MCall/Muhlenberg Poll: 89% Support Background Checks

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The NRA successfully lobbied against the Manchin-Toomey amendment.

One day after the U.S. Senate voted down a proposal to expand background checks for firearms purchases, a Muhlenberg College poll commissioned by the Allentown Morning Call shows 89% of Pa. adults support such a move.

Indeed, respondents said they’d support the mandate even for private gun sales, which had been exempted under a proposal by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA). The measure fell 54 to 46; it required 60 votes to proceed.

The 89% figure is in line with other public opinion polls in Pa.

They were split on other gun issues. 50% said stronger gun control measures would help, 48% said they would have little or no impact. %0% to 48%, respondents said the presence of armed security would help prevent mass shootings.

Muhlenberg surveyed 435 adults from April 1 to 13 via live telephone interviews. Such a wide time window is unusual for public opinion surveys. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.5%. Respondents were 39% Democrats, 34%, Republicans, 14% independents, and the remaining 13% were not registered, unsure of their affiliation or with another party.

The poll was conducted by Muhlenberg’s Institute of Public Opinion and its Public Health program. Here are a few other items from the survey:

Marcellus Shale

42% said hydraulic fracturing poses major or moderate environmental risks; 9% said it posed no risk at all.

52% said fracking is harmful to the water supply; 20% said it is not and 28% are not sure.

71% said the state should enact stronger regulations on fracking; 13% said it should not, and 16% were not sure.


76% support a law requiring fast-food restaurants to list nutrition information for menu items.

60% oppose taxes on junk food items; 39% support such measures.

“Almost nine of every 10 respondents” supported immunizations to protect public health; 18% thought immunizations increased the risk of autism.

40% oppose marijuana legalization, 33% favor it and 24% were undecided.

  • Do You Agree With the Supreme Court Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade?

    • No. (50%)
    • Yes. (47%)
    • Not Sure (3%)

    Total Voters: 109

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