Gun Rights Advocates Have Unexpected Ally: Young Voters

| by Dabney Bailey
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Democrats have always counted young voters as their allies. There are exceptions, of course – not every voter between the ages of 18 and 29 leans to the left. By and large, though, the younger generation tends to hold liberal political positions.

That could all change -- Democrats may be losing the younger crowd to gun rights advocates.

A new study by Harvard University's Institute of Politics found that voters beneath the age of 29 aren’t terribly concerned about stricter gun control laws. Only 49% of that demographic wants tighter gun control laws. That might seem like a hefty number, but 54% of all voters overall want stricter gun laws.

One of the most peculiar findings of the poll is that young people are split along east-west geographical lines rather than north-south. John Della Volpe, a Harvard student who worked on the study, explained, “The survey found, on a regional basis that the West, by five-10 percentage points, preferred stronger gun laws, compared to other regions. That was a little surprising to me.”

Could California be the main factor that’s keeping some young voters on the side of gun control?

These poll results could be dire news for the Democrats and other gun control advocates. President Obama relied heavily on younger voters in both elections, so losing those votes to moderate and gun rights supporters could be a nail in the coffin on election day. Only 42% of millennials approve of the way that Obama has handled gun control, compared to 56% who think that he has done a poor job.

Democrats losing young votes because of gun control would be on par with Republicans losing Texas to immigrant votes – unexpected and game-changing. Democrats may have to rethink their gun control strategy in the months leading up to the next major election. Otherwise, a generation of young, gun-loving voters could fill the White House and Congress with NRA-backed politicians who reinvigorate the Second Amendment.

Source: USA News