Shifting Support

The Marquette Law School poll is out today. It has been one of the more accurate polls over the past few years. The horse race stuff is about as one would expect. The only thing of note is that Trump, while still leading, has less support in Wisconsin than he has in some other states. This is indicative of the fact that Wisconsin Republicans have become more conservative over the past few years. But this was the most interesting part to me:

Guns continue to be an issue in both state and national politics. In 2012, three Marquette Law School Polls asked whether respondents favored or opposed “legalizing possession of concealed weapons” while such legislation was under debate. Between 46 and 47 percent supported legalizing concealed carry, while between 49 and 51 percent opposed the proposal. Concealed-carry legislation was passed and became law in 2012.

In the current poll, respondents were asked if they favor or oppose the “current law allowing residents to obtain a license to carry concealed handguns.” Sixty-three percent favor the current concealed-carry law, while 31 percent oppose it. Those with a gun in their household support the concealed-carry law by 80 percent to 18 percent, while those without a gun in the house oppose the law by 47 percent to 43 percent.

To the Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature who are pussyfooting around things like repealing the minimum markup law – this is what leadership does for you. They passed concealed carry despite the fact that the people were split down the middle on it. They passed it because it was the right thing to do and the opposition to it was based on emotion – not facts. Conservatives and Republicans forcefully made their arguments and passed the legislation. Now, 5 years later, a full two-thirds of the people support it, and are more likely to support those politicians who support it. Why? Because many of them saw that their emotional arguments against it were incorrect in the face of the reality of living in state with concealed carry.

Leadership has a price, but it also has a benefit.