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NRA grades lead to (more) fights on Twitter in governor race

With National Rifle Association grades starting to leak out over the weekend, Missouri Republican governor candidates took the opportunity to fight for differentiation again.

According to reports, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder received an A+, former Speaker Catherine Hanaway received an A, and John Brunner and Eric Greitens both received AQ ratings. Brunner has also been endorsed by the debatably more stringent Gun Owners of America.

Naturally, some of the candidates took to social media to celebrate their grades.

As tends to happen whenever anything happens with the Greitens campaign, the claim that he got “the highest grade a candidate can receive from the NRA” led to to a lot of pushback on Twitter.

In response, the Greitens campaign tried to clarify the message.

And that went over well.

So what’s really going on? As is typical in politics, it’s all about semantics.

Out of all the candidates, Kinder received the highest grade. That’s because the NRA likes to see that candidates have a record of supporting gun rights. Both Kinder and Hanaway received grades that reflect not just how they’ve filled out an NRA survey, but how they’ve voted while in public office.

Brunner and Greitens are “outsider” candidates, so they have no public record. The NRA can only rely on how the candidates filled out their questionnaire. Instead of a regular A, it’s qualified as AQ.

So did Greitens receive the “highest rating a candidate can receive from the NRA?” No. But he did receive the highest rating he could receive from the NRA.