If the old maxim about Independents winning elections is true—and we strongly suspect it is—the results of a new Quinnipiac University poll show that in at least one prominent issue, GOP candidates have gained an edge.
Conducted between Sept. 17-21, the poll asked, “Do you support or oppose stricter gun control laws in the U.S.?” While the votes of those identifying as Democrats (who favored gun control 76-16) and Republicans (who opposed it 73-23) fell about as you’d expect, the key finding is how everyone else voted. Among Independents, opposition to stricter laws led 49-45.
Freedom supporters have outnumbered gun-control supporters among Independent voters since before the midterm elections. In May 2014, a Washington Post/ABC poll found that 49 percent of Independents sided with the GOP on gun control, while 29 percent sided with Democrats. And in June, when Zogby removed the context of parties, Independents said they favored freedom 45-36.