According to NBC, Americans are mad. Maybe more mad than they’ve ever been.
A large majority of all Americans — 57 percent — responded to a poll by saying they are outraged. In fact they are so outraged that they would get out of their homes and attend a march and carry a protest sign. At least that is what pollsters found in a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that addressed social trends.
The key finding in the poll is that the level of intensity varies among Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
Nearly 70% of Democrats — 69 percent — indicate that right now they are feeling upset enough about at least one issue to go to a public protest concerning the issue.
The percentage of Republicans willing to protest now is just 50% which gives Democrats a significant advantage in the kind of enthusiasm and intensity that leads to electoral victories. This is what we’ve seen over the past year when Democrats won elections in Virginia, Alabama, and Pennsylvania.
Among independents just 43 percent feel upset enough to protest for an issue. This is not surprising since in general independents are less likely to feel strongly about highly partisan issues which inflame passions.
The issues that concern Americans enough to make them want to attend a protest about the issue has changed in recent years. Not surprisingly, the big issue this year is guns. Democrats want to march in support of gun control and Republicans want to march in support of the right to bear arms.
Last weekend’s “March For Our Lives” organized by students from Parkland, Florida show the level of intensity surrounding the issue for liberals and progressives who want at least a ban on the sales of assault rifles. It is estimated that over a million people went to these marches, putting them on a par with the Women’s Marches from a year earlier.
The Florida high school shooting where 17 people were murdered by a teenager with an assault rifle has really galvanized the left. And in a reactionary way, it has also caused the right to be more vocal and passionate also. Guns have now become the #1 issue named by both Republicans and Democrats when they were asked which issue would motivate them most to carry a protest sign.
If this level of intensity carries through into November it will mean a great big beautiful Blue Wave in 2018.