New Poll Shows Washington State Gun Background Check Ballot Initiative with Strong Support Leading into Election Day
Washington, D.C. — A new poll commissioned for the Center for American Progress Action Fund and conducted by Public Policy Polling, or PPP, shows strong support for Initiative 594, the ballot measure that would require background checks on all gun sales. According to the poll, I-594 is favored 59–38 among Washington state voters—including 63–36 among the more than 6 in 10 Washingtonians who have already voted. The complete gun ballot measure, I-591, which would restrict state gun laws to a federal floor of laws, is trailing 39–52 among Washington state votes. Additionally, the poll suggests that the background check ballot measure may be helping turn out voters to support state legislative candidates who support background checks and the National Rifle Association’s, or NRA’s, opposition to the measure may be hurting their brand in the state.
Key findings in the poll include:
- I-594 is up by 21 points and even higher among those who have already mailed in votes. Overall support for I-594 is 59–38—and 63–36 among the more than 6 in 10 Washingtonians who have already voted.
- I-591—the counter measure to I-594 on the ballot—is down by 13 percentage points and even more among those who have already voted. Overall support for I-591 is 39–52, and the measure is down by 18 points, 39-57, among the more than 6 in 10 Washingtonians who have already voted.
- Among those who have not voted yet but plan to vote, voters who say they support I-594 are more certain of their support than opponents are certain about their opposition. The survey suggests that among the 35 percent of respondents who have not yet voted but say they definitely will vote, 9 out of 10 of those who support I-594 are “definitively” going to vote for I-594, and only 1 out of 10 is just “probably” going to vote for I-594. Among opponents of I-594 who have yet to vote, only three in four are certain of their opposition, while one in four opponents are just “probably” opposed to the measure.
- I-594, the universal background checks initiative, brought more voters to the polls this election. One-third of Washington state voters—34 percent—reported that the presence of the background check initiative made them more likely to vote in this election, while only 5 percent said it made them less likely to vote.
- State legislators who support universal background checks are favored by voters. Fifty-two percent of Washington state voters say they are more likely to vote for a state legislator who supports expanded background checks, while 30 percent said they are less likely to vote for a state legislator who supports background checks.
- The NRA’s opposition to universal background checks appears to be hurting their brand. A PPP poll conducted in December 2013 showed that support and opposition for the NRA was about even in Washington state: 45 percent of voters had a favorable viewed compared to 47 percent unfavorable. This new poll shows support for the NRA has fallen with only 37 percent expressing favorable views and 50 percent unfavorable in Washington state.
“This new PPP poll suggests that not only is I-594—which supports universal background checks—going to pass, but it is going to help those who favor gun-violence prevention do well up and down the ballot,” said Arkadi Gerney, Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Not only is I-594 up by 21 points, but the strong turn out in support of the measure is helping the state legislature elect members who support universal background checks and hurting the National Rifle Association’s brand across the state.”
The poll was put into the field on October 30 through November 1 and surveyed 635 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.
Please find the full poll here.
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