A new poll reveals a paradigm shift among voters now responding more favorably than ever to candidate messages that express strong support for reducing both gun availability and gun violence in the U.S.
The online poll of 1,000 registered voters released by Guns Down America and the Center for American Progress tested three different Democratic messages with voters, writes Roll Call. The first touched on the core issues of the economy, education, and health care. The second one hit those same topics while adding a measured gun message that called for both protecting the Second Amendment and universal background checks. The third message again raised up core issues but was significantly bolder on guns, including support for an assault weapons ban and striving to reduce gun availability overall.
When pitting these three options against a typical conservative message, voters overall preferred the first one by 13 points, the second one by 17 points, and the third by 22 points.
Importantly, the third message tested particularly well with a demographic that will be key to determining the outcome of the midterms this year.
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.
Gun control advocates also say the poll shows the vast majority of Americans are looking for an "all of the above" approach to reining in gun violence in the country. In fact, proposals including criminal background checks, regulations on storing guns and reporting lost/stolen guns, prohibiting access to domestic abusers, waiting periods, and an assault weapons ban all garnered 78 percent support or above and were “strongly” favored by more than 60 percent of voters in all cases.
Igor Volsky, executive director of Guns Down America, said that poll showed the "political center on this issue has shifted" with voters looking for increasingly "bold solutions" from their candidates.
The poll also revealed that the reputation of the National Rifle Association has taken a hit. In fact, the organization is more unpopular than Trump, with only 37 percent of voters holding a favorable view of it versus 54 percent who don't.