A new poll published Wednesday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows support for the state’s expanded background check ballot measure dropped four points this month.
Some 54 percent of the 800 likely voters surveyed support Question 1, which would require background checks on most private sales and transfers, while 38 percent remain opposed.
While support dipped, opposition to Question 1 increased six points since the first time the paper commissioned the survey last month.
Anthony Williams, a special projects director at Bendixen & Amandi International, the firm hired to administer the poll, stopped short of describing the surge in opposition as “dramatic” in an interview with the Review-Journal Wednesday.
“You’re starting to see the opposition gain some ground and if that trend were to continue over the course of the next couple of weeks it could be very close either way,” Williams told the paper. “I wouldn’t call this a slam dunk to pass or a slam dunk to fail at this point.”
The newspaper reports the company conducted the poll in English and Spanish between Oct. 20 and Oct. 23. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percent.
Despite the weakening poll results, Nevadans for Background Checks — the state-based political action committee leading the campaign in support of Question 1 — isn’t worried.
“The enthusiasm we saw for Question 1 at early voting locations this weekend is reflected in poll after poll that shows Nevadans see through the misinformation by the opposition and support common sense gun safety laws,” said Joe Duffy, the group’s campaign manager. “Polling continues to reflect overwhelming support for Question 1 because Nevadans know that closing the background check loophole will improve public safety and save lives.”
So far, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his gun control advocacy group, Everytown for Gun Safety, has dumped a combined $13 million into the ballot measure campaign in Nevada. Bloomberg and his supporters believe Question 1 will close the “gun show loophole” and keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers and the mentally ill, among other prohibited persons under federal law.
Nevadans for Freedom, the NRA-backed Question 1 opposition campaign, told the Review-Journal the poll numbers indicate a growing level of awareness among voters of the implications of passing such a law.
“We believe that as Nevada voters take to the polls early and through Election Day, they will take time to understand the consequences of Bloomberg’s Question 1 gun-control initiative,” Robert Uithoven, campaign manager of NRA-Nevadans for Freedom, told the paper. “This poorly-written law, financed by an out-of-state billionaire, will land many law-abiding Nevadans in jail and it won’t keep our communities safer, which is why Governor (Brian) Sandoval, Attorney General Laxalt and 16 of 17 elected sheriffs are urging all Nevadans to oppose Question 1.”