Public Opinion Is Real, And It Matters

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Guns and Trump Anxiety Liriam Quintanilla February 24, 2016 Government and Politics 170 (0101): American Politics Nathan Lovin William T. Bianco states, “Public opinion is real, and it matters.” This statement is true to every extent, especially in the United States of America, where people have the freedom to express any and all of their opinions. With numerous cultures, beliefs, and values that reside in this country it is inevitable there be disagreements over policies and who is the best fit to run the country. One topic, which is more controversial than popular that many Americans voice their opinion on, is gun control. In a recent poll conducted by MSNBC, they asked if the people supported President Barack Obama’s plan…show more content…
“Many arguments about the irrelevance of public opinion hinge in the misreading of poll results,” (Bianco, 212). MSNBC reported that over half of Americans support President Obama’s plan to change gun control, but does that truly mean that half the country supports him? No, the poll only accounts for only those who were chosen for the poll and responded. Another question to ask is if sixty-seven percent of the respondents truly have unwavering support towards the President’s plan. That cannot be assured for several reasons, one reason being how was the support measured, another reason being, how was the question formatted, this can have a big impact on the results. The question could have simply said, “Do you support background checks for buying guns?” And the question could only have had two options, yes or no, the respondent does not have much of a choice in answering. Although the sample was random, and the respondents could be capable of representing the public opinion, the formatting of the question used to collect the data could constrict the opinion to a mere yes or no, which is not realistic on this topic. In contrast, the poll conducted by the Washington Post that reports sixty-nine percent of respondents are anxious of a Donald Trump presidency is more accurate in representing public opinion, because it provided answer choices to be on a scale, by doing so the respondents opinions
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