Friday, February 08, 2013

The issue on guns in this country may drive voters to the polls in 2014, but not in the way that the Republicans are hoping.

Courtesy of TPM:  

Women who don’t usually vote in midterm elections — the same women who generally drive Democratic victories — will turn out in 2014 over the issue of guns, according to a recent poll. 

The survey released by Women Donors Network, a self-described progressive “community of women philanthropists,” found that a subset of women voters who usually don’t vote in midterm elections are more likely to vote in 2014 on the issue of gun violence. 

The survey, which was conducted by Democratic pollster Diane Feldman and Republican pollster Bob Carpenter using live phone calls to 1,500 women, found that “women who may not ordinarily vote in a non-presidential year are among those most engaged with issues of gun violence.” The group also posted a PDF slide deck presenting the poll’s findings. 

Feldman explained in an interview with TPM on Wednesday the results mean guns could be good politics for Democrats. 

“As we approach the 2014 congressional elections, the question will be to what degree do single women, lower income women, persons of color participate since that’s the Democratic edge,” she said. “And this is an issue that can encourage them to participate.” 

Strong support for universal background checks on firearms purchases and a focus on mental health and reducing violence in schools could rally these women the polls in unexpected numbers in 2014, Feldman said. They also happen to be part of President Obama’s proposals following the Newtown, Conn., school massacre. Feldman called the potential increase in minority and lower income women voters “significant.” And that could change the dynamics of the election (thought it would also have an impact dependent upon the demographics of given congressional districts.) 

I know what you are thinking, "But won't the pro-gun people be mobilized as well?" Pollster Diane Feldman already considered that possibility:

Obviously, gun rights supporters have been rallied by the talk of gun control as well. One only needs to look at the empty shelves at the local gun store for evidence of that. But Feldman noted that the stereotypical hardcore gun rights supporter — an older, white man — already votes in big numbers in the midterms. Also, the NRA’s objections to expanded background checks doesn’t have the ability to pull out their base, she said, because so many of the NRA’s members also support universal checks. 

“Do i deny an NRA constituency? Of course not.” Feldman said. But, she added, “background checks are not a mobilizing issue for their members.”

You know sometimes I think that President Obama might be a political wizard on sabbatical from his professorial duties teaching at Hogwarts. He seems to have the uncanny ability to recognize when the country is ready to support a piece of legislation once considered to polarizing to introduce.

He managed to get the Affordable Care Act passed, he got rid of DADT, and now he is positioned perfectly to have a real impact on the number of gun deaths in this country, and by doing so even bring more Democratic voters to the polls.

And another thing working in the President's favor is the fact that Republican politicians are essentially eating their own, and their constituents have lost confidence in them.

By the way I have NO problem believing that women feel very strongly about this gun control issue and are mobilized politically. On my Facebook page, on Twitter, and on this blog the women are the MOST strident pro-gun control voices that I hear.

If I were the NRA I would be changing my tactics today, and if I were a Republican politician I would run, not walk, as far away from that organization as possible until they do.


  1. Anonymous11:24 AM

    Clinton beats Sarah Palin (53-37) and Marco Rubio (44-43) and barely falls behind Chris Christie by one point (42-43).

    Alaskans were very clear about their disapproval with their former Governor, Sarah Palin. 78% of Alaskans believe Sarah Palin should not run for President in 2016 and when asked whether they have a higher opinion of Congress or Sarah Palin, Alaskans choose Congress (50-34). This is especially telling since their approval of Congress is at a meek 8%.

    “Alaskans are pretty clearly done with Sarah Palin,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “They wouldn’t support her for the Senate, they wouldn’t support her for President, and they have an ever lower opinion of her than they do of Congress.”

    1. Note that the PPP poll was conducted in Alaska only, with a fairly large sample size of 1129, so the margin or error is smaller than most polls like this at +/- 2.9%.

      Bottom line in PPP Poll:
      Alaskans approve strongly of Lisa M, still favor Don Young over Scott McAdams and the rest of the D field, and they overwhelmingly think Sarah P sucks and is a non-factor in ANY race. There is still a R lean among voters although Hillary polls very, very well at this early stage.

      Hillary could turn Alaska BLUE in 2016, especially if there is a 3rd party to pull independent and Libertarian voters away from the R candidate. Looks like Repubs still carry state-wide races though at this point.

    2. I actually participated in that poll. It was a robo-poll, not an actual person, so they couldn't hear me laughing hysterically when they asked the Sarah Palin or ___ questions. There should have been another option:

      Do you think SP should run for Senate?

      Yes No Hell NO! Are you F-ing kidding me?!

  2. Smirnonn11:25 AM

    It seems that the country is moving forward. Baby steps, but forward (it takes a long time to turn the Titanic around). I believe President Obama feels that and, as you said, has an excellent sense of timing insofar as promoting legislation is concerned. The regressive elements of society will either change as well or be left behind, becoming even more angry, paranoid, bitter, racist and xenophobic. I fear the latter as we've already seen too much unhinged behavior from the fringe right.

  3. Virginia Voter11:52 AM

    Women are tired of seeing thei kids killed by gun violence , enraged that their mothers, sisters, and daughters are shot by abusive husbands and boyfriends, and are sad that they don't feel confident that their kids will be safe at school. Never underestimate the power of an angry woman, they will come out and vote.

  4. Anita Winecooler7:41 PM

    I think what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary affected everyone deeply, especially women. The slaughter of those innocent lives and the bravery of the women who tried to stop it was something that's against all democratic issues. Education, kids and Gun violence.
    The GOP, for the most part, doesn't care about education and they buy into the military and gun myths while using the constitution as a shield. They're only interested in slashing line items, and don't give a damn about the real lives it effects.
    I agree regarding President Obama, he's always ten steps ahead, he thinks things through before acting and gets his ducks in a row before tackling tough issues.

    OT Today's funny - "Wesboro Mingle"

  5. Anonymous9:46 PM

    If the President were a professor at Hogwarts, he would be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts.

  6. Anonymous11:04 PM

    Guns and murders may drive women to the polls, but contaractption bans and vaginal; probes will win for the Republicans!


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