The July primary win for Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp wasn’t even close.
It could better be described as a blow out, as Casey Cagle was obliterated by a vote of 68% – 32%.
Cagle, the Lt. Governor, had been a long-time enemy of gun owners in Georgia and worked behind the scenes for years to kill efforts to advance Constitutional Carry.
Despite this, Cagle secured the endorsement of the NRA.
Grassroots gun owners, mobilized by Georgia Gun Owners (GGO,) spent the weeks leading up to the July run-off running internet ads hounding Cagle over his record and refusal to sign their candidate survey.
According to Georgia Gun Owners:
Two days ago we launched our web ad entitled: “Casey Cagle Opposes Constitutional Carry.”
Thanks to the generous financial support of Georgia Gun Owners supporters, 268,946 identified Second Amendment supporters have seen the ad.
I don’t think I’ve EVER seen so much anger pointed at a Republican candidate for Governor in our state.
Georgia Gun Owners continued to roll out numerous ads, highlighting Cagle’s record in ads that were seen by almost 750,000 people during the final weeks of the run-off.
The victory for Kemp, an outspoken gun rights advocate who angered national media outlets over his edgy Second Amendment TV ads, highlights a growing problem for the NRA who seem to constantly endorse the establishment candidate.
The problem for the NRA is that they are no longer the only player on the scene in the fight for gun rights.
In the Georgia example, the NRA made an endorsement that infuriated their own members who were learning the truth about Casey Cagle’s view from Georgia Gun Owners.
So not only did the NRA’s endorsed candidate lose — and lose badly -– the NRA also has a problem with their own members who are clearly losing faith in NRA endorsements.
This seems to part of a growing trend.
Earlier this month, the NRA endorsed Diane Black in the Tennessee Republican Party Gubernatorial primary race citing her support of gun bills during her time in Congress.
Gun owners weren’t convinced, as cosponsoring bills that never go anywhere are seen as a cheap political tactic to be used at election time.
Despite touting her endorsement heavily, Black came in third place in a 5-way primary, a full 13% behind Bill Lee who won the race with 36.7% of the vote.
In the Kansas primary that took place on August 14, the NRA endorsed Jeff Colyer, who was appointed Governor after Sam Brownback took a position in the Trump administration.
Kris Kobach, however, was seen as the more Trumpesque candidate and entered parades in a Jeep with a replica machine gun mounted on top.
While some state and national media outlets expressed their outrage, gun owners were impressed enough to hand Kobach the election by a nail biting margin of just 191 votes.
In Missouri, in 2016, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Chris Koster received the NRA endorsement despite a checkered background as a state lawmaker.
Running against him was Republican Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL who ran repeated TV ads showing him shooting machine guns.
Despite the NRA endorsement, Koster lost that race to Greitens by a 45% – 51% margin — in extremely gun friendly Missouri.
While the NRA endorsements are still highly coveted by candidates at all levels, it’s obvious that there is a growing disconnect between the NRA and grassroots gun owners at the state level.
And with more state level gun rights organizations springing up, who have the facts and first hand information on these candidates, expect to see more candidates losing their races despite being NRA endorsed.