The 2020 Democratic Primary was supposed to have a whole lot of talk about gun control and so far, it has. We’ve seen candidates try to focus their entire campaign on the issue and every campaign has a gun control plan in place to some degree or another. It’s been a significant issue for every candidate.
And it may also be at least part of why the turnout for Monday’s Iowa Caucus was so low.
While so much of the focus on Iowa has been the complete debacle made of reporting caucus results thanks to an untested app–and these people want me to give up my guns and trust them with my family’s safety?–there’s also been at least some discussion of the poor turnout. Iowa Democrats just aren’t that energized by any of the candidates.
However, it also suggests they’re not nearly as motivated by gun control as some would like to believe.
Now, this is only one state so far and it’s a pretty rural state, so it may not end up being typical across the board, but don’t be surprised to see lower voter turnout throughout the primary season.
The reason is that while polls argue that most people support gun control, the polling over a number of recent issues hasn’t reflected reality. Most famously, these same polls predicted Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in for the White House. How did that work out again?
Polling has been exposed as terribly flawed, which means they can still be useful, but they’re not infallible. Just because they say most voters want gun control doesn’t mean they actually do. That’s especially true in states like Iowa where even a lot of Democrats own guns.
While the Democrats have been beating the gun control drum with every fiber of their being, probably regarding the polling as telling them that’s a good choice, they’re also alienating a lot of voters who might have otherwise backed them.
Again, though, this is Iowa. It’s just one state, right?
That’s certainly true, but let’s look at the overall primary season to date. Beto O’Rourke, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Sen. Cory Booker all took major stands on gun control, arguably, the strongest in the field. All are at home right now wondering what happened in Iowa but not otherwise impacted by it…just like the rest of us.
Had the passion for gun control been as strong as Democratic insiders argue, one might have expected these candidates to do far better than they did.
No, Iowa is a warning call. It’s a warning that gun control isn’t the winning strategy Democrats might want to believe it is. If they want to have a hope in hell of winning, it might not be a bad idea to kill the anti-gun rhetoric and recognize how many gun owners there really are in the United States. We all tend to vote, and while many may not like Trump for a variety of reasons–up to and including the bump stock ban–we’re not voting for a Democrat who has vowed to make even more gun control laws.