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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

 
Shift on guns

by digby

Greg Sargent offers up some reason to hope that this latest push for reasonable gun control isn't going to devolve into yet another disappointment:
The new polling comes from the Post/ABC News survey out last night. The toplines show that Americans support an assault weapons ban by 58-39. I asked the Post polling team for a detailed demographic breakdown:

* White non-college men are by far the least supportive, at 43-55.
* Meanwhile, white college educated men support a ban, 57-41. White college educated women are even more supportive, 73-25.

* Nonwhites overall are also very supportive, at 63-33.
* Americans from the ages of 18-39 support a ban, 52-46.
Non-college white men are the only constituency that opposes a ban. 
As Ron Brownstein has written, the coalition that powered the Dem victory in the last election — the “coalition of the ascendant” that will increasingly comprise the core of the Democratic Party’s support as demographic shifts continue — is made up of nonwhites, young Americans, and white, college educated voters, particularly women. These latter groups all overwhelmingly support a ban. This finding is also backed up by a new National Journal poll, which finds that these constituencies are markedly supportive of stricter gun laws in general.
He points out that some of the early 2016 contenders like Cuomo and O'Malley are changing their tune on guns, which he attributes to this changing demographic.  And if that's true it does portend a bigger shift on culture war issues in general for the Democratic coalition.

I'm not much of a fortune teller so I'll reserve judgment as to whether this polling means what it seems to mean. over the long term.  I think that the political and cultural divides in this country are well worn grooves that people tend to fall back into after a while, regardless of demography. But this is certainly a hopeful sign that the hysterical culture war of the last 25 years or so may be slowing down.

And what that means is that the voters may finally shift their focus to the elite bipartisan consensus on economic and national security issues. That could present some unique opportunities. It's amazing what people find they agree on once they set aside the culture war. There are a good many family arguments that have resolved in the end around the mutual agreement that both parties are screwing the working man and wasting blood and money on unnecessary military adventures. It doesn't always fall out that way, especially in moments of high patriotic emotion, as it was after 9/11.  But it happens more often than you might think.  Maybe we're going to see a window within which to make some progress.


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