by Dean Rieck
Ohio – -(Ammoland.com)- During every election cycle, we are barraged with polling data. Who's up and who's down. Who people trust and who people don't. Whatever your interest, issue, or affiliation, there's a poll on it.
One of the more interesting types of polls are “election trial heats,” where pollsters ask which candidate people would vote for if they were to vote at that moment. Attitudes can change rapidly in an election, so these polls are not necessarily predictive, especially when the results are close. However, when you see a wide disparity in the numbers, it's wise to take notice.
For example, a Gallup poll right before the 2012 presidential election showed 95% of black voters for Obama with 5% for Romney. As reported by Roper, election results did not match these numbers exactly (93% and 6% respectively), but it was obvious that the dramatically one-sided poll showed who this voting segment overwhelmingly favored.
Recently, Buckeye Firearms Association polled Ohio gun owners and found similarly dramatic results in an election trial heat, including Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein.
We ran the poll August 22-24, 2016 on our website and in our August 23 newsletter that reached 62,678 subscribers. 2,416 people responded to the question “Which of the following presidential candidates do you plan to vote for?”
The result? More than 85% indicated Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, as their choice for President.
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received nearly 9%, with Democrat Hillary Clinton receiving nearly 2%. Green Party candidate Jill Stein barely registered. There were also write-in candidates accounting for 1.5%.
These numbers are considerably more one-sided that we expected, given the reported divisions in the Republican Party. Also noteworthy is the fact that 64% of respondents identified as Republican, 8% Democrat, and 4% Libertarian. That means that even when you account for those who chose not to answer this question, a considerable number of those indicating Trump as their choice, were not Republicans.
Two other interesting results:
Undecided voters total just 1.5%. Combining undecided voters with those planning to not vote account for just 2% of those polled.
We also asked “How sure are you about your decision?” 2% said they could easily change their mind, 14% said they probably won't change their mind, and 82% said they will not change their mind.
Because this is an “opt in” poll, meaning that participants choose to participate and are not chosen at random, we can't say it's scientific. However, it's fair to draw a few reasonable conclusions:
The gun owners we polled overwhelmingly favor Trump for President. Gun-owning Trump supporters include Democrats and Libertarians as well as Republicans. And gun-owning Trump supporters are overwhelmingly sure about their vote come November.
Are these results revealing for overall general election results? I would argue yes. Why? Because gun owners are perhaps the most active and engaged voters in the country. Having fought for their Constitutional rights for decades against overwhelming odds, they are battle-hardened, politically educated, and vote with religious fervor. Many political pundits believe gun owners have made the difference in past elections.
In addition, gun rights represent a powerful bellwether issue. When a candidate strongly supports the Second Amendment, it's likely that candidate also supports concepts such as smaller government and greater personal liberty. So a significant portion of the voting population look to this issue to make political decisions.
Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, #1 NRA Recruiter for 2013, business owner and partner with Second Call Defense.
Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots political action committee dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities. Visit: www.buckeyefirearms.org