Of the 29 Senate incumbents running for reelection who voted on S.A. 4750, an amendment that would have expanded background checks, those who voted against it (n = 21) received $500,000 more in contributions than did those who voted for it (n = 8).
The findings were similar with H.R. 1217, a bill in the House of Representatives to expand background checks; the PACs contributed $2,878,675 more to candidates who did not cosponsor it (n = 227) than to cosponsors (n = 166).
In regard to ratings from the NRA-PVF, the 25 PACs gave $5.6 million to candidates with an A rating and $4.1 million to candidates with a rating other than A.
But the trend was somewhat different when it came to theon firearm-related injury and death, endorsed by several physician groups. Among the nine PACs with affiliated organizations that had endorsed the call to action, eight contributed to more candidates who did not support firearm safety policies. But after adjustment for political factors, those nine PACs had a lower likelihood of donating to NRA-PVF A-rated candidates, compared with nonendorsing PACs (odds ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval, 0.58-0.99; P = .04).
“Although endorsement of firearm safety policies may reflect a small difference in political giving, it does not mean that a physicians’ organization has elevated firearm policy to the level of a contribution criteria for the PAC,” the researchers wrote.
The researchers noted that it is “unlikely that physician organization–affiliated PACs contribute to candidates because they are opposed to firearm regulation.” Rather, they said, these PACs consider a number of factors, including a candidates’ stance on malpractice reform, physician payment policies, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as well as their chance of winning.
The authors reported having no conflicts of interest.
SOURCE: Schuur JD et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Feb 22. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.7831.