How the NRA Lost Democrats

But group says it's still adding members

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 20, 2012 10:47 AM CST

(Newser) – The NRA might be surprised when it sees how few Democrats it has in its corner during the seemingly inevitable coming showdown over gun control. Even before the Newtown massacre, the gun lobby's staunchest Democratic supporters were starting to defect, seeing the group increasingly as an adjunct of the Republican Party, the Washington Post reports. The group's push to hold Eric Holder's feet to the fire over Fast and Furious in particular irked many Democrats, since it seemed unrelated to the group's main mission.

"I worry the NRA has become a captive of the Republican Party at a time that it needs Democratic votes," says one Texas Democrat who boasts the NRA's top rating. The lobby has also lost power because suburbs are now seen as the main battleground territory, rather than the NRA-friendly rural regions, and because public opinion seems to be shifting on guns. But don't count the group out yet. A source at the lobby tells Fox News that membership has actually been up since Newtown, with an average 8,000 people joining each day.

Gun owners and supporters fill out NRA applications while participating in an Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day convention, March 7, 2012 in Springfield, Ill.
Gun owners and supporters fill out NRA applications while participating in an Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day convention, March 7, 2012 in Springfield, Ill.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
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