The new national survey by the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post, conducted April 18-21 among 1,002 adults, finds a wide partisan gap in reactions. Just over half of Republicans are either very happy (29%) or relieved (23%) that the legislation was voted down, though roughly a third of Republicans say they are either disappointed (26%) or angry (8%). Among Democrats, fully two-thirds (67%) express negative sentiments about the legislation’s failure, with more saying they are disappointed (41%) than angry (26%).
Republicans and Democrats paid equally close attention to the gun debate last week: 40% across party lines say they tracked the events very closely, making it the second most closely followed story last week, after the terrorist bombings at the Boston Marathon. About half of those who followed news about the gun control debate very closely last week had particularly strong reactions to the Senate vote – 31% say they are very happy about the outcome while 22% are angry. Among those who followed news about the debate less closely, only about a quarter offered such strong reactions.