Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Connecticut Poll Suggests Gov. Malloy’s Tight Victory Partially Due to Support for Stricter Gun Laws
Press Release

RELEASE: Connecticut Poll Suggests Gov. Malloy’s Tight Victory Partially Due to Support for Stricter Gun Laws

Washington, D.C. — According to a new poll commissioned for the Center for American Progress Action Fund and conducted by Public Policy Polling, or PPP, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy’s (D) razor-thin re-election on Tuesday can at least in part be attributed to his strong support of stricter gun laws in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. According to the poll, 82 percent of voters in the gubernatorial race also support background checks for gun sales, and 43 percent were more likely to support Gov. Malloy because of his action.

“We are delighted and proud that Gov. Dan Malloy, as well as 94 percent of our legislators who voted in favor of our landmark gun violence legislation, won re-election,” said Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence. “What happened in Connecticut proves that you can vote for smart, strong, gun laws and win elections. Our supporters came out to vote in overwhelming numbers to show that attempts at intimidation by the gun lobby do not work.”

Key findings in the poll include:

  • The poll suggests that Gov. Malloy’s support for lifesaving gun violence legislation drove voters to turn out in support of him. The poll found broad support for such measures, with 82 percent of voters expressing support for background checks for all gun purchases. Forty-three percent of respondents said that this made them more likely to vote for Gov. Malloy, while it made just 31 percent of respondents less likely to vote for him.
  • Gov. Malloy’s decisive work on gun control appears to have drawn support from both gun owners and all sides of the political spectrum. Seventy-nine percent of independents were more likely to vote for Gov. Malloy because of his action, and 73 percent of Republicans support background checks for all gun sales. Additionally, 77 percent of gun owners support background checks.
  • Women overwhelmingly support background checks for gun sales. Eighty-seven percent of women support background checks on all gun sales, and 50 percent said that they were more likely to vote for Gov. Malloy because of his support for stricter gun laws.

“Gov. Malloy’s support for background checks proved to be especially crucial with women. Fifty percent said it made them more likely to vote for him, while only 19 percent considered it a negative. Overall, Gov. Malloy won female voters by 56 percent to 43 percent, and that was critical to allowing his narrow victory,” said Tom Jensen, director of PPP. “Background checks for all gun purchases continue to be popular all over the country. Gov. Malloy had the backbone that many politicians have lacked to take action on this issue, and it helped him win a second term on Tuesday night.”

“We saw across the country that our supporters came out to vote in overwhelming numbers—whether in Colorado, Connecticut, or Washington—to show that attempts at intimidation by the gun lobby do not work,” said Chelsea Parsons, CAP Action Director of Crime and Firearms Policy. “Smart gun policy drove voters to the polls not just in Washington, where it was on the ballot, but also to vote for candidates who took strong stances on the issue.”

Please find the full polling memo here.

The poll was put into the field from November 4 through November 5 and surveyed 698 voters with a margin of error of +/-3.7 percent.

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Benton Strong at 202.481.8142 or bstrong1@americanprogressaction.org.