“Americans’ immediate reaction to President Barack Obama’s proposals for new laws designed to reduce gun violence is more positive than negative, with 53% saying they would want their representative in Congress to vote for the set of proposed new laws, while 41% say their representative should vote against them,” says the Gallup organization
“These results are from Gallup polling conducted Thursday, Jan. 17, the day after Obama’s announcement. The question asked Americans about the “set” of new laws, even though in reality, to the extent the House and the Senate pursue these proposals, it could be on a one-by-one basis. The results suggest that Obama begins his campaign for passage of the laws with a majority — but not a supermajority — of the public behind him.
“The question explicitly identified the gun proposals as those that President Obama announced on Wednesday, making it not surprising to find that the strongest support for the proposals comes among Democrats and liberals, and the weakest support comes among Republicans and conservatives. Additionally, groups that traditionally lean more Democratic — nonwhites, Easterners, and those with postgraduate educations — are significantly above average in support.
“The Obama administration has made the enactment of new laws designed to reduce gun violence a major short-term emphasis in the aftermath of the Dec. 14 mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Americans’ general support for stricter gun control laws surged after Newtown, and previous research has shown significant support for elements of the Obama proposals, including background checks and bans on high-capacity ammunition clips.
“Now, the administration has put forth a concrete set of proposals on gun violence, and Americans’ initial reaction to the idea of their being passed into law is generally positive. Fifty-three percent want their member of Congress to vote for that set of laws, but a substantial minority, 41%, want their member to vote against it. The highly partisan reaction to the proposal among rank-and-file Americans underscores what is likely to be a highly partisan political negotiation in the Senate and in the House in the weeks and months ahead.”