Two-thirds of Americans back tougher gun laws, a USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll finds, but Republican support has fallen significantly as the issue takes on a stronger partisan cast than it did a few years ago.
In the poll, taken in the wake of two mass shootings in the span of a week, 65% overall say gun laws should be stricter – a sizable majority but one that has fallen by 7 percentage points from a USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll taken in August 2019.
The 54% support among Republicans two years ago has plummeted to 35%. Democratic support has stayed about the same, now at 90%.
“This is much more about a shift in the Republican base, and their leadership, than about the issue itself,” Ipsos President Cliff Young says. “In these highly tribalized times, cues from leadership become especially important in how the public forms their stance around issues. The partisan cuing around gun reforms has changed among Republican leadership, and the Republican base has followed suit.”