Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu, both red-state Democratic Senators who voted in favor of expanding background checks saw their poll numbers jump upward. This confirms a trend we have seen on the negative side of the balance in recent weeks.
Mary Landrieu (left) and Kay Hagan got a boost in the polls from their votes in favor of expanding background checks. (Official Senate portraits)
Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu, both red-state Democratic Senators who voted in favor of expanding background checks saw their poll numbers jump upward. This confirms a trend we have seen on the negative side of the balance in recent weeks. Senators who voted against that same bill to expand background checks have seen their poll numbers tank recently. One could wonder if the Senate itself is just on a downward trend, but the latest polls from Public Policy Polling (PPP) show that Hagan and Landrieu have new life after their vote to expand background checks.
PPP found that 71% of Louisianans support universal background checks on all gun sales. Landrieu's approval numbers stand at 49-41 and 44% of voters said her yes vote on expanding background checks makes it more likely to vote for her, compared to 26% who said less likely.
The picture is similar for Kay Hagan of North Carolina. Hagan's numbers are less than rock-solid: 37% approve of her job performance, 36% disapprove and the remaining 27% aren't sure. However, 52% her vote on background checks makes her more likely to get their vote, twice the number of people who said it makes them less likely. Hagan defeated longtime incumbent Elizabeth Dole to take her Senate seat in 2008, and a favorable boost in the polls is just what she needs with her first reelection on the horizon.
While this boost in the polling is a boon to the Democrats chances of keeping the Senate in 2014, what's more important is that it confirms that voters really are responding to crucial Senate votes. That hasn't always been the case, especially on gun reform. If Harry Reid knows what he's doing, he'll get at least one more gun vote in before the 2014 elections.