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New Elway Poll not good for WA gun owners or governor

democrats hurt comply handgun licensing and registration
A new Elway Poll shows Washington residents split on gun ownership.

A newly-published Elway poll revealing the “urban-rural” political divide on Washington State shows gun owners need to do some outreach, while third-term Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee might consider just getting out.

The poll was done with Crosscut, the liberal online news organ in the Puget Sound region.

What the survey found was not so good for Inslee, who has been both praised by some and pilloried by others for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, complete with shifting goal lines, contradictions, and vaccination mandates to public employees. If an election were held tomorrow, he’d be looking for work.

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When asked how they would rate Inslee’s job performance, 54 percent responded negatively and 45 percent responded positively. Fifteen percent said he’s doing an excellent job, 30 percent said he’s doing a good job, 17 percent say he’s only doing a fair nob and 37 percent say he’s doing a poor job.

Inslee has been a supporter of incrementally restrictive gun control policies and public initiatives. Yet he governs the state with probably the highest number of resident concealed pistol licenses in the western U.S. While Utah has more active licenses, the majority of them are held by out-of-state residents who qualified for a Utah license because it is recognized by so many other states.

But a majority of Washington’s 631,000-plus active CPLs are held by state residents. That may seem unusual because the Evergreen State identifies as “blue” politically (only because of a strong Democrat turnout in major Puget Sound cities including Seattle, Everett, Tacoma, Olympia and Bellingham. Eastern and Southwest counties are becoming more red all the time. And a fair number of Democrat/liberal residents quietly have CPLs, they just don’t talk about it.

That much seems certain in a question Elway asked about gun ownership. Forty-two percent of poll respondents acknowledged that someone in their household owns a gun, while 44 percent said not. But an impressive 14 percent declined to answer, which might be construed as telling the pollster “none of your business.”

Another question asked whether it should be easier, harder or stay about the same when it comes to purchasing a firearm. Eighteen percent think it should be easier and 31 percent say the laws should stay as they are. But 47 percent think it should be more difficult to get a firearm, suggesting they don’t acknowledge that owning a firearm is a protected right, rather than a regulated privilege. Still those who think it should be easier and those wishing to keep laws as they are have a slight lead over the anti-gunners of 2 percentage points.

Just for contrast, 44 percent think it should be easier to vote, 32 percent say things should stay the same and 21 percent want to make it harder for people to vote. On the subject of abortion, 30 percent each say getting one should be easier or harder, while 32 percent want things to stay as is.

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