There are polls and there are polls. Then there are more polls. It can be daunting to figure out which to trust, especially after the 2012 Presidential Campaign when the country was barraged with new polls everyday. It was especially painful for Democrats to hear some of these polls that showed Mitt Romney very far ahead of President Obama – or a sure winner. Regardless of whether the polls were legitimate, fabricated, or made no sense, many Americans started to believe them. Having gone through that, many more voters are skeptical polls these days. Polls have to make more sense.This poll by Public Policy Polling, (say that fast three times) does just that. It makes sense. Five of the senators who voted against the recent gun background checks bill, are already showing a decline in constituent popularity, weeks later. Given the majority of Americans are for more gun safety (especially after the Sandy Hook massacre) a backlash against politicians who voted no to the bill –was inevitable. This poll news is bad for some of the Senators, and very bad for others.Here is the Full Poll and Press Release form Public Policy Polling
Here are a few excerpts from the poll:
After just 3 months in office Jeff Flake has already become one of the most unpopular Senators in the country, taking that label from Mitch McConnell.
70% of Arizona voters support background checks to only 26% who are opposed to them.
52% of voters say they’re less likely to support Flake in a future election because of this vote, compared to only 19% who say they’re more likely to.
When we polled Alaska in February Lisa Murkowski was one of the most popular Senators in the country with a 54% approval rating and only 33% of voters disapproving of her. Murkowski has lost most of her appeal to Democrats in the wake of her vote, with her numbers with them going from 59/25 to 44/44. And the vote hasn’t increased her credibility with Republicans.Mark Begich is down following his no vote as well. He was at 49/39 in February and now he’s at 41/37.
60% of Alaska voters support background checks to just 35% opposed, including a 62/33 spread with independents
Ohio:We saw serious improvement in Rob Portman‘s poll numbers in the second half of 2012 following his consideration as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate, but he’s taken a nose dive in 2013.
72% of Ohio voters support background checks, including 87% of Democrats, 73% of independents, and 56% of Republicans
Nevada:And in Nevada Dean Heller has seen a more modest decline in his approval numbers, from 47/42 right before the election to 44/41 now.
70% of voters in the state support background checks compared to just 24% who are opposed to them. That includes 87% of Democrats, 65% of independents, and 54% of Republicans.
It’s baffling why these senators would vote against the gun background check bill, knowing their constituents wanted the bill to pass. And it will be interesting to see how the same vote will affect other lawmakers.
Regarding polls, for the inquiring mind, here is a study about how to discern Good Polls/Bad Polls (from the University of South Carolina Institute for Public Service and Policy Research)
(Leslie Salzillo is a political commentator, activist, diarist and visual artist. She often writes diaries at The Daily Kos, and began contributing to AddictingInfo.org, March 2013)