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Gun Control and the Problem of Obama Taking Ownership of Ideas

Recently Gallup released two sets of polls on gun control which highlight why it will be very difficult for President Obama to achieve anything legislative over the next two years. When asked individually about the gun reform ideas Obama recently endorsed Gallup found all the proposals had majority support. From Gallup:

U.S. Public Support for Proposals Aimed at Preventing School Shootings, January 2013

Yet last week when Gallup asked Americans if they support the proposed set of laws by “Obama” it found only 53 percent favored Obama’s proposal and 41 percent were against it. The “Obama gun control plan” is less popular than the ideas he is proposing.

It is theoretically possible that the “Obama package” is less popular than all the individual ideas because a few people who support the assault weapon would oppose any proposal that increased spending on police but that doesn’t seem likely.

Opinions about the Obama’s proposal were even more polarized along partisan lines than along ideological ones. It would appear that as soon as Obama is attached to a popular idea it immediately loses support because it is reflexively rejected by many in the Republicans base.

It’s going to be difficult for Obama to get anything through the House when as soon as he starts pushing for a proposal it immediately becomes politically harder for Congressional Republicans to vote for it.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at