Number Crunching

05.02.13

‘Yes’ Gun Control Vote Pays Off for Two Senators: Polls

Read it and weep, Kelly Ayotte. As senators who voted ‘no’ on background checks see their approval ratings dive, two legislators are seeing dividends for their support. See the numbers.

Two senators who voted in favor of gun control last month are being rewarded in the polls, new data shows.

New figures from Public Policy Polling find voters more likely to support Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) after they voted ‘yes’ on tightening background checks. These numbers are especially notable because both Democratic senators are up for reelection in 2014 in red states.

On the flip side, as we showed here on Tuesday, approval ratings for several senators in both parties who voted against the measure—ultimately defeating it—have taken a noticeable dip. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mark Begich (D-AK) were among the most bruised, according to the numbers.

Landrieu, meanwhile, has seen an uptick of two points in the overall polls since February. Forty-four percent of Louisiana voters say that her stance on background checks makes them more likely to vote for her, compared to 26 percent who say it will go against her. Seventy-one percent of voters in Louisiana say they support background checks.

Even more favorably, 52 percent of North Carolina voters say they're now more likely to reelect Hagan, as opposed to 26 percent who say it will hurt her chances with them. Seventy-three percent of voters in North Carolina support background checks.

Landrieu and Hagan didn't vote for every amendment that would have increased gun control, however, and in some cases, they voted for amendments that would have weakened current gun laws. For instance, both voted in favor of requiring states to recognize other states' concealed firearm permits and voted against limiting magazine sizes to 10 rounds. They voted in favor of making straw purchasing (buying a gun for someone else) and gun trafficking a felony, a pro-gun control vote, but they voted against a renewing a ban on assault weapons.

As two senators who are up for reelection and seeing positive poll results, their votes will be important to watch if gun-control legislation gets a second vote, as many are pushing for already.

Source: Public Policy Polling

Statistical note: "PPP surveyed 536 Louisiana voters and 600 North Carolina voters on April 30th and May 1st. The margins of error are +/-4.2% for the Louisiana survey and +/-4.0% for the North Carolina survey. These surveys were conducted on behalf of Americans United for Change."