Thursday, April 18, 2013

Senate Rejection of 90% of Americans Support of Background Checks Stunning.

My conservative friend in Milwaukee called this morning to hash over last nights disappointment over the Senates filibuster vote on background checks. Out of the blue, he pointed out how little people care about the issue. That surprised me, since I don't listen to right wing media, or remember all the stupid interpretations of the Second Amendment.

I wasn't the only one puzzled by the phony argument. At Mediaite, thankfully, I found my answer: 
There’s a tendency to see what we want to in polls, a tendency that doesn’t often end well. Case in point: a Gallup poll that was cited on this website Wednesday to support the conclusion that “Only Politicians And The Media Care About Gun Control And Immigration.”

That conclusion, particularly where guns are concerned, is belied by several months of Pew polls that show Americans are following, and have been following, the debate over guns more closely than any other news story. 

The Gallup poll cited by my pal Noah Rothman did, indeed, place the issue of guns and gun control ninth on a list of issues, but does that mean that Americans don’t care about the issue? In the January 3-6 survey, 34% of Americans said they were following news on the gun debate very closely, a close second to the fiscal cliff’s 38%. Since then, the gun debate has dominated the survey every time it’s been included: Most recently, the gun debate edged out North Korea, 37%-36%, while immigration remained flat, at 23%, since February. At its peak, the gun debate was being followed either “very closely” or “fairly closely” by 72% of Americans, and remains at 65% of Americans closely following it.

This survey doesn’t necessarily tell us how people feel about the gun debate; 41% of Republicans say they’re following it very closely, versus 37% of independents and 34% of Democrats. That gives Republicans an edge in energy around this debate, but then again, an awful lot of Republicans supported background checks. 

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