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The NRA is now a political liability
PPP's latest surveys, conducted April 29-May 1 in Louisiana and North Carolina, show that Democratic senators Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan are both receiving positive marks from voters for their votes in favor of expanding background checks for gun purchases. The numbers:
In Louisiana 72% of voters say they favor background checks to only 20% who are opposed. There is strong bipartisan backing with Democrats (81/13), independents (73/20), and Republicans (61/29) all expressing at least 2:1 support. 45% of voters in the state say they're now more likely to support Landrieu for reelection because she voted for background checks, compared to only 25% who say they're now less likely to vote for her. Landrieu has also seen a 6 point improvement in her net approval rating from the last time we polled the state in February, from +2 then at 47/45 to now +8 at 49/41.

It's a similar story in North Carolina. There 73% of voters support background checks with only 22% opposed. Again there is a strong consensus across party lines with more than 60% of Democrats (86/11), independents (67/28), and Republicans (61/34) all supporting them.  52% of voters say they're more inclined to reelect Hagan next year because she voted for background checks, while only 26% of voters say they will be less likely to support her because of it.

Not only are Landrieu and Hagan up, but their Republican counterparts are down. Republican senators David Vitter and Richard Burr both have lower approval ratings than Landrieu and Hagan, and both receive low marks for the opposition to background checks.
Hagan and Landrieu are both faring a lot better on this issue than their Republican colleagues in these states. 50% of North Carolinians say they're less likely to vote for Richard Burr in the future because of his opposition to background checks, compared to only 26% who consider his vote to be a positive. And in Louisiana 41% of voters say they're less likely to vote for David Vitter in the future based on his vote on this bill, compared to just 25% more likely to.
These numbers are just the latest evidence that the conventional wisdom about the dangers of crossing swords with the NRA is wrong. Poll after poll after poll after poll has shown that senators who supported gun safety legislation have gained because of it, and senators who opposed it have dropped. There was once a time when the NRA was a more mainstream organization, but it is now as extreme as the tea party.

There's been some talk about the possibility of background check legislation coming up for a vote again. With all the survey data showing that expanding background check legislation is a huge political winner, there's no doubt that a lot of senators would change their vote. In fact, they'd probably see a second chance to vote on the issue as a big favor. Proponents of revisiting the legislation should keep that in mind: They are the ones doing a favor for previous opponents. The thing they are putting on the table is a political get of jail free card. In other words, they don't need to water down their legislation—the politics are what will change votes.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).


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Comment Preferences

  •  They don't believe the polls (17+ / 0-)

    My pro-NRA buddy just flat out says: I don't believe the polls. This has to stick on Election Day. I do think it will.

    •  Is it the kind of math dumb asses (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Ian Reifowitz

      use to try and make themselves feel less like ignorant mouthbreathing redneck baggers?

      Also, I can kill you with my brain.

      by Puffin on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:22:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What I've read about it (5+ / 0-)

      suggested that the votes went down the lines of estimates of gun ownership, as in more gun ownership in a state, less likely a senator voted for stronger gun laws. They're not paying attention to these numbers, yet.

      If we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress. – Gabrielle Giffords

      by tytalus on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:47:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They don't see the same population. It's the women (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz

      Women are very much in favor of gun safety laws, as are many if not most men.  The GOP doesn't see or hear women unless they are crazies like Michele Bachmann or Virginia Foxx or Marsha Blackburn or Sarah Palin.  They don't see or hear sensible center to left women.  They have no idea that 53% of the electorate are women (meaning only 47% are men), no idea women, especially suburban and urban and young women, want gun safety and reproductive rights and equal pay.  They only hear people like themselves, and they aren't a majority.

      Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

      by Mimikatz on Thu May 02, 2013 at 10:45:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And 2014 is far enough away they hope the voters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, a2nite, Matt Z

    will forget their cowardice on this issue. Hell, by next Spring they'll be "gun heros" fighting the evil Muslim extremist in the Whitehouse who is "cummin' fer yer gunz!". Which means new/social media (because you can be sure as the sun rises the MSM won't) is going to have to keep reminding people of this. Welcome to the 2014 campaign! It started a few months ago in case anyone was wondering.

    Sorry conservatives, but Occam's Razor isn't a beard trimmer for jihadists. What it means is I don't have to accept your crazy-assed theories as an alternative to reality.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:21:04 AM PDT

    •  Guns and circuses and votes...oh my! (0+ / 0-)

      The whole gun thing is merely a distraction, I tell ya. It's not really your guns they're after. After all, we talking pop guns to pistols with the gummit holding all the pistols. No. The real conspiracy is happening now, bit by bit, state by state. They're gradually, under the radar, conspiring to take away your VOTE! Just look: first they come after the young and the old and those brown people. Then, before you know it, you'll have to be the ones showing those gummit-approved IDs. We all know true revolutions begin at the ballot box. Don't let them do this! Vote out these traitors before they vote you out!

  •  Political liability, and some still not getting it (16+ / 0-)

    Here in Maryland, the Anne Arundel County GOP has invited the President of the NRA to be the headline speaker at their annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner.

    The fact that they don't get the irony of inviting the President of the NRA to speak at a dinner named after two Presidents who were shot is worthy of a segment on Colbert or Stewart.

    Cake or DEATH? Oh, I'll have cake, please.

    by wmtriallawyer on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:21:13 AM PDT

  •  I believe the polls. I believe that upwards of 90 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, KenBee, Matt Z

    percent indeed want background checks, including myself.  It is the other "stuff" that people do not want near as much.  I am calling  daily in support of a clean background check bill.  No fluff, no riders, nothing else....just a background check.  I support it wholeheartedly.

    •  It's all about who these guys REPRESENT... (0+ / 0-)

      do they represent the people, or the corporations???

      "Gun violence places a tremendous burden on America's health care system. Direct medical costs for gunshot wounds total more than six million dollars a day." - The Violence Policy Center

      by Beastly Fool on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:54:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Corps (0+ / 0-)

        Richard Burr is in the pocket of the NRA.. he accepts their blood money. We have to wait until 2016 to get rid of this scum but I will work daily until then to tell people he is pond scum.. bought and paid for by the NRA, Bankers and Insurance Companies..  no one likes Bankers and Insurance companies..

        Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

        by Caniac41 on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:10:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The people want a background check bill. Not a (0+ / 0-)

        background check bill and other stuff that doesn't have the same support.

  •  The only thing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newfie, mmacdDE, Beastly Fool, Matt Z

    The only thing that will break the back of the NRA is when their bought and paid for butt boys/girls lose elections.  

  •  Gives me hope. (5+ / 0-)

    I love when common sense wins.

    Background checks are such a no brainer that sensible people - gun owners and gun haters both agree and can come together.

    If only our pols could look past the NRAs next check and do something right for a change.

    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

    by Puffin on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:25:09 AM PDT

    •  hence the repub bc legislation (0+ / 0-)

      apparently some on their side does the maths too.

      they will now try to coopt this support at full speed after having bike-spoked and boo bugged the legislation that should have passed.
      Hands across the aisles indeed...four digits folded.
      more maths.

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:54:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  good idea (0+ / 0-)

      "If only our pols could look past the NRAs next check and do something right for a change."
      You mean like stop hatin' on the president...

      "Gun violence places a tremendous burden on America's health care system. Direct medical costs for gunshot wounds total more than six million dollars a day." - The Violence Policy Center

      by Beastly Fool on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:56:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "there's no doubt" (0+ / 0-)

    Really? I have serious doubts about that.

    Barack Obama for President

    by looty on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:31:00 AM PDT

  •  Someone's got to be mighty damned beholden to (0+ / 0-)


    Let's face a couple of fundamental realities:

    1. The NRA is right when it says the only people to have guns will be criminals if you criminalize gun ownership.

    (Duh -- it's a truism)

    2.  People who want guns for self-protection generally want to protect themselves from criminals.

    Put 1 & 2 together and you've got a great big shiny

    3. Measures that protect the rights of law-abiding citizens while making it more difficult for criminals to get guns are bound to be  A GREAT BIG WINNER.

    And, as an aside, things like reasonable magazine limits:

    4. Measures that let you watch a movie without worrying about being the 29th person shot from  a 30 round magazine are likely to be winners as well.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:31:28 AM PDT

  •  3 things... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, General Goose, Matt Z

    1) Guns don't have unborn fetuses to protect.  If they did, every right wing shitheel in the nation would be screaming for gun control safety.

    2) It's a simple equation:  Obama & Democrats are for gun control.  Ergo, in the Republican mind,  every attempt at gun control must be crushed by any & all means possible.

    3) Polls consist of opinions provided by Negroes, Muslims, atheists, Northeastern liberals, young whores addicted to abortion & homosexuals.  Therefore to a Republican, polls are too tainted by riffraff to be taken seriously.

    That's why they think gun control polls are shit.

    To any Republican reading this, I request you write a diary about why Republicans are such assholes. I promise to tip & recommend such a diary.

    by wyvern on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:33:14 AM PDT

  •  We know that Romney did not believe in polls and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TXdem, Glen The Plumber, a2nite

    he WON!  What?  The polls were right?  They were not just liberal biased polls?

    We can only hope that these dead-enders that are subservient to the NRA are terminated by voters for this.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:37:29 AM PDT

  •  Big NRA Shindig in Houston (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    tomorrow.  The guest include Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Guv Goodhair Perry.

    Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.—Greg King

    by Pinto Pony on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:43:04 AM PDT

  •  When you say "gun safety legislation" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, Beastly Fool

    it's true that background checks are popular. It is a stupid political move to stop them, but lg cap magazines and weapons bans aren't so popular in some states.

    Our lone Dem could vote for BGCs and be good, but that's it. The polls tell the tale.

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:48:56 AM PDT

  •  This is about far more than gun control - (5+ / 0-)

    this issue is emblematic of the whole special interest controlling politicians meta issue, and the voters have gotten a crash course on how it works with this one issue.

    On bill after bill, the corporations have bought Senators and Representatives votes - we know that here at Kos - but most voters haven't seen this in such upper case BOLD FACE clear cut right before their eyes voting against the will of the people.

    I believe dems have to list issue after issue where the GOP candidates have sold their seat, or are likely to sell their seat to the highest bidder - on banking, on pharmaceuticals, on climate change and big oil, on women's issues, on fairness in the workplace, on social security and medicare, insurance, etc...

    30, 60 second spots targeting the betrayals hammering home how the GOP really cares more for the wealthy and the corporate, than the working class and the disadvantaged... this theme ought to be front and center from here on - the gun control debate is just the turning of the tide...

    "Gun violence places a tremendous burden on America's health care system. Direct medical costs for gunshot wounds total more than six million dollars a day." - The Violence Policy Center

    by Beastly Fool on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:50:27 AM PDT

    •  Crapping on a nationwide 90% opinion can be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beastly Fool, a2nite

      hazardous to your health.

    •  I think it represents a sea change in US politics (0+ / 0-)

      As our demographics continue to change, our policies will change along with it.  It is not just the gun agenda that is being rejected, but the entire rightwing agenda is under attack and is retreating everywhere in a way it has not done since Reagan started it in 1980.

      The pendulum is swinging back. Their day is over. Our day is coming.

      What remains to be seen is whether the Dem Party swings back with it, or stands in its present Eisenhower Republican configuration and is crushed by the pendulum. (Me, I don't really care either way, as long as we end up with an effective and organized progressive political party when it's all over.)

  •  Burr is a Dick.....what more can I say? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  The rotten Rs don't work especially for humans nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  The next best thing to a Yea vote ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, Beastly Fool, Matt Z

    ... is the public reaction to a Nay vote.

    I think the anti's seriously underestimated the significance of having to actually stand up on the Senate floor and have their vote recorded, item by item. (House leadership will try very hard to avoid floor votes.)

    While it was awful to lose the first round, those votes on the amendments to S.649 were just the first round. More will come even this year. And it is a certainty that gun violence issues will not have gone away by the time the campaigns start for 2014.

    There will be many town meetings where legislators running for re-election will face challenging questions, and where cutting them off (as Kelly Ayotte tried in her disastrous meeting) will only serve to stoke the public interest in reasoned answers. While the NRA's specialty is to simplify pushbacks into five word phrases, it will take very little to expose a Senator's or Congressperson's answers to constituents when they are that shallow.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:16:21 AM PDT

  •  The "Do-nothing Congress" is on its way out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beastly Fool

    The recent voting down of the gun safety legislation, coupled with the problems the sequester caused for air travelers is so emblematic of how out of touch with reality this Congress really is.  Just last night there were tv news shows discussing how the sequester was affecting woman getting their cancer treatments and meds.

    It was amazing how fast the Congress fixed the debacle at the airports.  It proved that they can actually work together.

    By the election of 2014, there will be so many other examples of the incompetency of the Congress (including many more gun deaths) that there will be major changes.  

    In fact, we never even hear anyone in Washington talk about how to create jobs.  

    We do need to let Sen. Manchin and others know that he should reintroduce the same legislation again.  In fact, Sen. Reid voted with the other "No votes" so that he could reintroduce the bill again.  I am sure Sen. Manchin was in a state of shock when this didn't pass, because it was all about common sense.  Hopefully, he and the other Senators on our side are smart enough to read the minds of the public and know that time is on our side.  

    After 2004, Karl Rove was talking about a permanent GOP majority, and 2 years later, the GOP lost the House because of these same issues of corruption and incompetence.  (Look at the corruption issues coming out of Virginia, with Cuccinelli and MnDonnell, and North Carolina is being turned into Mississippi/Kansas.  North Carolina's House delegation will be ripe for change, as will its state legislators.  The political balance in the various House districts won't matter.  Remember Pennsylvania in 2006, strong GOP districts flipped our way. Other corruption will come out as well.  It always does.

    Voters send these people to do a job.  It can take a while for the average voter to realize how incompetent their member of Congress is, but, once they do, it is really hard to change that view.  

  •  The NRA and its loyal minions (0+ / 0-)

    are indeed gathering in Houston this weekend, and they've got a Wingnut All-Star cast of speakers, too, including Glenn Beck, Bobby Jindal, Sarah The Grifter, and Texas' own Governor Rick "Corndog" Perry and Senator Ted "Won't You Let Me Take You On A Tea" Cruz.

      All the more reason for me to avoid downtown Houston this weekend and stay in the 'burbs.

    "I don’t wear no Stetson, but I’m willin’ to bet, son, that I’m a bigger Texan than you are".- Robert Earl Keen

    by Kellybee on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:29:40 AM PDT

  •  I have to say, I'm truly surprised that (0+ / 0-)

    Louisiana polled that well on the BC. AIUI Louisiana has one of the highest (if not the highest) per capita gun ownership in the country. And doing anything "responsibly" is not in our DNA (eating, drinking, etc. etc.).

    "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

    by gritsngumbo on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:30:58 AM PDT

  •  Moving Towards Effective Gun Control Strategies (0+ / 0-)

    Some people are still stuck on Michael Moores "Guns = Racism" trope also recently used by Thom Hartmann,  These guys completely ignore how the colonies were used as the equivalent of a Vietnam-style proxie war between France and England.

    And we see that same strategy here on DK where several people troll daily with accusations that gun owners are racists or share a belief in conspiracy theories.  These straw man / ad hominem / mind reading  strategies are meant to lump gun owners into a single cartoonish category, as Michael Moore did.  I think that's just a desperate plea for attention like any generic troll, or the right-to-life-crazy-cat-lady who comments on your local newspaper's web site 24/7.

    My point is that increasingly these mass shooters are people who did not previously own guns.  The case for background checks could be made by carving out these people as distinct from most gun owners in a public relations campaign.  This is the reverse of the familiar strategy of trying to lump everyone together.  Show the dangerous potential gun buyers as being sweaty uncoordinated dorky virgins who spend all their time on the internet and playing video games.  

    If we show the problem as being irresponsible nerd dipsticks, there would be more support from gunowners.  And we might even get a couple dangerous noobs to not buy guns.  

    Of course the trouble there is in making the concrete case that background checks will stop them, and at that point we are trying to connect specific instances to an overall net reduction.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:44:33 AM PDT

  •  Shouldn't the argument be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that the only people who would oppose background checks and a limit on gun purchases are criminals.

    Since that's how most criminals get their guns.

    If Conservatism was so great you would think they could find a sane person to represent it. Since the only people who represent it seem to be insane. I'm waiting for the day conservatism is labeled a mental illness

    by SharksBreath on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:59:40 AM PDT

    •  Drives me crazy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      when the gun-advocates say, "None of this stops criminals from getting guns!" when it in fact does stop criminals from getting guns, and the NRA squashes everything else that would stop criminals from getting guns, like making laws that the ATF could actually use to prosecute gun dealers who sell to thugs and felons and nuts.  (Also drives me crazy when they crow, "None of this could have stopped Adam Lanza!" as though it is not a problem for any of us that we have a mass shooting every 5.9 days in America.)

  •  If the Dems (0+ / 0-)

    had any flair for strategy they could capitalize on and make hay from the courage of those senators who actually had the courage or decency to stand up to the NRA bullies.  

  •  Vote on a clean background check expansion ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    closer to the elections. It's a win/win, either we finally close the gun show loophole or we get these guys on record again voting against closing the loop hole.

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Thu May 02, 2013 at 12:21:15 PM PDT

  •  It's a conspiracy (0+ / 0-)

    The whole gun thing is merely a distraction, I tell ya. It's not really your guns they're after. After all, we talking pop guns to pistols with the gummit holding all the pistols. No. The real conspiracy is happening now, bit by bit, state by state. They're gradually, under the radar, conspiring to take away your VOTE! Just look: first they come after the young and the old and those brown people. Then, before you know it, you'll have to be the ones showing those gummit-approved IDs. We all know true revolutions begin at the ballot box. Don't let them do this! Vote out these traitors before they vote you out!

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