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Crime & Public Safety
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Americans for Gun Safety | Poll | October 16, 2003
Winning the Gun Vote
By Mark J. Penn & Peter Brodnitz


Editor's Note: Mark J. Penn presented this poll at a briefing held October 16, 2003. At that time, he also delivered a Power Point presentation explaining his findings. (For easier printing, a PDF version of these slides is also available.)

Overview

  • Americans widely believe that there is a right to bear arms but many -- gun owners in particular -- do not believe Democrats share this belief.
  • As gun owners represent almost four in ten Americans this perception impedes efforts to create a durable Democratic majority.
  • Silence is not the answer since Democrats who do not speak out on gun issues are presumed to oppose gun rights.
  • By becoming both pro safety and pro gun rights, Democrats can do right on both the politics and policy and make a realignment of a sizeable portion of gun owners possible.
  • These gains can occur without losing either Democratic base voters and while gaining among swing voters who reject the traditional GOP-backed alternative positioning.

Methodology

Penn Schoen & Berland Associates conducted 802 interviews on October 1-6, 2003 among likely 2004 presidential election voters. Margin of error for the entire sample is +/-3.46 at the 95th confidence interval and higher for subgroups.


Download the poll slides. (PDF)

Download the Powerpoint file. (PPT)


Blueprint Keywords: Extra Gun Policy

Mark J. Penn is president of Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Inc. and was pollster to President Clinton. Peter Brodnitz is vice president of Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates Inc.