When gun control advocates tout polls that show just how much the public supposedly supports gun control, they forget something. They usually forget to provide how important the issue is to those voters. Assuming, of course, they’re talking to voters.
Someone could feel that almost any gun control measure is a good idea…but it’s secondary to a whole bunch of other stuff they want out of a candidate. If that’s the case, gun control takes a back seat. This happens with a lot of issues. An individual’s position is set, but it’s not that important in the grand scheme of things.
Well, a new poll shows that more and more people are looking at gun rights and gun control as a key issue for 2018.
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.
The same poll found only 52 percent of registered voters considered a candidate sharing their opinion on President Donald Trump to be either very or extremely important to whether or not they would vote for them. Forty-seven percent said it was only somewhat important or not important at all.
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.
In the poll, 82 percent of Republicans consider gun issues to be important while 17 percent did not. Eighty percent of Democrats consider guns to be important while 18 percent did not. Independents were slightly less engaged with the issue, but 73 percent considered guns important to their vote while 26 percent did not.
In other words, guns are a key issue, but Democrats appear to be losing ground overall. That implies that they’re also losing ground on guns.
That may be because people aren’t keen on monkeying around with the Constitution, and more and more Democrats are calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment. They can say they don’t want to take away our guns, but they’re getting louder about repealing the one amendment that says they can’t.
That may be helping push many away from Democrats going forward into the midterm elections later this year, and that’s a good thing for gun rights advocates.
While the media has made a lot out of the youth protests in March, the reality here is that it was still just a glimpse of what just one segment of the population thinks. It’s not a snapshot of the sentiments of the entire public. There were a lot more people who didn’t take part, after all. While some were undoubtedly sympathetic, the truth is a lot of others weren’t at all. They opposed everything those Marchers were protesting.
As the gap closes between the parties, we also see less and less news coverage of the Parkland crowd. Their 15 minutes of fame are almost over and they’ll go back to being high school kids that most of us won’t care about.
In other words, it seems the curtain is starting to close on this round of the gun wars, and it’s about damn time.