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Thursday, October 27, 2016

A new poll finds that Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) is enjoying his highest-ever approval rating among Pennsylvania voters in the wake of his failed attempt to expand gun sale background checks.

According to the Quinnipac poll released Friday, Toomey’s approval rating now sits 48 percent, with 30 percent disapproving. This represents a net 7 percent gain from Quinnipiac’s previous poll on March 13, and the highest rating of Toomey’s career.

Toomey’s outspoken gun reform efforts appear to be behind his rising popularity — 34 percent approve of the way that Senator Toomey is handling gun control, while 29 percent disapprove. Those numbers are stronger among the groups from which Toomey needs support to win re-election in solidly blue Pennsylvania; Democrats approve of his actions on guns by a 38 to 25 percent margin, and Independents approve 35 to 26 percent.

On the specific question of background checks, the numbers are even more striking: 54 percent say they view Senator Toomey more favorably due to his attempt to expand background checks to all commercial gun sales, while just 12 percent view him less favorably. Overall, 85 percent of Pennsylvanians support such background checks — with 69 percent “strongly” supporting them — and just 13 percent are opposed.

Toomey’s improved numbers stand in sharp contrast to those of Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), whose approval rating has taken a nosedive in the wake of her decision to vote against Toomey’s background check bill.

Although the American public clearly supports gun reform efforts, it’s unclear whether or not reform advocates can turn their polling advantage into actual electoral results. The Quinnipiac poll, for example, finds that 59 percent of Pennsylvanians could vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on guns. Until gun reform becomes a top motivating factor at the polls, there will be no serious consequences for voting against it — and no political incentive for congresspeople to stand up against the gun lobby.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • latebloomingrandma

    I live in PA and in some of the neighboring rural counties, where all the “patriots” live, are demonstrating and picketing outside his offices that they put him in office and now he is on their sh!t list. Their numbers, however vocal, seem to be small. This is the first time I ever agreed to anything he did.

    • Allan Richardson

      I’ve never been to PA personally, but James Carville’s description of the voting pattern there sounds reasonable: Pittsburgh on one end, Philadelphia on the other, with ALABAMA in between.

  • the reason these poll are showng the way they do is because the public does not really understand what these gun bills will do and can never do. We who do know need to spend our time trying to educate them on realities not what the nay sayers who do not get it seem to think is gospel just because some politician told them gun control is the only answer. many of them will never listen because of fear, stuborness or stupidity but we must try. Not one more foolish law will stop the mass killings. there are plenty of laws on the books if the cops would enforce them and judges would stiffen penalties. The only way for gun shows to do all background checks is to require all gun dealers to be FFLs. this is still not going to keep straw purchases from happening, thieves from stealing guns, or people from selling them to criminals.unknowingly. People are afraid of gun registration with very good reason and you shoud be too. our guns are the only protection from intruders and our own government, and yes we have plenty of reason to fear them. none of us want more killings but if there is registration I fear you will have voted for the next civil war unwittingly. the people will not stand for it. we will never allow a nazi type of jew killing in this country because of a bunch of ciminals and crazy people causing us to loose our right to bear arms. If you really listen to what severl f these politicians are saying

    • RobertCHastings

      What’s amazing about this discussion of gun control is that Americans seem to want to keep the absolute right of Americans to go out and kill anyone, including our children, with weapons that should be found only in the military, and should be kept out of the hands of those who cannot be reassonably expected to handle them safely, while on the other hand they wand to not only keep guns out of the hands of immigrants, but keep the IMMIGRANTS out as well. Special privileges and reservations to kill for Americans, deportation for foreighners. How provincial.

  • howa4x

    Between now and the election there will definitely be another massacre of innocents. There are too many mentally disturbed people with very easy access to high magazine weapons who will now feel emboldened by the senate’s failure to control guns. It is almost like the senate has said that the profits of the gun industry and the unfettered right to own lethal weapons, no matter what your background, is far more important than innocent lives lost to gun violence. The senate gave a green light on future massacres.

    People wonder how mainly the republicans can be so callous about the lost lives of children, but as a group they have consistently voted against any social program directed at the health and well being of them, including taking food out of children’s mouths, and denying them access to healthcare in Red states. They have been trying to defund public education by redirecting funds to religious schools under the guise of voucher programs. Their failure to recognize the dangers of climate change and the way they throw obstacles into any potential fixes will condemn all these kids to a future with lower standard of living on a planet with scarcer resources and much hotter temperatures. The interesting think is that it will happen to all kids whether rich or poor or republican or democrat.

    Luckily people are waking up to at least the gun issue part of it.

    • You can bet Republicans will – cynically – pretend to lament the next massacre and will, once again, place the emphasis on the criminals and mentally ill persons that carry them out, while ignoring that the most effective tools to slaughter innocent people is to make lethal weapons accessible to them.
      Hopefully those who tried to minimize the probability of future heinous acts will remind these morons that one of the most important reasons for the scope of those acts is because of the support they enjoy in Congress.
      Interestingly, they people that claim their decision to reject the expansion of background checks to include Internet and gun show sales was motivated by the need to defend the 2nd Amendment, actually made a mockery of it. Admittedly, the ambiguity and poor syntax used to write the Second Amendment allows gun advocates to ignore one of its two clauses, the need to establish a WELL REGULATED militia.

      • howa4x

        True and today that well regulated militia is called the national guard!