The press is touting polls purporting to show support for more "gun control" at the highest level in decades, while a Morning Consult poll reported that companies severing their ties with the NRA have seen a serious drop in their public perception. How can that be?
The poll shows that large increases in unfavorability among Republicans far outweigh slight increases in favorability among Democrats:
A key caveat: Respondents were informed of the companies' moves. That said, the only way Democratic support for NRA-abandoning companies could help these companies more than Republicans' negative reaction is hurting them is if far more Democrats than Republicans are paying attention. That hardly seems likely.
Here's more from the Morning Consult's findings:
Mimi Chakravorti, executive director of strategy at the brand-consulting firm Landor, part of WPP PLC, said in a Feb. 27 phone interview that firms are making fast decisions about their affiliations with politically controversial groups like the NRA because consumers are reacting quickly to how brands respond to political controversies.
“Brands are being held to a higher standard than they have been in the past,” Chakravorti said. “People are making decisions on the brands that they choose to affiliate with based on how brands behave.”
"Higher standard(s)" or not, these companies, Morning Consult's results show that they should act less hastily. The left, as seen in the bogus "Stop Rush" campaign several years ago, has a history of making a few inconsequential protesters look like thousands.
Lynda Maddox of the George Washington University School of Business said in a Feb. 27 interview that companies might also make the decisions strategically because they want to attract a politically engaged demographic, particularly millennials.
“They gain more in the positive goodwill they get from disaffiliating than they would even from being silent, or certainly with supporting the NRA,” Maddox said.
The list of firms who would pick up more business from millennials than they would lose from everyone else is likely short. As seen above, tech company Norton (parent: Symantec) is in the tech sector, but has still seen serious blowback.
What about those polls? Here's CNN's latest:
That looks intimidating — but it's not.
Polls on this topic will not be credible until they incorporate the following question into their survey designs: "Do you favor improved enforcement of existing gun laws, or additional gun laws?" It's a virtual lock that the percentage wanting more gun control laws would drop steeply if that additional alternative answer was available.
The limited choice of favoring or opposing more gun control laws is deeply flawed. Many people, especially in the wake of events like the Parkland, Florida massacre, don't want to be seen as indifferent to suffering. The choice of improved enforcement is particularly germane to Parkland, given the widely-chronicled failures of the FBI and the Broward Sheriffs Office to do anything about Nikolas Cruz's clear danger to the community, and the failure of BSO officers to confront Cruz during his Valentine's Day slaughter.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.