Michelle Nunn’s Gun Problem

Posted: Mar 15, 2014 12:01 AM
Michelle Nunn’s Gun Problem

Michelle Nunn’s got a gun problem.

The Democratic Senate hopeful in Georgia, one half of the That 70’s Show ticket looking to bring the party back to prominence in the state, seems to have a problem telling voters where she’s at on the Second Amendment.

In a weekend interview, she voiced opposition to recently passed Georgia legislation loosening restrictions on carrying firearms in the state, which passed by an overwhelming margin. That in and of itself is unlikely to win any of the rural conservative votes needed to pull off an upset.

Then things got dodgy.

When asked if she supported the idea of cutting ammo clip sizes from 15 to 10 rounds, she said “I think there are a lot of different conversations around that, and I think it’s a little arbitrary how we define that, and so it’s not something that I’m focused on right now.”

If you’re scratching your head, you’re not the first one.

How in the name of common-sense is cutting ammo clip size defined arbitrarily? It’s a yes or no question, Nunn just can’t afford for Georgia voters to know where she stands on the issue.

Bad as it is, that answer came after she was pressed on the topic. Her initial response said even less.

That the issue is the Second Amendment is even more troubling given the forces powering her campaign.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg maxed out to Nunn’s campaign in the final fundraising quarter of 2013, this coming in the same year in which he called on donors to quit contributing to Democrats who oppose his pro-gun control agenda.

That led onlookers to speculate he’s got his eyes on some reciprocity if she emerges victorious.

Such musings and evasions are hardly welcome for a campaign already dependent on lightening in a bottle for an upset in November.

It’s hardly surprising, though, when you consider the national forces that are doling out donations and resources to support Nunn’s effort to net a vote for Harry Reid as Majority Leader.

Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Howard Dean, and Hanoi Jane Fonda have all contributed since the launch of her bid in July. The majority leader himself teased her announcement by citing how necessary a Peach State victory is for both himself and the Obama administration to accomplish their agenda in coming years.

Given this week's NBC/WSJ poll, in which 48 percent of respondents said they were unlikely to vote for a "strong Obama supporter," those comments feed into Republican arguments against her.

One of Nunn’s first endorsers was pro-choice EMILY’s List, which her campaign made a point of declining to comment on publicly. Unfortunately for them, they were caught running Facebook ads touting their backing and calling for support so she “can keep fighting for the issues that matter to women and families.”

All of which reads more like a rap sheet than Democratic revival in a state like Georgia, which hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office in eight years, with the last senator being in 1996.

The only polls that have shown Nunn competitive with the crowded slate of Republicans vying for a shot have been conducted by Public Policy Polling, usually commissioned by proudly progressive outfit Better Georgia, and often shown as deeply misconstruing the makeup of Georgia’s electorate.

Just this week a survey generated national headlines for showing her tied or leading a handful of would-be rivals (though it couldn’t be bothered to include all major comers). When broken down by party, the poll’s electoral makeup simply said around half “generally vote in Republican primaries,” whatever that means.

In other words – we’re dealing with gamed polls to fit a narrative, not accurately reflect the current political winds of a state.

Much like digital ads touting a pro-choice group’s support says something on that issue, donations from the likes Bloomberg and the others serve as tell for Nunn’s feelings on the 2nd Amendment, among other issues.

We just aren’t likely to hear her talk about them from now until November.