According to a new poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the Senate made the wrong decision … again.
The survey, released by Gallup on Monday, indicates that 65% of Americans believe that the Senate should have expanded background checks for gun sales.
Nearly two weeks ago, the Senate voted on a number of gun control proposals including the Toomey-Manchin measure, which would expand background checks to all internet sales and gun shows. The measure, a bipartisan compromise which was thought most likely to get passed, failed when it fell just a few votes short of the 60 votes needed in order to move ahead with the legislation.
The survey, which was conducted a week after the Senate’s vote, showed that the majority of Americans believe that the measure should have passed. Polls prior to the vote also showed that most Americans favored an expansion to gun background checks, with nearly nine in 10 Americans stating that they would personally vote for a law requiring criminal background checks for all gun purchasers in the U.S. However, the Senate did not take into account what the majority of their constituents wanted when voting against the background check measures on April 17.
Luckily, the senators who voted against the measures have already begun to see backlash. According to Public Policy Polling, new surveys in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada and Ohio have found serious backlash against the 5 senators in those states who voted against the background check.
In Arizona, where 70% of the voters support background checks, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has seen his approval rate drop significantly despite only being in office for 3 months. Currently, only 32% of voters approve of him, making him the most unpopular sitting Senator.
Lisa Murkowski (R-Ark.) in Alaska has also seen her approval rating drop from 54% to 46% in the wake of her background checks vote, as did Rob Portman (R-Ohio) of Ohio where 72% of the voters supported background checks.
A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post also found that, while the response was mixed, 47% of Americans felt either angry or disappointed that the Senate had voted down background checks.
Some individuals even took it into their own hands to let the senators who voted against the measure just how disappointed they were. A member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Heather Whaley, practiced what the group preached by calling each Senator who had voted against the measure. By the time she got to Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), she had gotten fairly bored of repeating the same spiel and decided to demand change while also mocking the Senator for his decision. The result was both hilarious and powerful.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), however, says that he is nowhere close to being finished with his efforts to expand background checks and will rework the proposal to get it back to the Senate floor.
The conclusive result of all the polls is clear – a significant portion of Americans prefer the basic idea of expanding background checks, and it would bode well for the Senate to keep that in mind.