Poll: Swing state voters unpersuaded by N.R.A. spending, want more gun control

Cy Vance, Bloomberg and Ray Kelly with AR-15. (Dana Rubinstein)
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Voters in three swing states where the National Rifle Association spent $12 million this election season still overwhelmingly support some common-sense gun controls, according to a poll underwritten by Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

On November 7 and 8, two polling firms (one Democratic, the other Republican) surveyed 500 presidential voters in each of three swing states: Virginia, Colorado and North Carolina.

In Virginia, where the N.R.A. spent about $700,000 to support Republican Senate candidate George Allen, 48 percent of those polled said they trusted Obama more than Romney on gun policy. Thirty-nine percent said they trusted Romney more.

In Colorado and North Carolina, voters also trusted Obama more, though the numbers fall within the poll's 4.4 percent margin of error. 

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A majority in all three states support requiring gun owners to pass background checks and prohibiting gun owners convicted of domestic violence or sex offenses from carrying concealed weapons across state borders.

Finally, a slim majority also oppose the N.R.A.'s crusade to require all states to honor the concealed-carry permits of other states.

The results demonstrate that the "overwhelming fear" of N.R.A. retribution that pervades Congress and prevents it from more stringently regulating guns, is baseless, according to Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization co-founded and funded by Bloomberg.

The mayor has made gun control, or "crime control," as he likes to put it, one of his primary causes in the national arena.

During the presidential election,  he frequently faulted both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for failing to seriously address the proliferation of guns in this country, using the occasion of the "Dark Knight" shooting in Colorado to reinforce his point.

Bloomberg's persistent chiding of the candidates had little obvious effect during the campaign, but Bloomberg's gun-control ambitions are longer-term, he says.

He founded a super PAC with the explicit mission to, among other things, support candidates who believe in gun control.

And he's given every indication that, once his third and final term expires next year, he will invest more of his time and money into doing battle with the N.R.A.