Monday, December 17, 2012

Poll Watch: Washington Post-ABC News Survey on Gun Control

Washington Post-ABC News Poll on Gun Control
Do you favor or oppose stricter gun control laws in this country?
  • Favor 54%
  • Oppose 43%
Would you support or oppose a law requiring a nationwide ban on: 

High-capacity ammunition clips, meaning those containing more than 10 bullets
  • Support 59%
  • Oppose 38%
Semi-automatic handguns, which automatically re-load every time the trigger is pulled
  • Support 52%
  • Oppose 44%
The sale of handguns, except to law enforcement officers
  • Support 27%
  • Oppose 71%
What do you think is the best way to reduce gun violence in this country - by passing stricter gun control laws, or by stricter enforcement of existing laws? 
  • Passing new laws 32%
  • Enforcing existing laws 49%
Thinking about the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school: Do you think this shooting reflects broader problems in American Society, or are things like this just the isolated acts of troubled individuals? 
  • Broader problems 52%
  • Isolated acts 43%
Survey of 602 adults was conducted December 14-16, 2012. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points. 

Inside the numbers: 
Among groups, women are more apt to support stricter gun control than are men, by a 12-point margin, 59 vs. 47 percent; support for gun control is much higher in the Northeast and West than in the Midwest and South; and it’s far higher among nonwhites, 72 percent, than among whites, 48 percent.
Political and ideological differences, in particular, are stark: Stricter gun control overall is favored by 74 percent of Democrats but just 29 percent of Republicans; it’s 52 percent among independents, more than half for the first time since 2007. Support, similarly, is 72 percent among liberals and 58 percent among moderates, vs. 38 percent among conservatives.
As noted, however, these gaps narrow on the issue of banning high-capacity ammunition clips. Compared with their views on stricter gun control more generally, support for banning such clips jumps by 11 points among independents, by 16 points among Republicans and by 10 points among conservatives.
Intensity is on the side of supporters of stricter gun control in general – 44 percent of Americans are “strongly” in favor, vs. 32 percent strongly opposed, the widest intensity gap since spring 2007. And on banning high-capacity clips, strong supporters outnumber strong opponents by an 18-point margin, 47 percent vs. 29 percent.
At the same time, the highest intensity is in opposition to banning handguns overall – 56 percent “strongly” opposed, vs. 20 percent strong support.
People who see the Connecticut attack as a sign of broader societal problems are 11 points more apt to support stricter gun control than are those who see the crime as an isolated act, 59 vs. 48 percent. There are similar gaps in support for specific gun control measures; banning high-capacity clips, for instance, is favored by 65 percent of those who see a societal problem, vs. 52 percent of those who don’t.

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