Why High-Profile Events Like Mass Shootings Often Don’t Lead To Policy Change

… The idea that events should change policy is appealing. After each incident of gun violence in the U.S., someone retells Australia’s story. Twelve days after a mass shooting there in 1996, the legislature took up anti-gun measures, including a buyback program and various restrictions on the types of guns that could be sold. But in the U.S., gun control policy has often appeared impossible to pass at the federal level: A common response after Las Vegas seemed to be, “If nothing changed after Sandy Hook, nothing will change now.” Does public opinion — and, as a result, the policy process — actually respond to events? Let’s look at a few schools of thought in political science and public policy. CONT.

Julia Azari (Marquette), FiveThirtyEight

Democrat Northam has seven-point edge over Republican Gillespie in Virginia gubernatorial race

Virginia voters give Ralph Northam better personal ratings and prefer him on the issues — and that puts the Democrat ahead of Republican Ed Gillespie in the governor’s race.

Northam is up seven points over Gillespie among Virginia likely voters (49 percent vs. 42 percent) in the latest Fox News Poll. His lead is right at the poll’s margin of sampling error (± 3.5 percentage points). CONT.

Dana Blanton, Fox News

Sexism in 2016

With the publication of Hillary Clinton’s campaign memoir, and the Harvey Weinstein scandal raging, it’s propitious to examine the much debated role of sexism in the last election. …

In our pre-election survey, one of the biggest differentiators between Trump and Clinton voters came in their responses to the word “feminists.” CONT.

Mark Mellman (Mellman Group), The Hill

Most Americans oppose Trump’s tax reform plan

A slim majority of Americans (52%) oppose President Donald Trump’s recent tax reform proposals, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, while only one-third (34%) say they support the Trump plan. CONT.

Ryan Struyk, CNN

Wide Partisan Gaps Over How Far the Country Has Come on Gender Equality

Women in the United States have made significant strides toward closing the gaps that have kept them from achieving equality with men. But the country is sharply divided over how much work remains to be done, and those divisions are rooted mainly in the growing partisan schism that pervades American values and culture these days. CONT.

Pew

Four in 10 Americans Fear Being a Victim of a Mass Shooting

About four in 10 Americans are “very” or “somewhat” worried that they or someone in their family will become a victim of a mass shooting. These data are from a Gallup poll taken Oct. 5-11, after a mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 left 58 dead. CONT.

Frank Newport, Gallup

The other polls in the Virginia race

Tuesday was a great day for Ed Gillespie. Two new polls showed the Republican closing the gap for governor.

Tuesday was a great day for Ralph Northam. One new poll showed the Democrat comfortably ahead for governor. …

In the aggregate — that is, polling conducted since the parties settled their nominations in June — Northam is ahead, approximately 5 percentage points. This has Democrats cautiously optimistic.

Since then, several polls have shown Gillespie and Northam neck and neck, usually in a statistical tie; that is, within the margin of error. This has Republicans cautiously optimistic. CONT.

Jeff E. Schapiro, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Sex, power and the systems that enable men like Harvey Weinstein

… When we learn of injustice, it’s only human to focus on how to eliminate or punish the person responsible. But my research into the social psychology of power suggests that — without exculpating corrupt individuals — we also need to take a hard look at the social systems in which they commit their abuses.

For 25 years, I and other social scientists have documented how feeling powerful can change how ordinary citizens behave — what might be called the banality of the abuses of power. CONT.

Dacher Keltner, Berkeley

Fox News Poll: Alabama Senate race all tied up

Republican Roy Moore, the anti-Republican establishment candidate, is tied at 42 percent apiece with Democrat Doug Jones in the U.S. Senate race in deep-red Alabama. …

The competitiveness of the race is striking. Donald Trump won Alabama by 28 points in 2016, yet the Steve Bannon-backed Moore defeated the president’s favored candidate, incumbent Luther Strange, in the GOP primary. CONT.

Dana Blanton, Fox News

Democrats erase national security trust gap with Trump

A new poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner shows a 55- 45% majority of registered voters trust Democrats in Congress more than Donald Trump to handle America’s national security. This represents a huge 18-point swing toward Democrats since March, when a 54-46% majority said they trusted Trump more. CONT.

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner