Sen. Kay Hagan’s (D-NC) state of North Carolina supported Mitt Romney for president in 2012, albeit by a narrow margin, and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) hails from the blood red state of Louisiana. Both of these Democratic women also voted for legislation expanding background checks for gun sales. As it turns out, this wasn’t just the right thing to do, it was also the right thing to do purely from the standpoint of electoral politics:
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.
The same polls finds voters are less likely to support Republican Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC) and David Vitter (R-LA) because of their votes against background checks. This comports with another recent poll, which found Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s (R-NH) net approval rating plummeted 15 points after she opposed additional gun regulation.
Four Democrats opposed the background checks provision. They may want to rethink that decision in light of recent polling.