A few days ago I outlined how people could step up and throw some visible and measurable support behind New York’s junior senator. I warned against gun owners who go with the “wait and see” approach that would encourage all of our guys to sit on the sidelines and show no support until she proves herself again. What were some of the early responses? “I will just sit back to wait and see.”
First, reward her for recent past behavior. The fact is that gun issues don’t come up that often in the Senate. She signed on to the Heller brief, joining only six other members of Congress from New York. She’s got a high rating based on her past actions which are the best prediction of her future actions. Even the wait-and-see advocate SayUncle admitted in his above-linked post that she’s said nothing that indicates she’ll be flipping on the issue.
Second, give her an incentive to stay with us. Show her that her position reaps rewards. So what if she frames the debate publicly as about hunting? That’s her family heritage and a background that many gun owners in her district share. In the latest survey, there were about half a million resident hunters in New York that spend about $788 million annually and support approximately 11,500 jobs in the state. That’s a pretty sizeable constituency. And if it makes her pro-gun record more tolerable for the NYC residents, so be it. Remember, Heller had nothing to do with hunting, and she supported it.
New numbers show that this is simply not a time to sit back to wait and see.
The survey of New York registered voters said 21 percent are prepared to support her in 2010 while 29 percent prefer someone else. A big part of that work she has to do is with her own party where that figure is 20 percent for her in 2010 and 28 percent against, (by contrast, 24 percent of Republicans say they would support her while 28 percent are opposed). Among Democrats, 63 percent would like to see someone challenge her in a primary while only 11 percent want to see her run unopposed.
Gillibrand’s biggest hurdle will likely be a primary challenge. There is a possibility that Rudy stepping into the general election could be a huge hurdle since they are statistically tied in a hypothetical match-up. And in that case, who would gun owners trust more: a Democrat who comes from the part of the state that still votes pro-gun and who has a record of supporting gun rights or a Republican who ran on gun control and ran the part of the state that has some of the most oppressive gun laws in the country?
After my last post, she has more than 150 new supporters on Facebook. There were some who confirmed via comments or emails that they donated. It’s time for others to get on board. She’s proven herself in the past, let’s reward her and show her that it’s a good thing to stick with us.