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.

$10,000

$1,000

Received 2012 donation

Received career donation

261 candidates received donations in 2012

Nearly all of the contributions to House
and Senate candidates went to Republicans.

Democrats

25

Republicans

236

... totaling about $650,000

Republican candidates received
about 90 percent of that money.

Democrats

$74,000

Republicans

$583,646

About 80% of them won

Over 80 percent of the candidates funded
by the NRA won their House or Senate races.

2012 election results

Winners

$524,946

Losers

$132,700

Which means 213 members of the 113th Congress
received NRA dollars in 2012

2012 election results

Winners

$524,946

Senate

Democrats

Donations: $4,500

Republicans

Donations: $32,408

Elected
in 2012

House

Democrats

Donations: $45,000

Republicans

Donations: $442,988

... 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.

Senate

Democrats

Total donations: $69,100

Republicans

Total donations: $849,263

House

Democrats

Total donations: $352,646

Republicans

Total donations: $3 million

Most top recipients have highest ratings and longest tenure

On average, the NRA gives Republicans
higher marks than their Democratic counterparts.

Senate Democrats

Average rating: D

Senate Republicans

Average rating: A-

Better rating

Worse rating

More experience

Less experience

Less experience

More experience

House Democrats

Average rating: D

House Republicans

Average rating: A

Better rating

Worse rating

More experience

Less experience

Less experience

More experience

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.