Approval dips for state legislature according to poll

Published 2:51 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

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The Tennessee Legislature’s approval rating was at 42%, according to a new Vanderbilt Poll of statewide issues.

The poll interviewed 1,005 registered voters between Nov. 14 and Dec. 2.

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The poll showed the Legislature’s approval rating down 18 percentage points from its all-time 10-year high in May 2020.

“It is problematic for states when general elections are not competitive, and one party wields all of the power. Monopolies rarely work and certainly do not serve the interest of consumers—or, in this case, voters,” said John Geer, co-director of the Vanderbilt Poll.

The poll showed much of the public was unaware of a special session held on public safety last fall and those who identify as Democrats were far more likely to have followed the session.

Gun control remained the most important priority for voters in the poll but it dropped from 16% saying it was the most important topic in April after the shooting at Nashville’s Covenant School to 10% now.

The poll results said that 23% of Democrats said gun safety was the most important topic, 8% of independents said that it was most important and 1% of Republicans said it was their largest concern.

The poll showed that 76% were somewhat or very supportive of laws requiring gun owners to ensure that firearms stored in vehicles are secured, with 72% of non-MAGA Republicans supportive and 60% of MAGA Republicans supportive and 63% of respondents who strongly support the National Rifle Association in favor.

The poll results also showed 80% of voters – including a majority of MAGA Republicans, non-MAGA Republicans and pro-NRA voters – said they are somewhat or very supportive of a background check requirement for buying firearms at gun shows.

More than 75% of all respondents said they were in favor of restrictions on gun possession by high-risk individuals.

But 64% of voters said they favored raising the age at which an assault rifle may be purchased from 18 to 21.