PPP's newest national poll finds that the NRA's image has declined over the last three weeks following Wayne LaPierre's controversial press conference the week before Christmas.
The NRA now has a negative favorability rating, with 42% of voters seeing it positively while 45% have an unfavorable view. That represents a 10 point net decline in the NRA's favorability from the week before the press conference when a national poll we did found it at 48/41. Its image has taken a hit with both Democrats (from 29/59 to 22/67) and Republicans (71/19 to 66/18).
The NRA's focus on putting more guns in schools is likely what's driving the decline in the organization's image. Only 41% of voters support the organization's proposal to put armed police officers in schools across the country, with 50% opposed. Democrats (35/57) and independents (38/51) both oppose the push and even among Republicans only a narrow majority (52/39) supports it.
On the broader issue of giving teachers guns, only 27% of voters are supportive with 64% opposed. There's bipartisan opposition to that concept with Republicans (35/50), independents (31/59), and Democrats (19/77) all standing against it. Gun owners (37/52) oppose it as well.
The holidays and the fiscal cliff took a lot of the spotlight off gun control measures, but in general 53% of Americans say they support stricter gun laws with 40% opposed.
Congress emerged from the fiscal cliff debate with a 7% approval rating, with 81% of voters disapproving of it. But the two parties aren't going in for equal blame. While the Democrats in Congress aren't popular (-12 at 38/50) their approval rating is a net 48 points better than their Republican counterparts (-60 at 15/75).The Republicans in Congress have only a 25/61 approval rating even with the GOP base, suggesting the potential for 2014 to bring a lot of primary challenges.
The considerably higher esteem the Democrats in Congress have compared to the Republicans is extending to our early generic ballot polling for 2014- 47% of voters say they'd support the Democratic candidate for the House from their district if there was an election today to 41% who say they would vote for the GOP nominee.
Other notes from this poll:
-Barack Obama's approval rating stands at 51/46, up a shade from 50/47 a month ago. Mitt Romney's image has taken a big hit since the election. On our final poll in November he was at 47/50 but now he's dropped a net 8 points to 40/51, suggesting that his public statements since his defeat haven't done much to help his image.
-Chris Christie is now more popular with Democrats nationally than he is with Republicans. His overall favorability is a very strong 51/23, but his +29 standing with Democrats (52/23) is higher than his +21 with GOP voters (48/27). He's most popular with independents at +34 (52/18). Compared to a month ago he's up a net 12 points with Democrats and down a net 11 points with Republicans. We'll have a more full look ahead to the 2016 Presidential race tomorrow.
Full results here