Pro-NRA Backlash? New Hampshire’s Ayotte Down 15% After Anti-Background Check Vote

Are we now seeing the embryonic signs of a new political equation in America when it comes to guns? A major poll showed that some 90 percent of Americans favored background checks — and a New Hampshire Senator now sees her poll numbers going south. The Huffington Post:

A new poll has New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte down a total of 15 points from her previous approval rating in a survey that followed her vote against requiring background checks for firearms purchases.

Ayotte’s plunge underscores the changing politics around gun control and gun safety. In years past, lawmakers worried that a vote for gun control would bring the anger of the National Rifle Association. In the new reality, votes against gun control also carry a political risk, as the Ayotte (R) poll indicates.

A full three-quarters of New Hampshire voters support such background checks, along with 56 percent of Republicans, according to Public Policy Polling. A WMUR Granite State Poll taken in January and February found that more than 9 in 10 state residents supported implementing background checks at gun shows.

It’s not entirely clear yet how opposition to background checks will play out at the polls, but there are signs Ayotte’s vote may have taken a toll.

How it plays out will depend on a)how much the NRA contributes to her campaign (if they do), b)how strongly those who back the NRA feel about going to the polls to support her for her vote, c)how much PACs run by Michael Bloomberg or Gabby Giffords gives to her opponent’s campaign to raise the issue and use it against her, d)how strongly those who wanted background checks feel about going to the polls to support whoever is running against her.

The loser will likely be the person coming out badly on the $$$ and enthusiasm gap.

But these polls do indicate some kind of change may be afoot.

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  • sheknows

    I will believe it when I see it. I cannot imagine staunch Republicans voting against their candidate over something as trivial as background checks for gun buyers! If thinking like the 47% speech and so many others too numerous to mention have not dissuaded these political fanatics from voting “my party right or wrong”, why would a silly gun control measure make a difference? They just vote straight party no matter what insane things the candidates say or do. It is more like a cult, rather than a political party with a meaningful ideology.

    I just have nothing good to say about the cowardly “old white men” who put the safety and considerations of their own constituents in the garbage to kowtow to a terrorist organization who lines their pockets with blood money to do their bidding.

  • dduck

    Really.

  • rudi

    The NRA has NH Republicans firmly in their pocket and cowering in fear. NH Democrats want to repeal “stand your ground”, but the NRA and fringe Republicans won’t stand still.
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/new-hampshire/2013/04/23/senate-hold-stand-your-ground-hearing/bmeDKKqSHtmcQjHFtR0yTK/story.html

    The law, pushed through by Republicans two years ago over a governor’s veto and objections from law enforcement, allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves any place they have a right to be without having a duty to retreat. The Democrat-controlled House voted 189 to 184 earlier in the session in favor of repeal.

    Thirty Democrats defected either because they don’t support repeal or feared a backlash from gun groups in a state where support for gun rights is strong.

    Protecting the stand-your-ground law has taken on wider significance, becoming a flashpoint in the debate over how to ensure public safety and the rights of individuals.

    Earl Kolb, 32, of Salem, said the repeal proposal was written with only public safety in mind. As someone who uses a wheelchair, he urged lawmakers to consider those for whom retreat is not a simple option.

    ‘‘Part of the problem with this bill is that it only looks through the eyes of the collective, not the individual. We need to look at what’s best for the individual because everybody’s situation is different,’’ he said.

    Three lawmakers were so upset that the repeal proposal passed the House that they filed a petition calling for the removal of their 189 colleagues who voted in favor of it. The petition alleges that voting for repeal was a breach of public trust and a violation of their oath of office to uphold the state constitution.