.

ELECTED OFFICIALS: GUN CONTROL IS NOT AS POPULAR AS SOME WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE

CONNECTICUT ELECTED OFFICIALS SHOULD CHECK THEIR PRESUMPTIONS ON WHETHER THE STATE'S ENTIRE ELECTORATE IS IN FAVOR OF OVERLY RESTRICTIVE GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION.

WHAT IF SOME POLLS ARE WRONG AND HIGHLY RESTRICTIVE GUN CONTROL PROPOSALS (AND THOSE PROPOSING THEM) ARE NOT POPULAR WITH VOTERS? BOTH PRESIDENT OBAMA AND GOVERNOR CUOMO ARE FINDING LACKLUSTER/WANING SUPPORT FOR THEIR RECENT ACTIONS. 

The Media and the gun control lobby would have you believe that the entire country is clamoring for the most stringent of the restrictions on gun owners.

Often, these assertions are "supported" using Media-based "polls" where a plurality of those asked very generic questions about their feelings about "gun control"(often with "common sense" injected into the question) show some support. However, any polls that goes beneath the surface of such a simplistic question, show very different results with more supporting gun ownership and supporting other changes (background checks, mental health screens, etc.)

BUT WHAT IS THE IMPACT ON ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO CALL FOR GREATER GUN RESTRICTIONS? IT IS EARLY, BUT LET'S JUST SAY THE RESULTS SUGGEST A PUBLIC LOOKING UNFAVORABLY ON THOSE CALLING FOR THE GREATEST RESTRICTIONS. 

NATIONALLY

For example, fresh from Gallup yesterday is a new opinion poll that shows President Obama getting very mixed reviews across a range of subjects. Specific to the subject of gun control, Gallup observes:

After the Newtown, Conn., mass school shootings in December, Obama has enacted a series of new executive actions and has proposed new legislation designed to control gun violence. He has also deputized Vice President Joe Biden to focus much of his time on these gun-related efforts. Still, the president at this point receives a relatively modest 42% job approval rating on handling gun policy, well below his overall average certainly not at the top of the list of current issues measured. 

Gallup reports that while 42% of those polled (generic "adults" which skews more  liberal than polls of "registered voters"), a full 54% disapprove. (see table attached)

But what is more interesting is the breakdown of responses by political party identification. On gun policy, the percentage that approve with the President's gun policies are (see attached table):

74% Democrat
37% Independents
14% Republicans

While neither the result for the Dems nor the GOP is not surprising, it is very interesting to see that 63% of Independents disapprove of the President's gun policies. As the key voting block nationally, this has to be an eye-opener for all elected officials. 

CLOSER TO CONNECTICUT

While the results of a national poll can be dismissed as not reflecting "northeast values", there is something to be noted in Gov. Cuomo's approval rating collapse in the wake of the rushed passage of the NYS SAFE Act last month. As reported last month, Cuomo took a 15% hit to his overall approval rating following his provocative state of the state address and the expedited passage of the controversial SAFE Act.

According to Quinnipiac, the new gun laws are a direct cause of the drop in Cuomo's approval rating. Half of voters in households with a firearm now disapprove of the governor compared to a 68 percent approval rating among those polled in homes without a gun. His approval rating among Republicans is now at 44 percent. The gun laws go "too far" according to 59 percent of Republicans polled and 34% of all voters.

Even among independents Cuomo's approval rating dropped 16 points, from 70 to 54 percent, still enviable but a clear sign that objections to overtly stringent gun control laws are not strictly a partisan matter.

FOR CONNECTICUT ELECTED OFFICIALS

So the big question for all elected officials in Connecticut might be: "Is it different here in Connecticut?"

Are your views on future gun control legislation based on presumptions about "support" that might turn out to be false?

While CAGV/March for Change garner attention for their high profile, there are far more gun owners who are actual voters and they are watching.

I have noted it before, there are over 500,000 gun owners in Connecticut. Add in another gun-friendly voter in 20% of those households and you have 600,000 potential voters. If just 10% of this group votes with gun rights as a top priority, that is 60,000 voters. If it is 50%, that is 300,000 voters. And not all of these are nominal Republicans. 

State-wide officials as well as local representatives should be mindful that gun owners are neither a monolithic ideological block nor should they be underestimated due to their relative quiet in the past weeks. We are out here, we are watching, and we will remember come the next elections. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jedi Jethro February 15, 2013 at 05:50 AM
Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. 2nd Amendment, your voice is appreciated.
Thomas Paine March 01, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Could such a thing happen in blue-state Connecticut? Elected officials voting against gun rights are facing well-funded recall elections and general election opponents. As noted, gun control voting politicians must be careful how they vote.m http://www.durangoherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130227/NEWS01/130229624/Secret-money-funds-gun-ads&template=printpicart
Thomas Paine March 12, 2013 at 08:24 AM
Cuomo's popularity takes another hit: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/gov_cuomo_favorability_rating_drops_eJKfV6DjiqO9t3iNZ0xZSN
Thomas Paine March 12, 2013 at 08:27 AM
2A - You ready to register all your bolt and lever guns soon? http://wilton.patch.com/blog_posts/owners-of-non-scary-guns-the-dems-are-after-you-too
Thomas Paine March 19, 2013 at 09:21 PM
The polling costs of Andrew Cuomo's advocacy for egregious gun control laws continues - overall approval down 24% from before he rushed through the SAFE Act. http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/03/republicans_approval_of_andrew.html "Andrew Cuomo's popularity hits all-time low among GOP voters, Quinnipiac polls says By Teri Weaver 19Mar Half of New York's Republicans disapprove of the job Gov. Andrew Cuomo is doing, the first time the Democrat's popularity has dropped so low among GOP voters since taking office two years ago, according to a new poll out by Quinnipiac University. Among the state's Republicans, 49% disapprove of the job Cuomo is doing, compared with 38% who approve of the governor's work. The frustration from Republicans has brought the governor's overall approval rating to an all-time low of 55%, compared with other Quinnipiac surveys since the governor took office in 2011. That's down from an approval rating of 74% in early December, according to past Quinnipiac surveys, and just one month before Cuomo ushered in stricter gun laws that have sparked strong opposition across New York's Upstate and rural regions. In fact, just 3 out of 10 Upstate Republicans approve of Cuomo, according to today's poll. Fifty-five percent of registered Republicans in Upstate disapprove of the governor, the survey found." So, last summer, 69% GOP support has eroded to 38% today. Could Cuomo be comfortably re-elected with these numbers state-wide?

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