U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- ANALYSIS: The 2022 elections are less than three weeks away, and there are rumbles across the Pacific Northwest landscape on both sides of the Columbia River, where earthquakes are not unheard of, even in a political sense.
The question popping up within the firearms community: Can gun owners provide a voting bloc to tilt the election results in Washington and Oregon?
Recent polling suggests Oregon could be headed for a stunning upheaval with a Republican in the lead in the governor’s race. According to the National Review, “Christine Drazan, who’s running to be Oregon’s first Republican governor since 1987, has now led the field in four consecutive polls. Surveys from three separate polling firms, conducted September 19–24, all showed Drazan ahead.”
Republican Drazan is running against Democrat Tina Kotek and Independent Betsy Johnson, a former Democrat whose presence on the ballot may be as a spoiler for Kotek.
Election day in Oregon could also bring every Beaver State gun owner to the ballot box because of Ballot Measure 114, an extremist gun control initiative that would require permits just to purchase firearms, plus a training requirement. The Oregon Firearms Federation has been leading the opposition, and the group’s latest alert says it all:
“All indications are that Ballot Measure 114 is very close. If this passes we will face a long time and a lot of money to defeat it in court.
“Make no mistake, it will be defeated. The proponents know it, the Secretary of State knows it, and the media knows it. But why should they care? When it comes time to fight it, we get to pay for our lawyers and their lawyers. So please get your friends and family to fill out those ballots and bring them to a “secure” drop box or directly to your elections office. Do NOT assume the Post Office will deliver them.
“114 is the most extreme anti-gun effort in the country. If it passes, we see no way for most gun dealers to survive while the legal battles get sorted out. So every single vote is going to count.”
North of the Columbia, 30-year incumbent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray—a deep blue Democrat whose critics say she has overstayed her welcome—is facing a spirited challenge from political newcomer Tiffany Smiley. In a recent report at TheGunMag.com, the question was raised whether Evergreen State gun owners, who see Murray as no friend of the Second Amendment, could make the difference in that race as well.
The Murray re-election effort has been concentrating on abortion, and trying to paint Smiley as a Donald Trump disciple, but a recent Rasmussen survey finds that the overwhelming majority (88%) of likely voters—a group that certainly includes gun owners of all stripes—think the economy is the hot button issue. Her campaign has been furiously seeking donations and support on social media. Right now, Murray is still favored to win by most surveys, but the gap may be tightening.
Not surprisingly, identified Democrats in that poll say they are not as concerned about the economy (47%) as Republicans (76%) and Independents (58%). There is a reason for that. It’s because Democrats cannot blame anyone but themselves for the economy, so they focus on a different issue as a distraction.
They can’t talk about crime, because the big cities where crime is spiking are all run by Democrats. They can’t talk about the price of gas, especially after OPEC voted to cut back on oil production after Joe Biden reportedly pleaded with them not to.
Whatever else gun owners may be, they are primarily taxpayers and consumers. They feel pain at the pump like everyone else, and their grocery bills are just as high as the nearest non-gun owner’s bill. And when their rights are threatened, gun owners can turn into a formidable voting bloc.
But gun rights could be a pivotal issue, especially in the wake of a report from the Washington Department of Licensing that concealed pistol license numbers are skyrocketing. Washington is the smallest state in the West, with the second largest population and a crime problem that is getting worse. As a result of several factors, the state now has more than 688,000 active CPLs, a number that Alan Gottlieb at the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms wonders whether it will translate to votes on Nov. 8.
Senator Murray has a long record of supporting gun control, including Biden’s “Safer Communities Act” passed earlier this year. She supports a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” calling modern semi-auto rifles “weapons of war” when she recently joined anti-gunner Shannon Watts, in a video.
Another race that could be tilted by gun owners is in Washington’s 8th Congressional District, where incumbent Kim Schrier is being challenged by Republican Matt Larkin. Schrier, who has a straight party-line voting record, is also running on the abortion issue, because—according to critics—she doesn’t have anything else. The economy under the Democrat Congress is a mess, retirement accounts have been ruined, gasoline prices are the highest in the state in her district, and a trip to the grocery store can be a costly adventure.
And then there is the Tulsi Gabbard factor. When the former Hawaii congresswoman quit the Democratic Party a few days ago, launching a podcast called the “Tulsi Gabbard Show” in the process, she did so with a scathing critique of Democrats.
“I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness,” Gabbard said in a message on Twitter, “who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism, actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms, that are enshrined in our constitution, who are hostile to people of faith, and spirituality, who demonize the police and protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, who believe in open borders, who weaponize the national security state to go after their opponents, and above all, who are dragging us ever closer to nuclear war.
“Now,” the once Democrat rising star added, “I believe in a government that is of the people, by the people and for the people. Unfortunately, today’s Democratic party does not.”
Just how much damage Gabbard did to Democrats will not be known until November, but she has attracted tens of thousands of views. If there is a “Red Wave” next month, she may take some credit as a dam buster, while American gun owners, determined to derail Biden’s gun control extremism, just might be the tsunami.
About Dave Workman