TheDC Exclusive: NRA spends $20 million this cycle

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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By the time voters go to the polls Tuesday, the National Rifle Association will have spent a total of $20 million dollars this cycle on the election, The Daily Caller has learned.

And while much has been made of NRA endorsements of Democrats in some races, it still appears that an overwhelming amount of the organization’s effort has gone toward Republican campaigns.

In an interview, Chris Cox, the chief lobbyist for the gun lobby, acknowledged how both Republicans and Democrats have touted the organization’s support this year.

“It’s an enviable position for any group to be in,” Cox said. “We have Republicans and Democrats fighting over who is more pro-gun and whose more pro-NRA. That’s a great position for us to be in, and that’s a great position for NRA members to be in.”

The NRA has endorsed 197 Republicans and 61 Democrats running for House seats. Of the endorsed Republicans, 45 are considered targeted races where the organization has focused resources on a pro-gun Republican candidate running against an anti-gun or marginally anti-gun Democrat.

In the Senate, the NRA endorsed 23 Republicans and two Democrats. Asked about the two Democrats — Brad Ellsworth in Indiana and Joe Manchin in West Virginia — Cox said, “We don’t ignore those who have put their necks on the line in the legislative process.”

Cox said the organization roughly supported this year the same number of Democrats as it did 2008.

Here’s a glimpse of the NRA’s spending, exclusively provided to The Daily Caller by the gun lobby:

—The organization has sent out over 20 million pieces of mail. Of that total, 10.5 million pieces went to members, while 9.5 million pieces — enough to fill four tractor tractors, Cox said — was sent to gun owners who aren’t NRA members.

—About 40,000 individual radio and TV ads were purchased in key federal and state races.

—At least 4.5 million calls have been made.

—The gun lobby mailed out 2 million bumper stickers.