For four decades, the National Rifle Association has pumped millions of dollars into federal elections, supporting both Republican and Democratic candidates who voted in accordance with the gun group’s strict view of the Second Amendment. That era is over, reports the New York Daily News and The Trace. “What you’re seeing is that the NRA is now operating at the core of the Republican national party coalition,” says Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute, a leading think tank on money in politics. “They’ve essentially zeroed out Democrats. They used to give to them as a way to maintain leverage in both parties.”
Slumping demand for diet sodas sold by PepsiCo and Coca Cola propelled a decline for the broader industry, as overall sales of carbonated soft drinks dropped for the 11th consecutive year in the U.S., reports Fortune. Total volume declined 1.2% in 2015, an acceleration from 2014’s 0.9% drop, as the biggest three players in the category all reported falling demand, according to a new report from industry tracker Beverage Digest. The group also reported that annual per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks dropped to about 650 eight-ounce servings in 2015 – the lowest since 1985.