Dana Loesch Dismantles ABC/Washington Post Poll

On Monday, I wrote about a poll from ABC and the Washington Post. I offered some thoughts on the poll, mostly taking the numbers at face value, which I really know better than to do. However, the numbers appeared to be a slight improvement over previous polls, which may have fed into my own confirmation bias. It told me something I sort of liked–it could have been more likable, but I saw it in a “glass half full” kind of way–and failed to delve much deeper.


Dana Loesch, however, had no issue looking under the surface.

I owe everyone an apology. I didn’t go as in-depth on that discussion as I should have. Dana did my job for me, and there’s really no excuse for that. None whatsoever.

Now, I don’t necessarily agree with everything Loesch notes. For example, I’m not sure most people are thinking full-auto capability when they think of the term “assault weapon.” I’m sure some do, but I don’t know that the numbers are all that high. Then again, that’s just my hunch versus something I can readily prove, so it’s not worth arguing about. Especially considering some of her other points.


For example, her point about the sample size is right on. Fewer than a thousand people nationwide isn’t a very good sample size on a national political issue. It’s small enough that you’re likely to get some statistical noise thrown in there, especially if you poll heavily in urban areas.

There is also a high degree of ignorance suggested by some of the questions. Particularly the one regarding background checks.

In a lot of people’s minds, the “gun show loophole” is that you may have to get a background check at a store, but not at a gun show. That’s not accurate. Licensed gun dealers are required to undertake a background check with every sale regardless of where it is. If they sell it to you out of the trunk of their car, they’re required to conduct a background check. They don’t get to skip that because of geography.

Yet most people don’t really understand that. They also think you can buy a gun online and have it shipped to your house, which you can’t. Not legally.

Support for universal background checks hinges not on an understanding of existing law, but on scare tactics that misrepresent facts to overstate the potential risk.

Loesch did a fine job dismantling that poll in her Twitter thread, and she should be commended for it. Again, I apologize for dropping the ball on it as it’s my job to catch this kind of thing too. You all deserve better from me.


To Dana, thanks for picking up not just my slack but the slack of others as well who should have been more critical of the poll itself rather than just focused on the findings. While those can and probably should be discussed, this poll shouldn’t be taken as anything other than a glimpse at what some people in the American population seem to think about gun issues. Nothing more, nothing less.

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