Much has been made in recent weeks about the NRA's political strength, but PPP's newest national poll finds more voters consider their endorsement to be a negative than a positive. 39% say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who had the NRA's support to just 26% who say they'd be more likely to, with 32% saying it wouldn't influence them one way or the other. Among independents 41% consider an NRA endorsement to be a turn off to 27% who say it's a plus.
In general 53% of voters say they support stricter gun laws in the country to 39% who are opposed to them. Those numbers are basically identical to a 53/40 spread a month ago, suggesting that the desire for stronger legislation has not died down as Newtown gradually fades from voters' minds. On the specific issue of an assault weapons ban 51% of voters are supportive to 42% who are opposed. It has support from a solid majority of Democrats, as well as 26% of Republicans.
Other notes from our new national poll:
Nevertheless the -46 approval spread for the Republicans is 32 points worse than the Democrats' -14. 39% of voters give them good marks to 53% who disapprove. The generic Congressional ballot is tied at 45 after Democrats led it 47/41 last month. That's also due to Republicans rallying back around their party- they say they'd support the GOP 89/6 if there was an election today, compared to 81/11 when we asked last month.
-In addition to being closely divided on Congress, Americans are also closely divided on President Obama. 49% approve of the job he's doing to 48% who disapprove. Voters narrowly support Chuck Hagel's confirmation as Secretary of Defense, 39/33. As much attention as Hagel has received over the last few months, 28% of voters still don't care about his fate one way or the other.
-64% of voters nationally think illegal immigrants should be given a chance to apply for legal citizenship, compared to only 27% who think they should be deported back to their home countries. Over two thirds of white voters with an opinion on the matter (60/29) and a plurality of Republicans (44/41) support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the country.
-We continue to find voters more reluctant to identify themselves as Republicans after the party's loss in November. Our final pre-election poll found Democrats with a 2 point party identification advantage at 39/37. Our three national surveys since the election have found it at 44/32, 43/34, and 42/33. Democratic identification is up an average of 4 points since the election and Republican identification is down by an average of 4 points.
Full results here