Saturday, December 12, 2015

Something For Everyone In The NYT/CBS Poll

1,275 primary voters were surveyed between December 4 - 8, 2015. Many of the responses followed patterns we've seen in prior polling: Mr. Trump holds a commanding lead over his rivals, Secretary Clinton is still 20 points over Senator Sanders, Senator Cruz has gained ground, and now it's Senator Rand Who?

The questions also addressed terrorism and gun control. Not surprisingly, the percentage of respondents who expect a terrorist attack inside the USA in the next few months jumped from 28% to 44% in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings, and 70% think ISIS is a major threat.

It's the gun control results that leave a lot to interpretation. Commentators on Townhall have pointed out that for the first time support for a ban an assault weapons has dropped to 44% while opposition to a nationwide ban has spiked to 50%. With evidence that Americans are nervous about another terrorist attack, concerns about access to high-powered weapons seem understandable.

But those same respondents think, by a significant majority, that laws governing gun purchases should be more strict (51%) versus less strict (10%) and a plurality think stricter gun laws would help reduce gun violence, particularly if better mental health screening was implemented.

My Take: San Bernardino has rattled our nerves about ISIS and the natural reaction to that is keeping access to military-style weapons. At the same time, we're concerned that crazy people have too much access to firearms and we'd like laws to prevent another Aurora Theater or Sandy Hook massacre. In short, the foreign threat presented by ISIS is evil while Americans who commit far more mayhem on us are mentally ill.

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