New Poll: Public Now Strongly Backs Candidates Who Advocate for Real Policies to Reduce Gun Violence

August 1, 2018

New model of candidate language shows voters strongly prefer candidates who advocate for bold policies to reduce gun violence; NRA has become significantly less popular since 2017

WASHINGTON -- Guns Down and the Center for American Progress released new polling that shows that voters prefer candidates who campaign on bold measures to reduce the number of guns in our country. The poll measured the extent to which messaging on gun violence prevention impacts voter attitudes and further measured the weakening public perception of the NRA and its leadership.

The survey of 1,000 registered voters across the United States demonstrates how the current political climate is ripe for a continued conversation on gun violence prevention, especially in the lead-up to November’s midterm elections.

The poll found that candidates that employ a bold, strong message on gun violence prevention and gun reduction message in their campaigns -- regardless of party affiliation -- enjoyed significantly stronger support than those who didn’t talk about gun violence at all.

What’s more, the poll shows how a growing majority of Americans are rejecting the NRA across party and demographic lines, registering a lower favorability than the also-unpopular President Trump. Read the full polling memo -- which includes the candidate model language here.

"The political center on this issue has shifted. Americans across the country are looking for candidates to meet them where they are and embrace bold solutions that move us toward a future with fewer guns, a future where guns are significantly harder to get," said Igor Volsky, Executive Director of Guns Down America. "The NRA has been hijacking our democracy for years. We deserve candidates who will fight to take it back."

“Reducing gun violence is not only a moral imperative, but also a winning political message,” said Chelsea Parsonsvice president for Gun Violence Prevention at the Center for American Progress. “It’s abundantly clear that voters on both sides of the aisle want their elected officials to take action on stronger gun laws and stand up to a dangerously out-of-touch NRA. If elected officials do not heed the will of their voters, they might not be elected officials much longer.”

Galvanized by recent high-profile mass shootings and elected leaders’ inadequate responses in their wake, voters are saying loudly and clearly that they support a variety of stronger gun laws and will support candidates who share their values. Perceptions of the NRA’s brand have significantly worsened, with over half (54 percent) of respondents viewing the group unfavorably. In  2017 Guns Down polling, 53 percent of Americans viewed the NRA favorably.

Click here to read the full polling memo from GBA Strategies. The national poll of 1,000 registered voters was conducted online by GBA down from June 12-17.