Back in April, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a purported Republican, signed several sweeping gun control measures, infuriating his voter base. Now, three months later, Gov. Scott just received a “nasty surprise,” and he has only himself to thank.
Gov. Phil Scott saw a sharp drop in approval in the second quarter of 2018, the latest Morning Consult poll shows, a plummet that political analysts are attributing to his decision earlier this year to tighten the state’s gun laws.
Scott, who was one of the most popular governors in the country last quarter, is now one of the least popular. The new poll shows him dropping from the list of top 10 most liked governors and falling to just three spots away from the 10 least popular state executives.
The popularity of Republican governors in solidly blue Northeastern states has been a thematic mainstay of Morning Consult’s quarterly Governor Approval Rankings since their launch in 2016. But the latest edition — based on 326,051 surveys with registered voters across the country conducted April 1 through June 30 — brings bad news for one of those governors: Phil Scott of Vermont.
The first-term governor, who was elected in 2016 and is facing a primary challenge, saw his stock plummet between the first and second quarters of the year. His approval among Vermonters fell 18 points to 47 percent while his disapproval doubled to 42 percent.
That net 38 point drop is the biggest quarterly shift since Morning Consult began polling the subject in May 2016. It was also enough to knock Scott out of his place in the top 10 — which he had shared with popular blue-state GOP Govs. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland — and place him three spots from the bottom 10. [Source: Morning Consult]
Morning Consult analysts believe the steep drop can be pinned on Gov. Scott’s move to sign sweeping gun control legislation into law. “That decision clearly was unpopular,” said Anthony Patterson, a spokesperson for Morning Consult.
The legislation expanded background checks to private sales, raised the age to purchase a firearm to 21, banned bump stocks, and limited magazine size for handguns and rifles. Scott signed it on the Statehouse steps on Montpelier, saying, “I understand I may lose support over the decision to sign these bills today, but those are consequences I am prepared to live with.”
Brittney Wilson, Scott’s campaign manager, agreed that the dramatic dip in his approval rating almost certainly stems from the governor’s gun policy pivot. “Given the timing of the poll, April 1 through the end of June, it’s important to note that this poll encompasses the most extreme emotions throughout the legislative session,” she said.
We’ve known for some time that gun control simply does not work. After all, we now have stricter gun control measures in place than ever before in the history of our great nation, yet we also have more instances of gun violence.
That’s because new laws do nothing to deter the criminals intent on breaking them. Those laws only serve to make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.
Take, for example, the school shooting epidemic. By establishing our schools as “gun-free zones,” we’ve done little more than to make our nation’s students sitting ducks as soon as they walk through the doors.
The shooters who wage massacres at these schools, however, don’t seem to care much about following the signs that say “gun-free zone.” On the contrary, those signs seemingly act as a beacon for shooters who know that they can unleash violence without any retaliation from the other side.
Indeed, gun control does not work. And, apparently, it is no longer politically expedient to support measures which the public knows do not work, if the fate of Vermont Governor Phil Scott is any indication.