The country’s largest gun rights group is not giving up the fight for the final balance of power in the U.S. Senate.
The National Rifle Association’s PAC released a television ad on Monday that boosts Republican Herschel Walker in the December 6 runoff election in Georgia. The new ad urges Georgia voters not to be complacent about the upcoming special election and cautions that their gun rights are on the line.
“They think you’ve given up. They think you’ve surrendered,” the 30-second ad begins. “Washington liberals are celebrating because they believe the people of Georgia will not show up to vote in the runoff.”
The ad shows how much gun-rights advocates are invested in the final outcome of the midterms despite majority status already being out of reach for Senate Republicans. Though the race’s outcome will have little bearing on the prospects of new gun legislation clearing the chamber, an additional Democratic Senator would help bolster President Biden’s ability to make key political and judicial appointments.
According to the PAC’s latest FEC filings, the NRA Political Victory Fund devoted more than $1.5 million toward producing and placing the ad. That spending comes in addition to the nearly $100,000 the group has already spent on text messages and a postage campaign supporting Walker’s candidacy since a runoff election was declared.
Thus far, the major gun-control groups have not matched the NRA’s spending. The latest FEC filings for Everytown for Gun Safety’s Super PAC show it has only spent $1500 for phone calls in support of incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock (D.). Neither Brady PAC nor Giffords PAC have submitted updated filings since the general election. None of the gun-control groups’ websites refer to any new spending or advertising campaigns ahead of the final Senate race.
None of the three gun-control groups responded to a request for comment.
The runoff battle marks one of the key Senate races in which the NRA and all three major gun control groups have endorsed a candidate–the NRA for Walker and the other three for Warnock.
Overall, the NRA has seen 17 of its 21 endorsed Senate candidates secure electoral victory thus far, according to a review by The Reload. By comparison, 14 candidates of Everytown’s 19 endorsed Senate candidates, 12 of Gifford’s 17 endorsed Senate candidates, and 15 of Brady’s 20 endorsed Senate candidates have secured victory thus far.
But Democrats backed by the gun-control groups have come out just ahead of NRA-backed Republicans in the key battleground races that have determined control of the Senate. The Georgia runoff is the last chance for the NRA to tighten the gap in races where each side spent significant money.
“Will you let liberals like Raphael Warnock and Joe Biden take away your gun rights?” the NRA ad said. “Show up. Stand your ground. Defend freedom. Defeat Warnock. Vote early or vote on December 6 for Herschel Walker.”