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Hagan Sees Uptick In Popularity After Vote For Background Checks In Gun Sales

By Anne Brenner Posted May 4, 2013 at 10:32 am

CHAPEL HILL-Senator Kay Hagan’s recent vote in support of background checks for gun sales might help her as she seeks re-election.

Public Policy Polling Tom Jensen says according to the company’s newest round of surveys, 52 percent of North Carolinians are more likely to vote for Hagan now that she voted in favor of those checks.

“Only 26 percent are less likely to, and that’s just a reflection that those background checks remain overwhelmingly popular,” he says. “Seventy-three percent of North Carolinians support them and only 22 percent are opposed.”

On April 17, the U.S. Senate members, including Hagan, cast ballots on a piece of legislation that would have required background checks for anyone purchasing a firearm at a gun show or over the Internet. The bill, which was formally called the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, ultimately failed 54-46.

Still, Jensen says most North Carolinians across party lines appear to support the idea of background checks.

“Eighty percent of democrats, 67 percent of independents and even 61 percent of Republicans support those background checks,” he says.

And Jensen adds that Hagan, who has also been vocal in her support for gay marriage, has consistently remained a favorite for re-election throughout Public Policy Polling’s surveys—even in a state that has recently been leaning toward more conservative ideals.

“In our last statewide poll, she was up anywhere from six to ten points against a variety of Republicans we tested her against,” he says. “There’s been some thought that as a senator in a state that voted for Mitt Romney and has a Republican-controlled state government, maybe it would really hurt Kay Hagan to take these more progressive stances by supporting things like gun control and gay marriage, but so far, that really isn’t the case. She’s doing just fine.”

PPP’s latest poll also found that Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is showing more favorable numbers after her vote for background checks—Forty-five percent of voters there say they’re now more likely to cast a ballot in her favor, while only 25 percent say they’re now planning to vote against her.

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