When it comes to guns, Republican women don’t always agree with Republican men

For years, it seemed the political stalemate on guns in America was unbreakable. Despite mass shooting after mass shooting, most efforts to regulate gun ownership, even in a way that garners support from the majority of voters, have failed.

But a new poll conducted by my organization in partnership with Republican polling firm Echelon Insights suggests there is a significant disconnect between Republican women and Republican men with guns.

We found that not only are Republican women more supportive of certain types of gun restrictions than Republican men, but they also generally agree with Democratic and Independent women on what those solutions should be. Specifically, there is a whopping 20-point gap between Republican men (41%) and women (61%) on the issue of restricting the ability to purchase certain types of firearms.

The divide was also notable in a number of other areas. On the issue of restricting the ability of someone under the age of 21 to have a gun, 70% of Republican women agreed, compared to just 63% of Republican men. On the issue of implementing laws that would make it easier for law enforcement to remove firearms from people who may pose a threat to themselves or others, 72% of Republican women were in favor of agreement, compared to only 62% of Republican men.

Kristen Soltis Anderson, the seasoned pollster who designed and conducted the survey with us and who has tracked trends among Republican voters for years, said she sees a significant shift in the way Republican women approach the issue of fire arms.

“There are a lot of issues where we see Republican men and women are very much aligned in their opinions. But on guns, a gender gap emerges in our poll and others, and Republican women seem more and more open to some changes in books laws,” Anderson said.

Additionally, the data suggests that guns are a highly motivating issue for female voters. Guns were the top voting issue for 50% of women surveyed. This was true for 47% of Republican women and 42% of independents, just a few points higher than abortion (49%) and cost of living (48%). Of Great Importance, guns have become so important to Democratic women that it’s the top cause of their vote – 57% said a candidate needs to share their views on guns fire for support.

We found that women fear that gun violence can have a direct impact on them, their families and their communities. About six in 10 Democratic women and 55% of Independent women said they were very worried or somewhat worried about a mass shooting happening near them. More than a third (35%) of Republican women feel the same way.

For years, traditional women’s issues in American politics have been defined by paid vacations, equal pay, child care, abortion and education. But our poll indicates that concerns about gun violence are galvanizing women on the left and center and establishing common ground with some conservative women. According to our poll, guns have become the most important issue for Democratic women. And even a significant number of Republican women agree with women on the left and in the middle on the right legislative solutions to adopt.

Perhaps because they grew up during a time of lockdown exercises and school shootings, young women are particularly afraid that gun violence will affect their lives. Among women aged 18-29%, 56% said a mass shooting is somewhat or very likely where they live, and 39% believe they or a family member are likely to be. victims of armed violence (compared to 26% among women). overall). Women of color are even more worried (30%) than white women (24%) about being a victim or a family member being a victim of gun violence.

Another important point of agreement: well over half of women (55%) believe that the political leaders of their state are not listening to them with guns. It was remarkably consistent across parties — just 13% of Republican women and 14% of Independent and Democratic women said politicians listened to them on the issue. Among young women, only 9% think politicians listen to them a lot about guns.

What has emerged is a picture of American women united on the need for basic laws to protect their families, and especially children, from the terrible gun tragedies that continue daily. In short, women – including Republican women – want something done and they are ready to hold leaders accountable for their actions or inaction, as is too often the case.

With basic safety and child survival at stake, it’s no wonder so many women agree. Gun violence is personal to them – they want to be heard and they want something done. May the elected leaders of both parties take note: this is a matter of life and death.

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