The Corner

More ’90 Percent’ Nonsense Debunked

More of that “90 percent” nonsense debunked, this time in the Washington Post. Did Republicans really end up on the wrong side of a landslide issue?

Not so much, according to a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll. Yes, a plurality (47 percent) describe themselves as either “angry” or “disappointed” about the failure of the gun legislation but 39 percent call themselves “relieved” or  ”happy” about what happened. That’s a far cry from the 90-ish percent support that expanding background checks – the centerpiece of the proposed legislation — enjoyed.

The question? “What word best describes how you feel about the Senate voting down new gun control legislation that included background checks on gun purchases.” Given that we’re told repeatedly how popular “background checks on gun purchases” are, you would expect something other than these numbers:

Even if you didn’t filter these numbers through the Senate — which you have to, whether you like the structure of the Senate or not — you’d still be hard pressed to get anything done. This is simply not a motivating issue for most people and the support for allegedly “common sense” measure is always way overstated. The claim that the Toomey-Manchin vote was going to have a far-reaching effect on the races in 2014 and 2016 was silly when the president was running around shouting “90 percent.” Now it looks even sillier. I doubt the GOP is too worried this morning:

So, not surprisingly, those who who were most angry about the failure of the gun bill were reliably Democratic groups like those with postgraduate degrees and those living in the Northeast.

Right. I’m sure that the four Democratic senators and 40-plus Republican senators who voted against the bill are just terrified of backlash from Northeastern postgraduate Democrats.

Play with numbers all you like, but the fact remains: After an actual bill was written, after there was an actual vote on that bill, after a concerted and well covered gun control campaign that lasted for months, and after Obama’s nationally televised Rose Garden Grand Remonstrance, only 47 percent of people were annoyed that nothing had been done.

This, suffice it to say, is not good for the Left. Bottom line: Even after a national horror, they can’t get 50 percent for a minor gun control bill. Republicans must be praying daily that Harry Reid follows through on his threat to reintroduce something into the Senate or, even better, that Michael Bloomberg decides to go into the likes of Montana and South Dakota and kick up a fuss in 2014. That will not end well.

 

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