Thursday, May 09, 2013

Behind the Ad: The NRA comes to the rescue of Sen. Kelly Ayotte

By Richard K. Barry

(Another installment in our extensive "Behind the Ad" series.) 

Who: The National Rifle Association.

Where: New Hampshire.

What's going on: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has been getting hammered for her vote against recent gun control legislation. The fact that she represents a state close to the horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut hasn't helped her, and her polling numbers have taken a hit.

The NRA has now come out with a new pro-Ayotte ad, their first TV ad in the state, though they have been running spots on the radio there.

The ad starts with a picture of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been backing ads critical of Ayotte for her vote against gun control legislation that failed in the Senate. It suggests that the attack is in some way inaccurate, though Ayotte's vote is a matter of public record.

The ad is built on the premise that Ayotte has in the past voted for other measures that the NRA believes are consistent with public safety:

The ad goes on to highlight a series of Ayotte's votes that it characterizes as working to improve background checks, reform the mental health system and increase resources to prosecute criminals using guns.

Even if true, her no vote on the highest profile gun control measure in a long time makes her vulnerable and she and the NRA know it:

According to a Public Policy Polling survey, half of voters said Ayotte's vote on background checks made them less inclined to vote for her, and only a quarter said it made them more likely to support her.

Lucky for her she isn't up for re-election until 2016.

(Cross-posted at Phantom Public.)

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