The usual anguished questions followed the mass shooting late Nov. 7 at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Twelve people, including a sheriff’s sergeant, were fatally shot by a young man with a Glock .45-caliber handgun, who then turned the gun on himself. But there was a fresh question in the aftermath of this slaughter: Would the midterm election results the day before lead to changes in U.S. gun laws, or would the National Rifle Association once again stand in the way of commonsense reform?

An answer is emerging: The NRA — for decades one of the country’s most formidable electoral machines — suffered a major breakdown at the ballot box Nov. 6. In race after race, Republican candidates with NRA grades of A or A-plus lost to Democrats who ran hard on gun-safety credentials.

Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga., hailed by President Donald Trump in April 2017 as “totally for the NRA,” lost her congressional seat to Lucy McBath, a leader of the gun-safety movement whose 17-year-old son was fatally shot in a Jacksonville, Fla., parking lot in 2012 by someone who objected to the music he was playing.