“A poll..released on Monday found voters have become more concerned with candidates’ views on gun policy than on President Trump at the same time that the partisan gap has shrunk.” That’s from a Washington Free Beacon story.
The Washington Post/ABC Newspoll, conducted between April 8 and 11, found that 78 percent of registered voters considered voting for a candidate whose views on gun rights and gun control matched their own to be either very or extremely important. Twenty-one percent of those surveyed said it was only somewhat important or not important at all. One percent gave no opinion.
That’s probably not terribly surprising. The post-Parkland anti-gun frenzy has firearms and the right to own them on a lot more minds these days. What’s more noteworthy, however, is . . .
The gap between registered voters who prefer Democrats to Republicans shrunk by 8 points between the last Washington Post/ABC News poll, conducted in January, and the poll released on Monday. Democrats had a 12 percentage-point advantage over Republicans in January but now only enjoy a 4 point advantage.
Hmm. So while the number of voters who think that candidates’ views of guns is important has increased, the margin of support in favor of Democrats has been cut by two-thirds. Could it be that most Americans, as a group, don’t appreciate politicians, the media and the new Anti-Gun Our Gang telling them how deplorable they are for owning firearms?
At the same time, Gallup is reporting today that the subject of guns is actually falling precipitously in importance in the minds of most Americans.
Americans’ mentions of guns or gun control as the most important problem facing the nation fell by over half this month, ticking down to 6% from last month’s record high of 13%. Still, gun control continues to be one of the highest-ranked issues named by Americans — only dissatisfaction with government, immigration and race relations were named more frequently.
So despite the herculean efforts of the media and the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex, Americans seem to have realized that the country faces far bigger problems.
In the immediate aftermath of (Parkland), public opinion regarding gun control shifted significantly. A March 2-11 Gallup poll found Americans’ support for gun control laws rising to the highest levels since 1993. Meanwhile, the same Gallup poll found a record percentage of Americans mentioning guns as the country’s top problem.
But it remains to be seen how long-lasting these changes in Americans’ attitudes will prove to be. Past shootings, such as the 2012 incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School, have changed at least some aspect of public opinion related to gun control, but these effects have tended to be temporary.
And no doubt will again. Despite David Hogg’s furious efforts to remain on the public stage a few minutes longer. It’s a long time until November.