The Rachel Maddow Show | March 06, 2013
MADDOW: Headline this week in the Newark , New Jersey " Star Ledger ": "Gun Control Poll: Nearly everyone in New Jersey 's Republican districts supports universal background checks ."
Headline in "The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel": "New polls support background checks for gun buyers." This one is about polling and two Republican-controlled districts in Wisconsin .
Headline in "The Philadelphia Inquirer": "Poll: overwhelming local support for background checks ." That's based on four Republican-controlled districts getting polled in Pennsylvania . Local media in wildly different parts of the country reporting on their local politicians and their local voters based on new polling that is geographically specific to each of those disparate places. It's all happening at the same time. Do you sense that something is going on here? That's because something is going on here. The group mayors against illegal guns have rolled this out slowly and subtly in local media first, but it is about to go national. They very quietly did a huge new polling effort. They asked people if they supported background checks for all gun sales. They pulled in 21 states and 41 congressional districts . Huge effort. But up until now, you would only know about this if you had been doing a close reading of local newspapers from mostly Republican states in congressional districts . Well, tomorrow, they are due to publish the results all together in one place, in a full page ad in three major beltway newspapers. We got it from them tonight when we asked them about what seemed like this quiet round of polling they were doing and only publicizing locally. So, we are the first news outlet to break this. But here it is, so you can see it ahead of time. It says Americans overwhelmingly support background checks for all gun sales. And then it lists the polling results from dozens of states and congressional districts , along with who is the office holder there and what their NRA rating is. Since the NRA is opposed to background checks , right, that matters. The majority of folks on this list have an A or A-plus rating from the NRA . Again, the NRA opposes background checks . But look what these people's constituents think about background checks . Look at those numbers. In every single case, come on, who cares what the NRA says. The view of the residents in these dribs is just overwhelming. Only three times on this entire list does the support dip below 80 percent support for background checks . And in those three cases, it's still 79 percent wanting background checks . Look in Arizona , for example, where Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have between them an A and a B -plus rating from the NRA , 90 percent of their constituents in Arizona want background checks , even if the NRA is opposed. So the senators are going to do what the NRA wants or are they going to do what 90 percent of their constituents want? In three different Michigan congressional districts , the congressmen from those districts have A-ratings from the NRA . But the people who live in those districts support background checks by 87 percent to 92 percent. So what is it going to be Fred Upton and Tim Walberg and Mike Rogers ? Are you going to do with the NRA wants? You got an "A" rating from the NRA . Are you going to do what the NRA wants or do the opposite of what the NRA wants, which is what 87 percent to 92 percent of people in your districts want you to do. In Oklahoma , home of A-plus rated Senator Jim Inhofe and A-rated Senator Tom Coburn , 87 percent of Oklahoma residents want universal background checks -- Oklahoma , 87 percent. And that is a particularly important part of Oklahoma , not just because Oklahoma is such a red state , because one of the senators from Oklahoma , the NRA 's a rated Tom Coburn was being aggressively courted to co-sponsor a bipartisan bill in the Senate for universal background checks . Today, we learned that that effort has failed. Tom Coburn will not be signing on to the universal background check measure that is set to be introduced in the Senate tomorrow, the one that 87 percent4 percent of his constituents support . He is going to give the one-finger salute to 87 percent of his constituents in order to do what the NRA wants him to do instead. " The Washington Post " reporting tonight that negotiations for a broad, bipartisan background check bill, including Tom Coburn , have stalled. Now it will be left to Democrats Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin and lone Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois to try to find Republican support elsewhere. And yes, Senator Mark Kirk is himself a Republican, but his " F " rating from the NRA may not make him the best pitchman for recruiting more Republican support to this bill. And they will need that if they're going to pass this bill over an all but certain Republican filibuster. Is it really possible that the congress is so far to the right of the people of Oklahoma that this kind of thing is impossible now? This one straight forward fix, background checks , is something that people in super gun -friendly states and Republican congressional districts support by a low of 79 percent and a maximum of 100 percent. Literally in one New Jersey Republican district, support for background checks clocked in at 100 percent. Is it possible that something with this much popular support can attract the support in the Senate of only one Republican? One. That's how far the Republican Party is from public opinion right now? This seems to be not sustainable.
MADDOW: In 2006 , the Republican-controlled Congress