New poll shows large majorities unhappy with Biden on gun control

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

It’s not just Joe Biden’s age that’s turning off a lot of American voters, but his policies as well. According to a new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, large majorities of voters say they’re unhappy with Biden’s handling of the economy, immigration, and “gun policy”; though not all of the unhappiness comes from Americans who think Biden’s going too far in targeting legal gun owners. For some, it’s that Biden isn’t going far enough.

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Zoie Mosqueda, 24, who does not identify with any political party, said her family is ready to buy their first home but with the average mortgage interest rate hovering around 6.9 percent, that goal, at least for now, is out of reach.

The woman from West Texas said she also has been frustrated with Biden’s handling of gun policy and said he’s fallen short on his campaign promise to implement a fairer immigration policy.

A recent spate of mass shootings around the country, including this month’s shooting at an Allen, Texas mall that left eight victims dead and seven others wounded, has left her wishing that Biden and lawmakers in Washington would do more to address the scourge of gun violence.

Even among Democrats, the poll finds only about half approve of his handling of immigration and gun policy.

“Everything feels a bit crazy right now in this economy,” Mosqueda, a mother of two who works at a boutique and is looking to open her own business, said in explaining her disapproval of Biden’s performance. “My older daughter is in school now, and I just worry that this lack of gun policy stuff could affect her.”

Biden has been repeating his calls for an “assault weapons” ban on a regular basis since he took office, and has weaponized the ATF by placing a gun control advocate in charge of the organization, but has said that he’s reached the limits of his executive authority when it comes to implementing new restrictions on lawful gun owners. With numbers like this, it wouldn’t surprise me if Biden has a sudden change of heart at some point on the campaign trail, though I still think it’s likely that he’ll hold off until a possible second term to try to enact a ban on semi-automatic firearms through an ATF rule change.

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This is the worst showing for Biden on “gun policy” since he took office, with less than 1/3rd of respondents supporting his actions. And while I haven’t been able to see the details of the polling, the Associated Press hints that this is another poll that shows gun control losing ground among younger voters.

The president’s approval overall and his approval on specific issues remain highly partisan.

Adults age 60 and older and those with a college degree are more likely to approve of Biden’s handling of the economy and gun policy compared to younger or less educated individuals .

The gun control lobby has been proclaiming for years that the next generation is going to lead to a sea change in our country’s gun laws, but in many recent polls it’s been younger voters who are more critical of anti-2A policies than their Boomer cohorts, and the AP-NORC survey would appear to be more evidence of that phenomenon, though again some of those Gen Z voters may not believe Biden is going far enough for their liking.

All of which leaves Biden walking a political tightrope on guns; trying to energize his base without turning off the independent voters that are crucial to his re-election plans. If his numbers on gun control continue to crater, the pressure to “do something” more to satisfy his hardcore anti-gun supporters is going to increase, and he may very well decide that he has the power to unilaterally go for a gun grab despite his recent statements to the contrary.

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