Left to Right: Ted Strickland (D-Ohio), Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire), and Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin)

Meet the three swing state candidates who want to introduce tougher gun laws.

If I told you that donating five bucks to a political candidate could prevent the deaths of over 300 people in Ohio in 2017 would you do it?

There are three U.S. Senate candidates running in swing states right now who want to introduce tougher U.S. gun laws. Multiple studies show tougher gun laws are strongly correlated with reduced gun death.* If these three candidates win, there’s a good chance fewer people will die at the end of a gun barrel in upcoming years.

There’s just one catch. Two of the three candidates are within one percentage point of their opponents in the polls right now. It’s notoriously difficult to beat incumbents in Senate races , but these challengers could actually do it. They’re ahead, but just barely.

The possibility of saving lives seemed like a great reason to give them an extra push, so I donated to them. You should do that too. Here they are:

  1. Ted Strickland is an Ohio Democrat running for U.S. Senate against Republican Rob Portman. Portman has received significant amounts of money from the NRA. In early May a Quinnipiac University poll showed Portman trailing behind Strickland by a narrow margin — 42 percent to Strickland’s 43 percent. Portman has endorsed Trump and is on Trump’s shortlist for VP, but has so far claimed not to be interested in the job. Strickland, on the other hand, is a former Ohio governor who served in the U.S. House. He once got an “A” rating from the NRA, but Sandy Hook caused him to reverse his former position. He says the U.S. should implement “commonsense and effective ideas to reduce gun violence” including introducing universal background checks and closing the no-fly list loophole. You can donate to Ted Strickland’s campaign here.
  2. Maggie Hassan is a New Hampshire Democrat running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte. Just like Strickland, Hassan is running neck-in-neck with her opponent. She currently has a narrow one percent lead of 43 percent over Ayotte’s 42 percent. Maggie Hassan served three terms as a state senator and is currently the state’s governor with a relatively high approval rating. On gun control, she vetoed legislation that would have allowed citizens to carry concealed weapons without a permit. At the federal level, she says she’ll fight for stronger background checks. Donate to Maggie Hassan’s campaign here.
  3. Russ Feingold is a Wisconsin Democrat who lost his Senate seat in 2010 to Tea Party Republican Ron Johnson and now he wants it back. Of the three races, Feingold currently enjoys the biggest lead. A recent poll favored Feingold by double digits. Feingold is known for his landmark campaign finance reform law — the McCain–Feingold Act — and for being the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act in the first vote. Donate to Russ Feingold’s campaign here.

If you donate to only one of these candidates, I suggest you make it Ted Strickland. Not only is he running neck-in-neck with his opponent, but Ohio has the largest population of these three swing states by far. In 2010, 310 people were murdered in Ohio using guns. Ohio also has the most electoral votes. Your donation will have the greatest impact there.

Wisconsin has more electoral votes than New Hampshire, but New Hampshire may be more deserving of your attention right now because Maggie Hassan’s lead is currently more narrow than that of Russ Feingold.

*References:

— Multiple rigorous academic studies like this one, this one, and this one correlate tougher gun laws with less gun death.

— Others correlate high rates of gun ownership with high rates of gun injury and death like this one, this one, this one, and this one.

— No, Vermont isn’t an exception. Neither is Chicago. Gun laws are tough there but gun violence rates are relatively high, so people often try to use Chicago as proof gun laws don’t work. Just one problem with that: many guns in the city come from counties and states with lax gun laws.

— Switzerland (where rates of gun ownership are high but rates of gun violence rates are relatively low) is no exception either. Switzerland’s gun laws are significantly tougher than U.S. law including universal background checks and an automatic weapons ban.

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