The NRA is in a meltdown, and the Trump campaign is freaked out because they might not be able to get conservative voters to the polls in swing states.
The National Rifle Association aired an avalanche of TV ads and pushed its 5 million-plus members to the polls for Donald Trump in 2016, propelling him in the Rust Belt states that delivered him the presidency.
Now, the gun rights group is in total meltdown — and senior Republicans and Trump 2020 officials are alarmed.
In recent weeks, the NRA has seen everything from a failed coup attempt to the departure of its longtime political architect to embarrassing tales of self-dealing by top leaders. The turmoil is fueling fears that the organization will be profoundly diminished heading into the election, leaving the Republican Party with a gaping hole in its political machinery.
NRATV is dead. The gun lobby is facing numerous investigations into their handling of money, and if they helped launder illegal Russian campaign contributions to the Trump campaign. Congress is investigating potentially revoking the NRA’s tax exempt status.
Trump and the Republicans should be worried. The NRA was a machine that drove millions of Republican voters to the polls usually by using fear-based techniques. The Republican Party under Trump lacks the grassroots infrastructure to get voters to the polls on their own. The GOP runs on dark money and outside advocacy groups. If the NRA is not a big player in the presidential election, it will make it even easier for Democrats to take back states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.
If Republicans have to use resources to get out the vote that the NRA, that’s less money that will be available to protect House and Senate seats.
The NRA is in a state of collapse, as it may not survive the presidency of Donald Trump.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association