New Poll: Gun Safety is Key for Democrats in 2024
Data Shows Gun Safety Helped Democrats in 2022
Washington, DC — Today, Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, released new nationwide polling showing that gun safety was a top issue that helped Democrats in 2022 and that Democrats will need to promote gun safety in 2024 in order to shore up the same voters who brought them success in the midterm elections. The new survey data underscores how gun safety can bolster support with key voting blocs, including independents, Hispanic voters, suburban women, and persuadable voters. These voters are key for Democrats’ success in the 2024 election, where they will face a tougher Senate map.
You can read the full polling memo here.
Peter Ambler, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Giffords:
“If Democrats want to win in 2024, they need to run on gun safety. Our polling finds that this is no longer 1994, when gun safety was a weakness with voters. Across the country—from Colorado to Pennsylvania and beyond—voters this cycle saw through the dubious claims from gun lobby-backed candidates that there’s ‘nothing we can do’ to curb rising gun violence. Gun safety is a winning issue. Looking ahead to 2024, Democrats must continue to build on this success by doing what they can to prioritize gun safety and push back on MAGA Republicans who want to roll back the progress we have made.”
The report finds that:
Gun violence prevention was top of mind when voters went to the polls. Gun violence (78% important) is one of only a handful of issues tested that three-quarters of voters deemed important in this election, alongside inflation (90% important), jobs and the economy (90% important), and Social Security and Medicare (83% important). Gun violence was particularly important among key blocs of voters Democrats need to hold onto in their coalition: independents (74% important), Hispanic voters (79% important), and suburban women (87% important).
Voters support candidates who back gun safety laws. Nationwide, voters supported gun safety candidates by a two-to-one margin (68% stronger/24% less strong). This was true for 73% of suburban women and 70% of independents, making this a key issue for 2024. These same groups trusted Democrats over Republicans 55%/45%. In fact, half of voters (50%) said they would never vote for a candidate who opposes background checks.
Gun safety reform can help combat Republican attacks on crime—an issue that will undoubtedly return in 2024. While voters trust Republicans to do a better job tackling crime than Democrats, voters also believe the number one priority to address crime is expanding background checks (64% top priority)—even more than imposing stricter sentences for convicted criminals (53% top priority).
- In fact, Democratic candidates committed to passing stronger gun laws have an 11-point advantage over Republican candidates who oppose new gun restrictions. This advantage is especially pronounced among Hispanic voters (39-point advantage), a must-win group for 2024.
The historic gun safety legislation passed this year is extremely popular. Voters support the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act more (>80%) than Democrats’ other major accomplishments this year, including the infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act. Democrats must continue to message around this victory, which not all voters are aware of.
Voters want Congress to prioritize passing more gun safety policies. Sixty-eight percent of voters said that gun safety policies are a top priority for Congress, followed by combating gun trafficking (63%), stopping the spread of illegal guns (63%), and blocking domestic abusers from owning guns (62%).
Democrats can’t take this election’s victories for granted. In 2024, Democrats will face a presidential election, a tougher Senate map, and an opportunity to regain control of the House—they need to focus on attracting the most persuadable voters, or the 9% of 2022 voters who are not planning to vote for the same party in 2022.
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