by Max Brantley
But here comes another poll that says Arkies aren't much different than the rest of the country. When it comes to guns, they tend to favor some sensible regulatory steps.
Public Policy Polling says today:
New PPP polls in Arkansas, Georgia, and Tennessee find that even in dark red states there's strong, bipartisan support for expanded background checks. And as we've found elsewhere, voters are unhappy with their Senators who voted against them.
In Georgia there's 71/22 support for them, in Tennessee it's 67/26, and in Arkansas it's 60/31. Female voters that the Republican Party really needs to reach out to if it's going to be successful moving forward are even more supportive of background checks. They favor them 81/12 in Georgia, 73/21 in Tennessee, and 67/25 in Arkansas.
The support for stronger background check laws cuts across party lines in all three of these states. In Georgia Democrats favor them 82/10, independents do 67/27, and Republicans do 63/30. In Tennessee Democrats give them 88/8 support, independents favor them at a 61/29 clip, and Republicans do 53/38. And in Arkansas the numbers are 85/10 with Democrats, 48/43 with Republicans, and 45/43 with independents.
Mark Pryor's chances for reelection next year would be enhanced if he supported a background check bill when it comes back up in the Senate. 40% of voters say they would be more likely to cast their ballots for him next year if he reconsidered his position on this issue to just 34% who say they would be less likely to.
On balance, by the way, John Boozman's vote against background checks harmed him with voters, too.
Crossing the NRA is good for an Arkansas politician? Any Arkansas Republican would laugh you out of the room. Most Democrats, too. As I said earlier today, a fellow named Bill Clinton managed to get away with it. I know. Mark Pryor isn't Bill Clinton.
I'd like to believe these numbers. But I think it takes a really good politician to make them work to his or her advantage. Talking Points Memo perhaps puts too much faith in them.