We talked last week about the results of the latest Pew Research poll, which found support for background checks remaining quite high, even as we get further away from the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. Pew found that 81% of Americans support broader background checks on firearm purchases, including 81% of self-identified Republicans.
But surely there are regional differences, right? Yes, but they’re not as dramatic as one might think.
I put together this chart to highlight the results of new results from Public Policy Polling, which asked about background checks in some red states in the Deep South.
New PPP polls in Arkansas, Georgia, and Tennessee find that even in dark red states there’s strong, bipartisan support for expanded background checks. And as we’ve found elsewhere, voters are unhappy with their Senators who voted against them.
In Georgia there’s 71/22 support for them, in Tennessee it’s 67/26, and in Arkansas it’s 60/31. Female voters that the Republican Party really needs to reach out to if it’s going to be successful moving forward are even more supportive of background checks. They favor them 81/12 in Georgia, 73/21 in Tennessee, and 67/25 in Arkansas. The support for stronger background check laws cuts across party lines in all three of these states.
In each of the three states, voters disapproved of their senators’ decision to oppose the bipartisan compromise on background checks, which Republicans killed in April. PPP’s analysis concluded, “Our polling on background checks since last month’s Senate vote has been incredibly consistent. Whether it’s in blue states, purple states, or red ones support for a stronger law remains overwhelming and bipartisan. And the voters are extremely unhappy with the Senators who are serving as an obstacle to that.”
Senators hoping to curtail gun violence intend to push the issue once more, and it’s a safe bet polling results like these will play a role in the argument.