For all the media coverage they’ve gotten, for all the talk shows they’ve appeared on, for all the claims that they are here to change the direction of the gun conversation for the first time, the Parkland students are…actually not doing that much of anything. A new poll shows that while there is a certain amount of support in the air for mild gun control laws like banning bump stocks or possibly raising the age required to purchase an AR-15, the Parkland activist onslaught hasn’t moved the needle an inch in the areas where it really matters. In other words, the public is giving Republicans absolutely no reason to budge when it comes to gun control.
Even as the majority of Americans disapprove of the job the President has done handling gun policy, his approval rating has not fallen in the wake of Parkland shooting. The shooting occurred on February 14. Looking at the average of all polls and adjusting for whether the pollster normally has results that are more or less favorable to the President, Trump’s approval rating in the month before the murders at Parkland (i.e. January) was 40%. In the first full calendar month after Parkland (i.e. March), his approval rating is actually a point higher at 41%. That 41% is also a point above the average for his entire presidency of 40%.
Congressional Republicans too have seen no decline in their ratings. Although they still trail on the generic congressional ballot, an average of all surveys in March puts the Republican deficit at 8 percentage points. That’s the same as it was in February and in January. All of which are equal to the long-term average since the beginning of the Trump presidency. All of which are also better than where Republicans were in December when they trailed by 11 percentage points on the generic congressional ballot.
Some people on MSNBC on Saturday were saying that the Parkland students were creating a new generation of single-issue voters on the left – young men and women who would go to the polls only to vote in candidates who were in favor of stricter gun control. All we can say is: We’ll believe it when we see it. Because right now, all we know is that there are ALREADY single-issue voters on the right for whom supporting the Second Amendment is all that matters. And as long as hardcore gun-supporters outnumber the hardcore gun-grabbers, our freedoms will remain intact…David Hogg or no David Hogg.