Poll: gun control big for voters, but economy bigger issue

With the midterm elections coming up, there’s bound to be a lot of look at what issues matter most to voters. After all, those issues are what candidates are going to need to talk about if they want a shot at winning in November.

A recent poll suggests that gun control is an issue of growing importance for many voters.

More Americans are concerned with gun control policies now than they were a few months ago, according to a new survey conducted from July 28 to Aug. 1 by Monmouth University.

Results of the survey, “Dems Gain Slightly in Congress Support,” indicate that 38% of U.S. voters believe gun control is an “extremely important” issue, up from 32% in May. The polling comes roughly three months out from the Nov. 8 midterm elections. Abortion and gun control are the second and third most important issues among those surveyed.

But according to Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, “the state of the economy is certainly going to be omnipresent in the election.” He went on to say that “Democrats may have a harder time motivating their base in part because of the wider range of priorities among their voters.”

In other words, “It’s the economy, stupid,” is still probably a winning strategy for Republicans.

But as for those gun control numbers, let’s look a little deeper.

First, the increase since May isn’t unsurprising. What happened since that previous poll? Uvalde.

Following a mass shooting, people have a tendency to favor gun control. They even tend to favor it enough to call it “extremely important.” So seeing an increase of just six percent isn’t surprising.

However, the interesting thing for me is how the poll categorized things.

You see, that percentage doesn’t necessarily mean just those favoring gun control. Those who see opposition to gun control as important may well have answered similarly, thus driving up that percentage.

Even if that wasn’t the case, though, the poll also found that gun control was the most important issue for just 17 percent of the respondents. Now, that’s much higher than it was in May, but it’s still less than one in five voters.

By contrast, 24 percent said the economy was the biggest issue for them, and that’s not a win for the Biden administration no matter how you cut it.

The truth of the matter is that gun control may tend to poll well, but we’ve seen time and time again that while gun rights drive a lot of right-leaning voters, gun control doesn’t have the same kind of draw among Democrats.

As a result, there’s more pressure on Republicans to preserve gun rights than there is on Democrats to push for gun control.

In that regard, absolutely nothing has changed in recent years besides there being a more pressing need among gun rights voters. After all, if the Senate is truly lost, we’re going to have a long, dark period as it’s a certainty that Democrats will pass their gun bans.

Luckily, the numbers don’t suggest that’s likely.