Over and over again, the media has made it clear that gun control is going to be a huge part of the 2020 Democratic primaries. It’s not surprising. Democrats in Congress have been pushing for it and honestly believe it’s at least one of the issues that helped them take the House in 2018. As a result, presidential candidates are talking about it.
Recently, former Vice President Joe Biden was the latest to announce that gun control was a top priority for his campaign.
This comes just days after he announced his own assault weapon ban, which would land your AR-15 on the NFA registry. That is, it would if you didn’t sell it to the government.
Regardless, though, Biden’s grasp is an important point in his candidacy, but not for the reason some might think.
As Biden continues his campaign surrounded by the specter of him having potentially exerted undue influence over a Ukrainian investigation into corruption involving his son, he’s dropping in the polls.
In May of this year, Real Clear Politics showed Biden as polling at 41 percent. That was lightyears beyond his next closest competitor. While that dropped a fair bit, he’s still been the frontrunner ever since then. Since September 22, however, he’s been trending downward and is currently sitting at just 26.2 percent. That’s just 0.2 percent higher than his entire low point and there’s little reason to see him rebound this time.
So, he’s embracing gun control to try and stop the hemorrhaging of supporters.
Unfortunately, that’s not going to work. For example, let’s look at Rep. Erik “Nuke ’em All” Swalwell. He entered the race primarily to push a gun control agenda. That was his primary talking point for the first months of the campaign. It was his driving force and he had a history of pushing gun control.
He was also the first to withdraw from the campaign.
Sen. Cory Booker was never polling particularly well, though he was in the top five or so for a little while. He announced his support for requiring licenses to purchase firearms among other things. How did that serve him? He’s polling below two percent, so not particularly well.
Then we have Sen. Kamala Harris, who famously started talking about basically destroying the Second Amendment via executive orders. After that, she did see a significant bump and became the strongest threat to Biden’s status as the frontrunner. Unfortunately for her, it didn’t stick and now her campaign is struggling to stay afloat.
Beto O’Rourke rebooted his campaign following El Paso, and while there was a time it looked like he might have gotten a bit of a bump, that didn’t hold for long. He’s currently at 2.2 percent. That’s less than the margin of error in many polls.
As Biden is floundering, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is steadily gaining ground in the polls. She hasn’t made gun control a priority in her campaign and is now within the margin of error of most polls according to Real Clear Politics’ aggregate score, though the last two polls show her actually ahead of Biden.
Now, I’m not saying Warren is pro-gun by any stretch of the imagination. Far from it.
However, she also hasn’t tried to push guns front and center. She’s also the candidate who isn’t struggling at the moment in some regard.
While Democrats continue to pretend that gun control is a winning issue for them, they would do well to remember that so far, there’s no evidence it’s even a winning issue in their own primary process. Why would it be a winner in the general election?
For some time, I’ve argued that Democrats favor gun control, but it’s not a key issue for most of them. The trouble we can see with focusing on gun control certainly suggests that I’m right on this one.
If Biden wants to regain the relevancy he’s quickly losing, he’d do well to abandon ship on gun control and instead talk on any number of issues. I don’t know that it’ll work, but trying to turn millions of modern sporting rifles into the same category as full-autos sure as hell won’t.