The Polarization of the American Electorate: Part 3

Race and Guns

June 28, 2020

Our continuing series on the differences between Trump and Biden supporters touches on the how the two groups differ fundamentally on race relations and guns, both issues that consume the nation today.

On the issue of whether blacks are have gotten less than they deserve, most Trump devotees strongly disagree, as shown below.

Pro-Trump folks also believe that Blacks need to try harder and Biden supporters disagree with that statement with equal intensity as displayed below.

To reinforce how Trump supporters see Blacks, I have recoded the black thermometer ratings into four categories: 0-25 degrees, 26-49 degrees, 50-75 degrees and 76-100 degrees and compared these categories to Trump’s thermometer ratings, as shown below.

The first bar represents voters who ranked Blacks between zero and 25 degrees, the most negative ratings. These same folks gave Donald Trump a thermometer rating of 85.2 degrees (very warm).

Do Trump supporters like their guns? Boy do they! The Chart below tracks the number of gun owners by how they rate Donald Trump. Gun ownership starts at zero and maxes out at 999 and his ratings rise pretty much with the number of guns they own.

The person with the lowest rating of Trump owns no guns. What is remarkable (at least for me) is that the greater the Trump support, the more guns they own. The strongest Trump rating (99.3 degrees) has almost 1000 guns. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to mess with a strong Trump supporter!

After seeing how many guns pro-Trump supporters have, I’m not surprised by the following chart, which asks if they are worried about being a victim of a mass shooting.

The Trump devotees are packing and no mass shooter better mess with them! Trump supporters with an average arsenal of nearly 12 guns are ready for that shooter. For the poor Trump supporter guy with only kitchen knife, he should be extremely afraid.

Although much of this is humorous, these charts demonstrate the serious political divide this country faces. Can America still call itself the “United States of America” when a Grand Canyon separates us on key issues? I’m not sure anymore…Be safe.

By Jim Kane

Jim Kane is a pollster and media advisor, and was for fifteen years an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. Kane is founder of the polling firm USAPoll and served as the Director of the Florida Voter Poll. His political clients have included both Republican and Democratic candidates, including the Republican Party of Florida, and both the Sun-Sentinel and Orlando Sentinel newspapers. At the University of Florida, Professor Kane taught graduate level courses in political science on Survey Research, Lobbying and Special Interest Groups in America, Political Campaigning, and Political Behavior. In addition to his professional and academic career, Jim Kane has been actively involved in local and state policy decisions. He was elected to the Broward County Soil and Water Conservation Board (1978-1982) and the Port Everglades Authority (1988-1994). Kane also served as an appointed member of the Broward County Planning Council (1995-2003), Broward County Management Review Committee (Chair, 1990-1991), Broward County Consumer Protection Board (1976-1982), and the Broward County School Board Consultants Review Committee (1986-1990).

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