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.