Sen. Pat Toomey’s co-authorship of gun background check legislation has given him the highest favorability rating in Pennsylvania since he took office, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.
The survey of 1,235 registered voters, found that 54 percent of respondents have a more favorable view of the Pennsylvania Republican now because of his support for background checks.
The poll taken April 19-24 also found that 71 percent of voters identifying themselves as Democrats said they were more likely to vote for Toomey because of his gun bill, while 40 percent of Republican respondents agreed.
The poll also found that Toomey’s overall job approval rating among Pennsylvania voters has jumped five points to 48 percent in the last month.
“Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey gains ground with both parties by calling for stiffer background checks for prospective gun owners,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The Quinnipiac poll found that 69 percent of Pennsylvania voters strongly support gun legislation requiring background checks, including 61 percent of gun owners.
Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, meanwhile, has also gained ground among Pennsylvania voters. The survey found that his approval rating is up four points since January to 48 percent. His highest approval rating was 56 percent in May 2009.
President Barack Obama also earned a 48 percent approval rating from Pennsylvania voters — a 4 point increase since March. But 48 percent of voters say they still disapprove of the way the president is handling his job.
The survey also asked Pennsylvania voters how they feel about security surrounding the upcoming May 5 Pittsburgh marathon in light of the bombings at the Boston Marathon earlier this month.
Eight-nine percent of respondents said they believe the event will be safe to attend, and 78 percent said they had not been dissuaded from attending large events in the wake of the Boston bombings.
“Despite the Boston Marathon bombings, Pennsylvanians are not running scared,” Malloy said. “There is some concern about terrorism, but overwhelmingly voters seem determined that fear will not stop them from enjoying marathons, ball games, and other big events.”
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