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New poll: Pro-gun control politicians should not be afraid to speak up

Finally, at long last, American public opinion is really catching on to the need for stronger gun safety laws and politicians should stop being afraid to voice a similar sentiment. That’s the finding of a new poll as reported by Washington journalist Nathan Gonzales in the political newsletter, Roll Call.

This is from a new story posted this morning entitled “Democratic Candidates Should Be Bolder on Gun Control, Poll Finds: ‘The center has shifted on this issue,’ gun control advocate says” that examines a new poll conducted in June on the effectiveness of various gun safety messages:

“I’m normally reluctant to write about issue polls because they often fail to put into context how voters prioritize that particular issue when they are making an electoral decision. For example, people have opinions on the environment, but it’s not often a top issue when they vote.

But this poll is a little different.

It modeled three different base Democratic messages against a standard conservative message. The first base message talked about the economy, education and health care. The second base message included those same issues along with a ‘moderate’ gun message, including protecting the Second Amendment and universal background checks, and ‘keeping guns out of dangerous hands.’ The third base message included the same initial issues along with a more progressive gun message that combined a commitment to an assault weapons ban with a call for fewer guns and making them harder to get.

The first option prevailed over a conservative candidate message by 13 points, 50 percent to 37 percent. The second message won by a wider 17-point margin. The third message, which included the more progressive position on guns, triumphed by the widest margin, 22 points. None of the ballot tests included party affiliation for the candidates.

The sample makeup was 47 percent Democrats, 38 percent Republicans, and 15 percent independents. But the bigger takeaway is who was influenced.

The third message resonated particularly among women, who preferred it by more than 20 points compared to the other two. More specifically, the stronger gun language did much better among Democratic and independent women….

While the third message was the least popular of the three among men, the second message was still more compelling than one with no mention of guns.

Slicing the respondents a different way, liberal and progressive Democrats supported all three of the messages similarly. But there was a significant uptick among moderate to conservative Democrats for the third message compared to the first two messages, seemingly defying conventional wisdom.”

The bottom line: Voters — particularly women — are tired of pussyfooting around on the gun control issue. Politicians ought to pay attention.

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