Wednesday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow discussed new polling by the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which shows that despite the fact that a majority of Americans are in favor of background checks for firearms purchases, the politicians representing those Americans are more concerned with their ratings from the NRA.
Polls taken by the coalition of U.S. mayors called Mayors Against Illegal Guns in Republican districts of New Jersey, in two heavily Republican districts in Wisconsin, in four Republican districts in Pennsylvania are forerunners of national polling that will be released soon showing that a vast majority of Americans, even in areas that are heavily Republican, favor background checks.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns conducted the polling in 41 congressional districts in 21 states and found again and again that a majority of citizens believe that people who want to buy firearms should have to pass a criminal background check. The group released a 90-second web ad today promoting the results of its research and featuring Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City and Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston.
The group also took out full page ads in major newspapers showing the percentages of people in each district who favor universal background checks as well as the names of the elected officials representing those areas along with their ratings from the country's largest and most powerful gun lobby, the NRA. In only three of the 41 districts did support for background checks dip below 80 percent.
In Arizona, where Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake enjoy a B-plus and an A rating from the NRA. The poll found that 90 percent of the people polled in their districts support universal background checks.
"So are those senators going to do what the NRA wants?" Maddow asked. "Or are they going to do what 90 percent of their constituents want?"
She asked the same question of Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI), Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Mike Rogers (R-CO), whose districts favor universal background checks to the tune of 87 to 92 percent of voters. Will any of these Republican lawmakers sign the initiative spearheaded by former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords (D) calling for universal background checks?
"Is it really possible that the Congress is so far to the right of the people of Oklahoma," continued Maddow, "that this kind of thing is impossible now? This one straightforward fix -- background checks --the one thing that people in super-gun-friendly states in Republican congressional districts support at a low of 79 percent and a maximum of 100 percent?"
Maddow cast doubt on whether these Republicans would actually pay attention to their constituents, since so far only one Republican senator has indicated support for the measure, Arizona’s John McCain.
Watch the video, embedded below via MSNBC:
Watch the Mayors Against Illegal Guns web ad, which was released on Thursday and is embedded below: