic Attorneys General Association this cycle.
To achieve its electoral goals, Everytown harnessed the grassroots power of more than 5 million supporters. Volunteers from Moms Demand Action spent months talking to candidates about gun safety as well as registering voters, phonebanking, canvassing and getting out the vote for gun safety champions. Volunteers from Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action and the Everytown Survivor Network had more than 1,200,000 conversations with voters and helped register more than 100,000 voters across the country, along with partner organizations. As part of our electoral program, more than 3,000 candidates sought and received a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction this cycle, pledging to stand up for gun safety if elected into office. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund also endorsed 196 key gun sense champions this cycle.
Everytown’s Role in Key States + Races
IN NEVADA, where voters passed a background check initiative backed by Everytown in 2016 that Attorney General Adam Laxalt opposed and has said he cannot implement, voters — 68 percent of whom want to see the background check law implemented — elected gun sense champions:
- Jacky Rosen, U.S. Senate
- Steve Sisolak, Governor, who defeated NRA A+ rated Laxalt
- Susie Lee, NV-03
- Steven Horsford, NV-04>
In all, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund spent $2.8 million in support of Sisolak. Everytown also supported Jacky Rosen for U.S. Senate. Everytown spent more than $100,000 on NV-03 as part of Everytown’s $5-million dollar advertising campaign called “Not One More,” which targeted critical congressional districts.
IN MICHIGAN, where the state legislature has introduced, but not yet passed, a bill to alert law enforcement when a person tries to buy a gun and fails a background check, voters elected gun sense champions including:
- Gretchen Whitmer, governor, who defeated NRA A+ rated candidate Bill Schuette
- Haley Stevens, MI-11
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund spent more $760,000 in support of Whitmer and more than $400,000 to include MI-11 as part of Everytown’s $5-million dollar advertising campaign called “Not One More,” which targeted critical congressional districts.
IN COLORADO, a purple state where the gun lobby has vied for power for years, voters elected gun sense champions:
- Jared Polis, governor, who defeated NRA A-rated Walker Stapleton
- Jason Crow, CO-06, who defeated NRA A-rated Rep. Mike Coffman
Additionally, Everytown helped elect a gun sense majority in the Colorado Senate.
In total, Everytown spent nearly $1.6 million to elect gun safety candidates in Colorado, including contributing $400,000 to Colorado for Fairness, $300,000 to Our Colorado Values and $50,000 to Coloradans Creating Opportunities to help take back the state Senate and retain a majority in the state House. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund also spent more than $150,000 in CO-06 as part of Everytown’s $5-million dollar advertising campaign called “Not One More,” which targeted critical congressional districts. Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund’s spending also included more than $700,000 on a TV ad holding Rep. Mike Coffman accountable for not doing enough to prevent gun violence during nearly a decade representing Colorado in Congress.
IN KANSAS, a deeply red state that has recently made bipartisan progress on gun safety legislation, voters elected gun sense candidates:
- Laura Kelly, governor, whose platform included support for common-sense gun safety measures as she defeated her extreme, NRA A-rated opponent Kris Kobach, who once drove a truck mounted with a replica machine gun during a holiday parade
- Sharice Davids, KS-03, who stood up to the gun lobby during her campaign
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund spent more than $1 million to support candidates in Kansas, including more than $800,000 towards ads highlighting Kelly and Kobach’s policy positions. Everytown also spent nearly $245,000 in KS-03 as part of Everytown’s $5-million dollar advertising campaign called “Not One More,” which targeted critical congressional districts.
IN OREGON, a state with a strong history of passing gun safety legislation, voters re-elected:
- Kate Brown, governor, a long-time gun safety champion who has prioritized gun violence prevention legislation
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund contributed $750,000 in support of Brown’s re-election.
IN MINNESOTA, a state that has stalled Red Flag and background check bills in the statehouse, voters elected gun sense champions:
- Tim Walz, governor, a formerly NRA A-rated lawmaker who rejected the NRA and this year ran on common-sense gun safety and his 2018 NRA F Rating
- Angie Craig, MN-02
- Dean Phillips, MN-03
- Additionally, Everytown helped elect a gun sense majority in the Minnesota State House.
Everytown spent more than $470,000 to support Walz. Everytown spent more than $130,000 on MN-03 as part of Everytown’s $5-million dollar advertising campaign called “Not One More,” which targeted critical congressional districts.
IN NEW MEXICO, a state that came close to passing a bill closing the background check loophole in 2017, voters elected gun sense champion
- Michelle Lujan Grisham, governor, whose platform included support for common-sense gun safety measures as she beat her NRA A-rated opponent Steve Pearce
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund contributed more than $250,000 in support of Lujan Grisham’s campaign.
IN PENNSYLVANIA, a state that passed key gun safety legislation this year, voters re-elected gun safety champions:
- Bob Casey, U.S. Senate
- Tom Wolf, governor, who recently signed a life-saving bill to disarm domestic abusers
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund Spent more than $200,000 in support of re-electing Governor Tom Wolf.
IN RHODE ISLAND, a state with strong gun safety laws, voters re-elected:
- Gina Raimondo, governor, a gun safety champion who recently signed into law Red Flag legislation