Let’s note, here, that over the past three presidential elections, a majority of gun owners have supported Republican candidates. But there was a time when gun owners weren’t so overwhelmingly Republican. In 1976, 50 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents, and 45 percent of Democrats owned a gun. That changed in the 1980s and 1990s. By 2000, 30 percent of independents and only 27 percent of Democrats reported having a gun in the home. That drop continued among Democrats; by 2016, only 23 percent owned guns.
Meanwhile, Republican gun ownership has stayed fairly constant. In 2012, 54 percent of Republicans owned guns. That’s nearly the same figure reported in 1973.
Now with significantly fewer Democrat and independent gun owners and the near majority of Republicans, the disparity between gun and non-gun owners’ choice for presidential candidates is expanding.