Mike Bloomberg put $50 million into Tuesday’s elections, and he doesn’t have much to show for it. Someone, perhaps the Koch brothers, ought to treat him to a Big Gulp. The onetime mayor of New York City organized a group called Everytown for Gun Safety, meant to rival the National Rifle Association, and with a lot more money. The new group was supposed to put gun control on the front burner. Instead, the gun-control candidates got scorched on the back burner.
The only success that Mr. Bloomberg’s group could rally around as a triumph was passage of Washington State Initiative 594, placed on the ballot with a deceptively innocent description: “This measure would apply currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions.” Sixty percent of voters supported it, many probably not understanding that the 18 pages of accompanying regulations would criminalize ordinary behavior, such as lending a gun to a brother, sister or parent.
Even so, enacting gun control in a far-left state is hardly a heroic accomplishment. Alabama strengthened its constitutional protection of firearms ownership by defining it as a fundamental right and preventing residents from being compelled to give up this right by “any international treaty or international law.” It passed with 73 percent of the vote.
There’s much that goes unsaid in the gloomy offices of the Bloomberg operation. Colorado has been ground zero for gun control, a once reliably red state now gone blue with strict new gun-control rules. The Democrats paid for this dearly on Tuesday, losing a U.S. senator, control of the state Senate and possibly the state House. Gov. John Hickenlooper, the Democrat who signed Colorado’s anti-gun law, was re-elected by a razor-thin margin.
No Republican senators targeted by Mr. Bloomberg lost bids for re-election. Every Democratic Senate incumbent in a tough race lost. Mr. Bloomberg’s millions made no difference. Nor did the $100 million that San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer pledged to raise in defense of the Senate’s Democratic majority. Mr. Steyer, unlike most Americans, is obsessed with global warming. The warming scare is used to enact job-killing tax increases and to fill the pockets of “green” technology investors such as Mr. Steyer with government subsidies.
The League of Conservation Voters boasted of dropping $25 million against Republican candidates in the midterms. Like Mr. Steyer, they’re desperate to conserve not the planet, which gets along very well on its own, but the handouts and tax giveaways they need to survive.
Exit polls demonstrate that voters aren’t worried about their own jobs and their economic future, not the fate of polar bears stranded on ice floes. The public isn’t interested in bringing back the Clinton-era gun bans that have done nothing to reduce crime.
That’s why the candidates who promised to rescue health care from the continuing disaster of Obamacare prospered this week. Mr. Bloomberg wasted his millions.