- The Limits of Tragedy. Gun control is fiercely divisive and not a settled topic. In low turnout elections, tragedy loses its potency.
- Grass Roots vs. Greenbacks. “The election was widely seen as a proxy battle between the National Rifle Association and the new group created by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Mayors Against Illegal Guns. In fact, Bloomberg contributed $350,000 to try to defeat the recalls. There was plenty of outside money spent in the fight: Denver political analyst and pollster Floyd Ciruli said the airwaves were so saturated with ads it felt like the frenzied height of a presidential election in parts of this battleground state. Gun rights groups were significantly outspent, explains Ciruli, but carried the day mostly through a very effective grass-roots campaign.”
- The Big Gulp Factor. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was a net liability. His money was countered by his low favorability.
- Beware of Polling. Support for gun control tends to subside as time passes. Plus, if it becomes a “rights” issue, support weakens.
- The Intensity Gap. Gun rights advocates are often single issue voters and will turn out in a September election.
- Get Ready For More Recalls. “Denver pollster Ciruli says there's one last point worth noting: Tuesday’s elections were the first recalls of Colorado legislators in history. He predicts that the recall election will become a much more frequently used tool against elected officials. Technology makes organizing a recall easier than ever and, Ciruli says, ‘with millions of dollars floating around the country and ready to come to battle’ we’ll see a lot more of this around the U.S.” (Sept. 12, 2013)
NPR: 6 lessons from the Colorado gun wars
Denver Post: Ciruli: For Colorado, being purple isn’t pretty