Voters in Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Ohio are more likely to vote for their US Senator if their Senator votes in favor of requiring background checks at gun shows, according to comprehensive new polls from Project New America (PNA).
This data shows there is also a break between GOP voters and the party’s political leadership on this issue. In all seven states, majorities of GOP voters favor background checks. And background checks are supported by voters who view the NRA favorably in every state. “We’ve seen strong nationwide numbers on background checks for years. This data shows that in key Senate swing states, voters overwhelmingly support expanding background checks,” said PNA President Jill Hanauer. "We are seeing Washington DC finally catching up with the American public on the issue of background checks."
Between Thursday and Sunday, PNA interviewed over 5,000 Americans in some of the most conservative, rural states with high rates of gun ownership and US Senators from both parties that have strong ratings from the NRA. After recent announcements of support from Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kay Hagan (D-NC), this data suggests that voters in these states agree.
Working with noted pollster Anzalone Grove Liszt Research, PNA surveyed two of the key Democratic Senate seats up in 2014 – Arkansas and North Carolina. PNA also surveyed five of the moderate Republican senate seats in Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Ohio with Public Policy Polling.
This set of polls represents the largest dataset of opinion research in these key Senate seats – and clear evidence that the new bipartisan agreement for background checks has strong public support.
Interesting State Datapoints - More Available In State Memos:
In North Carolina, 69% of Independent voters favor expanding checks. And 48% are more likely to vote for their US Senator if their Senator votes in favor, compared to only 25% less likely to support.
In Maine, 90% of women support background checks. And 76% are more likely to vote for their US Senator if their Senator votes in favor, compared to only 14% less likely.
In Arkansas, 62% of GOP voters favor background checks with even higher support from Democrats and Independents. And 45% of GOP voters say they would be more likely to vote for their US Senator if their Senator votes in favor while only 35% say less likely.
In Ohio, 85% of African Americans, 66% of Hispanics and 57% of white voters favor background checks. All three groups are 60% or more likely to support their US Senator if their Senator votes in favor.
David Winkler, PNA’s Research Director, said: “Looking to 2014 and beyond, the GOP leadership should note that key voters they need to win strongly support this measure – especially women, independents and even gun owners.”
“There is no grey area here. Voters in these states overwhelmingly support strengthening background checks at gun shows and want their senators to vote to expand them. Regardless of party, or whether they own a gun or not, these voters support expanding background checks,” said pollster John Anzalone.
State Poll Methodology is attached to each memo.
Project New America (PNA) is a private company that provides candidates, advocacy organizations, and civic engagement stakeholders the tools and strategies to understand and communicate with rapidly changing America.
Anzalone Liszt Grove Research is widely recognized as one of the premier survey research firms in the country. It polled in nine states for the Obama campaign, including the critical states of Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia. It also has had a depth of success electing Democrats in tough states and districts, winning more Republican-held seats at the federal level over the past four cycles than any other polling firm. And New York Times columnist and polling guru, Nate Silver, recently dubbed it one of the three most accurate pollsters in America.
Over the last 5 years, Public Policy Polling (PPP) has built a reputation as one of the most accurate polling companies in the country. In 2012 it was the only public polling company to correctly predict the winner of every swing state in the Presidential race, and a Fordham University study ranked it as having the most accurate national polling as well. In 2010 PPP was the first polling company to pick up on the shocking victories of Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race and Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Republican Senate primary, and in 2008 the Wall Street Journal ranked PPP as one of the two most accurate swing state polling companies in the country.