Donald Trump is out with a new ad which features the Great White Hunter Ted Nugent and a bunch of other right-wing television personalities posing in front of various camera-ready montages of wilderness and other natural spaces, the whole point of the ad promoting hunting as one of America’s true values which the Shlump will defend and protect from the villainous Hillary gang.
The video is narrated by the NRA’s favorite Hillary attack-dog, an ex-Navy Seal named Mark Geist whose version of who was at fault for the Benghazi mess-up has changed as many times as the veritable cat has lives. In this video he begins by intoning what has become the standard anti-Hillary mantra, i.e., she’s against everything we hold dear, and what Geist and the other performers claim to cherish above all is their right to hunt.
You may recall that during the 2008 election Obama appeared to have met his Waterloo when he talked about how all those dispossessed workers in the backwoods of Pennsylvania clung “to their religion and their guns.” Actually, he made the comment during the primary season, and it didn’t hurt him at all against Hillary, nor did it hurt him against McCain. In fact, he beat McCain by nearly 600,000 votes out of less than 6 million votes cast in Pennsylvania, a margin that was close to ten overall points.
Going into the last seven weeks of this campaign, the Shlumper gang appears to believe that the hunting vote could make a difference in key swing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and the Gunshine State. And there’s no question that the gap has narrowed in all four states to the point that if Shlump-o were to win three of those states, he might actually be able to move from his new hotel in the Old Post Office Building to an older address right down the block.
I have always wondered about the actual voting strength of the gun-owning population and, in this case, those gun owners who like to hunt. So I took a look at the number of hunting licenses that were purchased in 2014 by the residents of those four swing states and the numbers look like this: PA – 900,000; OH – 400,000; NC – 500,000; FL – 175,000. I’m rounding off a bit but the bottom line is that roughly 2 million people bought hunting licenses in those four states. Now this happens to work out to roughly 3.5% of the total population of those four states. That’s not fifteen percent, that’s not ten percent, that’s not even five percent. That’s three percent.
In 2012 the Bomber racked up 12.2 million votes and won three out of those four states. Romney polled 11.7 million and managed to win North Carolina, but the overall difference between blue and red in those battleground states was roughly half a million votes. Hey – wait a minute! I just said that 2 million residents of those states bought hunting licenses in 2014. So add 2 million to the votes that Romney received in those states and the Shlump-o is on his way to ga-ga land, right?
Duhhh, there’s only one little problem. Romney got most of those hunting votes in 2012. And McCain got most of them four years before. And Bush got them in 2004, and on and on and on. This totally contrived video ad may appear to be scouring the landscape for new votes but the fact is that, generally speaking, the hunting vote has already been counted by both sides. Which is why Obama’s ‘clinging’ comment didn’t hurt him in 2008, and which is why this ad won’t make a dime’s worth of difference this time around.
Know how many hunting licenses were sold in 2014? Fourteen million. Know how many hunting licenses were sold in 1959? Fourteen million. Know what happened to the U.S. population between 1959 and 2014? It just about doubled. Shlump can portray himself from here to tomorrow as America’s defender of traditional ‘values,’ but one of those so-called values known as hunting is slowly but surely withering away.