Over 40% of Americans now rate gun violence as a top issue

It should be no surprise, then, that the latest FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos poll, which was conducted from May 26 to June 6 and went into the field two days after the shooting in Uvalde, found that concerns regarding gun violence had surged. Using Ipsos’s KnowledgePanel, we interviewed the same 2,000 or so Americans from our previous survey, and of the 1,691 adults who responded, 42 percent named “crime or gun violence” as one of the most important issues facing the country, up 19 percentage points from the first wave of the poll released in early May.2 This was by far the largest increase for any one issue we asked about, putting it behind only “inflation or increasing costs” as Americans’ top concern for the country.

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How concerned Americans were about crime and/or gun violence did vary quite a bit by party, though, as Democrats and independents drove much of the shift. A solid majority of Democrats, 58 percent, named the issue as a top concern, up from 33 percent in early May, while 41 percent of independents said the same, up from 19 percent.3 Republicans also became more worried about crime and/or gun violence, but the uptick was much smaller, going from 19 percent in May to 29 percent now.

We also found a sizable jump in the share of Black and Hispanic Americans who named crime and/or gun violence as one of the biggest issues for the country, which helps explain, in part, the higher degree of concern among Democrats, as Democrats are more racially and ethnically diverse than Republicans.

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