Public Policy Polling of North Carolina is out with a survey of Georgia and two other Southern states, showing substantial support for more effective background checks for firearm purchases – even among Republicans:
In Georgia there's 71/22 support for them, in Tennessee it's 67/26, and in Arkansas it's 60/31. Female voters that the Republican Party really needs to reach out to if it's going to be successful moving forward are even more supportive of background checks. They favor them 81/12 in Georgia, 73/21 in Tennessee, and 67/25 in Arkansas.
The support for stronger background check laws cuts across party lines in all three of these states. In Georgia Democrats favor them 82/10, independents do 67/27, and Republicans do 63/30. In Tennessee Democrats give them 88/8 support, independents favor them at a 61/29 clip, and Republicans do 53/38. And in Arkansas the numbers are 85/10 with Democrats, 48/43 with Republicans, and 45/43 with independents.
The question becomes whether there is a price to be paid if a Southern Republican opposes expansion of background checks. PPP implies that there is:
[Forty-four percent] of voters in Georgia say they're be less likely to vote for Johnny Isakson in the future because of his vote, compared to only 23% who say they're be more likely to. That includes a 23/39 spread with independents.
But that might be overstating things. First of all, we’re short one category – those who say Isakson’s opposition to background checks makes no difference to them. That number exists, and must be added to the mix.
So among total voters, the spread would be this: 23 percent would be more likely to vote for Isakson because of his opposition; 44 percent would be less likely; and 29 percent said it would make no difference.
So 52 percent of total voters would be unlikely to vote against Isakson in 2016 on the basis of opposition to more gun purchase checks.
But Isakson’s worries aren’t of a general election category. He worries about a Republican primary challenger. Among GOP voters, the spread is 26/37/34.
In other words, in a Republican primary, Isakson’s opposition to more background checks wouldn’t be a concern to 63 percent of the GOP electorate.
That’s not a stat that’s likely to change a senator’s point of view.
The members of the state ethics commission, eager to bring order to one of the most disordered corners of state government, hired a “receiver” last week to heal their agency and then did they only thing they could.
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