Supporters of the failed expanded background check gun legislation continue to hold the edge with voters, according to a new poll.
In a Gallup survey taken in the week after the Senate voted against the measure, 65 percent said the Senate should have passed it versus 29 percent who said it shouldn't have passed. The poll also showed a decline in overall support for expanding gun background checks, from 91 percent in a January survey to 83 percent now, though that could be due in part to a slight wording change in the question, Gallup said.
"Regardless of whether one looks at the 91 percent or the 83 percent support level, it is clear that more Americans support the concept of a law expanding background checks for gun purchases than say the Senate should have passed such a law," wrote Frank Newport, Gallup's editor-in-chief, in a memo accompanying the poll results.
Last Thursday, two top senators who support the failed bill said they expected it would be brought up again before the end of the year and outside advocacy groups have begun advertising campaigns in some home states of senators that voted against the gun measure.
"These results show broader support for the underlying concept of background checks for gun sales, as measured in a question asking if respondents would vote in a national referendum for such a measure, than for the idea of Congress passing a law that would enact such provisions," Newport said.
"It is also possible that reminding respondents of the Senate's failure to pass the measure could give more weight, authority, or legitimacy to a position opposing the measure than just theoretically talking about the basic idea of expanded background checks."
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have also been pushing hard for reform, trying to use their bully pulpit to appeal to the majority of Americans who say they support gun control legislation to contact their member of Congress. Obama even took to the Rose Garden for a last minute press conference to scold senators for failing to support the gun measure.
But opponents, such as the National Rifle Association, counted the Senate vote – which featured four Democrats joining a majority of Republicans in opposition – as a clear victory.
The poll surveyed 2,049 adults from April 22 to April 25 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.