Jeff Soyer on 06 Nov 2013 05:49 am
An exit poll from the Virginia gubernatorial election Tuesday reveals a poor turnout from gun owners.
In fact, of all the voters who took part in the election, less than half had a gun owner in their household.
According to CNN, only 47 percent of voters said they had a gun owner in their household, while 53 said they did not.
Actually, according to this WAPO poll of gun ownership, as well as this one from USLiberal, not to mention a Daily Beast round-up of NICS checks by the FBI, Virginia has an average gun ownership — percentage wise and per-capita wise — of 35%. So, if — according to the CNN exit poll — 47% of voters responding live in a home with a gun owner, they showed up at a higher rate than expected. The common sense conclusion would be that most of them were that gun owner.
What is more interesting (and a bit disturbing) is that of that 47%, 33% of them voted for McAuliffe despite his proudly exclaiming that he will push for tough new gun control laws (such as bans on standard magazines that hold more than 10-rounds). Then again, not all gun owners care about their rights or at least they are not single-issue voters. Or, maybe the only firearm they own is a lever-gun deer rifle which would be far down the list of potentially banned weapons.
Two other take-aways from the poll: First, according to respondents, if it had been a two-man race — no third-party Sarvis — Cuccinelli would have still lost by 2%.
Secondly, support for or opposition to Obamacare was a huge factor in determining who respondents voted for. Alas, a great many voters in Virginia are still hoping for that free healthcare they think they’re going to get. The line of demarcation was much sharper than that for gun owners (or people living in homes with guns) who, as I said, broke 33% for the gun grabber.
My opinion? McAuliffe was the beneficiary of millions of dollars in outside PAC money (isn’t it always the Democrats complaining about that?) and outspent Cuccinelli by a ratio of 4-to-1. That it was still as close a race as it was at the end meant that, alas, money was probably the deciding factor.
Update: Related: US News & World Reports questions claims by anti-gun groups that the tide is turning.