We’ve reached a record low in NRA member participation since I started keeping stats from one of the early NRA meetings I attended back in 2006.
There haven’t been this few voters since 2011, even though they reportedly sent a record high number of ballots in 2021.
It would seem that people are checking out and tuning out of NRA as a group worth participating in, even if they technically pay the dues. Why pay the dues if they are checked out of the group? Probably for most of the reason I know most members locally – some gun ranges mandate membership. Or people just think it’s something they should do even if they don’t really follow what NRA is up to.
The big question is whether these signs that their own members are tuning NRA out indicate they will tune them out for midterm elections and other key action items. I’ll be honest, I’ve never tracked NRA election participation to success on initiatives outside of internal politics, so that would be interesting.
Consider this – more voting members were interested in bylaws & Grover Norquist than in this year’s candidates.
In an average year since 2006, 6.2% of voting members care enough to vote. This year, that’s 3.8%. In an average year, 117,062 voting members care enough to cast ballots. This year, only 97,899 did. In an average year, the top vote getter pulls – on average – 92,519 votes. This year, the top vote getter pulled in fewer votes than the “first loser” did several years.
The percent of ballots that had the top winner and last winner on them was lower this year than past, so that also indicates a diversity of voting interests, or more bullet voting.
The only sitting member most reformers bullet voted for on the main cast of characters was Buz Mills, and he came in 6th. I’m not in a position to pull my past election reports to see how that compares to his past performances. Not that it matters since he resigned anyway.
Which…by the way…despite the public resignation, NRA didn’t actually declare him resigned from the board and therefore didn’t have to fill his seat before this board meeting. Odd.
UPDATE: NRA In Danger has a report from on the ground that said this was basically the worst attended meeting even in light of tighter COVID restrictions last year. They also managed to find the local newspaper that NRA was using for their official notice, but that notice did not run in time. The first notice they found from early September was for the Houston meeting, not the one they just had. And based on the publication schedule, they would have had just enough time to run it for 3 issues if the next two issues that should have already been released had it.
How these leaders keep claiming success when there are record numbers of gun owners and yet membership is dropping and participation in the longer term members is in free fall…I just don’t understand.