Divide the country by owning a gun!

Americans are deeply split along demographic lines, but there aren’t many demographic characteristics that embody America’s cultural divide better than gun ownership.

In the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, the polling firm SurveyMonkey published a pair of maps from its 2016 presidential election exit polls. It showed the electoral maps for voters who said they had a gun in their home, and for those who said they did not.

In every state but Vermont – perhaps the most liberal state in the country, but one where Democrats, including Bernie Sanders, often support gun rights – voters who reported living in a gun-owning household overwhelmingly backed Donald J. Trump.

The opposite is true for voters who said they did not live in a home with a gun. In all but one state that could be measured, voters overwhelmingly preferred Hillary Clinton. (The exception was West Virginia; not enough data existed for Wyoming.)

Over all, gun-owning households (roughly a third in America) backed Mr. Trump by 63 percent to 31 percent, while households without guns backed Mrs. Clinton, 65 percent to 30 percent, according to SurveyMonkey data.

No other demographic characteristic created such a consistent geographic split.

Comparable to the Racial Divide

American politics is deeply divided by race, and the gap between white and nonwhite voters is similar to the gap between households with guns and those without. But Mrs. Clinton won white voters, often by a wide margin, in 10 states and Washington, D.C., worth 139 electoral votes in all. And Mr. Trump may have been competitive among nonwhite voters in a few conservative states, like Oklahoma. (The poll data among nonwhite voters is sparse in several small states and subject to a considerable margin of sampling error.)

The split among white voters without a college degree and the rest of the country is also distinct. But Mr. Trump would have probably won without white working-class voters in several states, particularly in the Great Plains, according to the SurveyMonkey data.

Read the rest at: Dividing Voters

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