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What's Really Going on with This CBS News Poll When It Comes to '44% of Republicans?'

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

On Sunday, CBS News/YouGov released a poll that focused almost entirely on gun control. A take away from the poll, which led to a Twitter trend and much media coverage around this specific finding, was that 44 percent of Republicans responded that when it comes to "mass shootings," they're "Unfortunately something we have to accept as part of a free society." 


The finding was promoted by Margaret Brennan, who hosts CBS News' "Face the Nation." As Anthony Salvanto pointed out when presenting the poll, 27 percent of Independents and 15 percent of Democrats said the same thing. 

As a result of how CBS News highlighted how a particular group of respondents answered one specific question, many took to demonizing Republicans. This was especially over Twitter, where "44% of Republicans" was trending. The clip was also tweeted by Face the Nation, which was retweeted by the CBS News Poll account. 

There's plenty to unpack here, though.

First of all, while 44 percent of Republicans is a higher number than other demographics, it is not a majority. It's not even a plurality. A majority of all political parties, including the 56 percent of Republicans, chose the other response, which is that these mass shootings are "Something we can prevent and stop if we really tried."


Overall, 72 percent of respondents chose that response, while 28 percent chose it's "Unfortunately something we have to accept as part of a free society."

As our friends at Twitchy pointed out when it comes to this trend, that question also didn't exactly leave respondents with the best choice to make. "But this one question is LITERALLY worded in a way where basically you either say you accept mass shootings in a free society OR support gun control," wrote Sam Janey in her write-up for Twitchy.

The poll came in at more than 50 pages with 26 questions. There were some good questions in there, including how 56 percent of overall respondents favor allowing school officials and teachers to arm themselves, 75 percent favor having armed security guards or police in the school, and 82 percent who favor active shooter drills. Another poll, from The Economist/YouGov, also showed support for arming teachers. Those responses don't exactly fit the Democratic narrative, especially when it comes to the White House's opposition

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, a Democrat who runs a city particularly plagued by gun violence, is another one who opposes those policies mentioned above.


This poll was conducted June 1-3, with 2,021 adults in the United States and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points. 

As Madeline covered earlier, an increasing amount of Republicans have expressed support for some gun control polices. Matt has warned though, against Republican members of Congress going to far in what kind of policies they vote for, and how it may even cost them the majority they hope to take in the coming November midterm elections. 

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