Quinnipiac Poll: Pa. Voters Support Universal Background Checks 19 to 1

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Respondents view the NRA unfavorably 35%-31%

If Pa. voters had their say today, three of President Obama’s top gun control priorities would become law.

According to the latest poll from Quinnipiac, Pa. has near-unanimous public support for universal background checks (95% to 5%) and healthy support for a ban on assault weapons (60% to 37%) and high capacity magazine clips (59% to 39%).

Respondents who identified as gun owners also supported universal background checks (95% to 4%) but opposed an assault weapons ban (51% to 45%) and magazine restrictions (57% to 41%).

All three are measures supported by Obama, who intensified his focus on gun violence in the wake of the December school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

As the number show however, universal background checks stand the strongest chance of success. A lengthy report this month by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Moriah Balingit detailed one example why: John Shick, the man who shot several people at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Oakland in March 2012, had navigated haphazard background check laws to obtain his guns.

57% of respondents said Pa. gun control laws should be stricter, 35% said they should remain as-is, and 4% said they should be less strict. 60% favored stricted federal gun control laws (and 32% the same, 5% less strict).

Asked, “Who do you trust more to make the right decisions about gun laws, the Republicans in Congress or President Obama?” respondents chose Obama 47% to 38%.

“Pennsylvanians join voters in Virginia and New Jersey, states where Quinnipiac University has found overwhelming support for background checks for every gun purchase,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Keystone State voters, especially voters in urban areas, seem to have had enough of gun violence. By large margins, voters don’t think assault weapons belong in the hands of any gun owner. Restrict the firepower of assault weapons or ban them entirely, Pennsylvanians say.”

The survey found 49 % of respondents believe gun ownership protects people from becoming victims of crime compared to 40% who said ownership puts people at risk. But that stops with semi-automatic assault rifles like that used in Newtown. 61% of respondents said those make the country more dangerous. Just 28% said they make the country safer.

The idea of having armed guards at schools would do more to reduce gun violence in schools than stricter 46% to 42%.

By a margin of 35% to 31%, respondents said they had an unfavorable impression of the National Rifle Association.

These numbers are the second release by Quinnipiac from the same survey, conducted from Jan. 22 to 27 using live interviewers calling landlines. The margin of error for the poll of 1,221 registered voters is plus or minus 2.8%. Pa. polls that use registration numbers rather than algorithms based on likely voters tend to favor Democrats by a few points and disadvantage Republicans compared to election results.

Yesterday’s release showed Gov. Tom Corbett’s re-election numbers in trouble driven by a wide gender gap.

January 30th, 2013 | Posted in Congress, Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Poll, Top Stories | 11 Comments

11 thoughts on “Quinnipiac Poll: Pa. Voters Support Universal Background Checks 19 to 1”

  1. Ray says:

    Strange that I can’t find the wording used in the poll anywhere on the internet. The wording can make people answer in a predictable pattern.

  2. Rusty says:

    I’m not disputing the poll, but 25% of respondents are independents…aren’t we closer to 12% of voters being independents or something non GOP or DEM? Seems high.

  3. Leo Knepper says:

    25% of people have no idea what an “assault rifle” is: http://reason.com/archives/2013/01/30/whats-an-assault-weapon

  4. Jack Bennett says:

    To: Mr. Tim Maloy. I would like to know how you arrived at the 1221 people that make up this poll. Men women, political party, age, location within the state, gun owner or not, what questions were asked and how many leading ideas such as “assalt weapon, gun violence” were used in the questioning of each individual. And the best one: Pa has near 100% public support for the presidentns gun control. Sir, I don’t know who you talked to but they certainlly do not represent the state of Pennsyllvania as you suggest. If you want to discuss this further please contact me from my email and I’ll gilve you my phone numbers. Respecfully Jack A Bennett

  5. Jackb1977 says:

    Gary, the gun used to shoot the children in Newtown was a bushmaster AR-15 type weapon. The gun that was found in his car was a shotgun. The shooter did have 2 handguns on him at the time of the shooting, but most of the shots fired were from the bushmaster.

  6. An Observer says:

    ‘Asked, “Who do you trust more to make the right decisions about gun laws, the Republicans in Congress or President Obama?” respondents chose Obama 47% to 38%.’

    Obviously, these people are insane and should turn in their guns immediately!

  7. Jocelyn Grecco says:

    I am a leader in the conservative movement and can say without reservation that while I am afraid to handle a gun myself, if I had a boyfriend (which I do not) I would want my man to have a gun to protect me when he takes me out to dinner and to the mall.

  8. Whatevers. Only 30 to 40% of American colonists supported the Revolutionary War, and that fluctuated with success on the battlefield. Thank God for those who did and still believe in individual liberty.

  9. John says:

    All you need to know about a survey that does not make sense in Pennsylvania is to look at this “factoid”- “Respondents view the NRA unfavorably 35%-31%”.

  10. Gary Turner says:

    Who did they poll . I bet I could do one and have it 2 to 1 against any new gun laws . The gun used at Newtown was not a rifle it was found in the car .He used two pistols . The media keeps manipulating things against guns and the lawful owners.

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