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Twitter Chat: How the Gun Control Debate Reflects Broader Issues of Partisanship in America

What would it take to turn Texas, a Republican stronghold, into a blue state? According to data from survey monkey, just remove all gun owners from the lone star state and it would have gone to Hillary Clinton in 2016. You can do the same thing in liberal California. Take out everyone who doesn’t own guns and the state would have voted for Donald Trump.

That’s how divisive the issue of gun control is in American politics.

SurveyMonkey found that no other demographic group—race, religion, or gender—divided voters so neatly. In the 2016 elections, 47 percent of Trump supporters said gun control was an issue important enough to influence their vote. That compares with just 27 percent of voters who supported Hillary Clinton.

But what does this division mean? How is gun control policy affecting and how might this issue change in light of recent mass shootings like in Las Vegas, Orlando and Newtown? To discuss the data, PBS NewsHour hosted a Twitter chat Thursday at 1 p.m. EDT with data journalist Dante Chinni (@Dchinni), professor and chair of political science at the University of Kansas Don Haider-Markel (@dhmarkel), and Washington Post correspondent Philip Bump (@pbump).

Check out a summary of the conversation:


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