How the NRA exerts influence over Congress
The National Rifle Association uses campaign expenditures and a rating system based on members' voting histories to exert influence over members of Congress. Use this graphic to see who gets the most -- and least -- support.
261 candidates received donations in 2012
Nearly all of the contributions to House
and Senate candidates went to Republicans.
... totaling about $650,000
Republican candidates received
about 90 percent of that money.
About 80% of them won
Over 80 percent of the candidates funded
by the NRA won their House or Senate races.
Which means 213 members of the 113th Congress
received NRA dollars in 2012
... and 60% received a total of $4.3 million since 1990
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)
are tops in their respective chambers.
Most top recipients have highest ratings and longest tenure
On average, the NRA gives Republicans
higher marks than their Democratic counterparts.
Average rating: D
Average rating: A-
Average rating: D
Average rating: A
Correction: An earlier version of this graphic included lawmakers who retired in 2012 but had taken NRA contributions before they announced their retirement.
About NRA ratings
The NRA grades candidates based on their voting record on gun issues or on a questionnaire.
A+ "Excellent voting record" and "vigorous effort" on gun rights.
A "Solidly pro-gun," backed NRA on key votes or has positive record on gun rights.
AQ Pro-gun rating based solely on a questionnaire and without a voting record.
B May have opposed "pro-gun reform" or backed some gun restrictions.
C "Not necessarily a passing grade." Mixed record" on gun votes.
D "Anti-gun" supporter of "gun control legislation" who "can usually be counted on to vote wrong on key issues."
F "True enemy of gun owners' rights."
NOTE: Career donations are totals since 1990.
SOURCE: Center for Responsive Politics, Sunlight Foundation, Project Vote Smart, NRA. GRAPHIC: Wilson Andrews, Kat Downs, Dan Keating and Karen Yourish - The Washington Post. Published Jan. 15, 2013.