Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Winning on Gun Control


Nate Cohn makes the case for Democrats winning using gun control as a wedge issue,
It’s easy to envision the next Democratic presidential candidate campaigning on gun control—and winning. Thirteen years ago, Democrats needed rural Ohio, West Virginia, or Missouri to win the presidency. Today, Democratic presidential candidates are less reliant on rural, conservative gun owners than at any time in the history of the party. Democrats win with big margins in cities and suburbs, where support for gun control is an asset, not a hindrance. This is even true in Ohio, where Obama won twice despite losing additional ground in the traditionally Democratic, gun-toting, southeastern part of the state. Now Republicans find themselves in the place that haunted Democrats in the early part of the last decade: To win, Republicans need to reclaim the socially moderate suburbs around Denver, Washington, and Philadelphia, where gun control is a real asset to Democratic candidates.
Would Hillary Clinton have the courage to do this?

One of the things that hurt Hillary last time was the inability of her campaign to understand that it wasn't 1996 any more.  As Cohn points out, America is drastically different today than it was even 10 years ago. 

Courage aside, the wisdom of using guns as a wedge issue is another matter.  Using gun control as a wedge would be incredibly divisive, making governing with a Republican House even harder than it is today.  

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