In Just One Month, The NRA Has Torpedoed Its Reputation

Wayne LaPierre NRA

Photo: AP

The overall favorability rating of the NRA has plunged in the last month, putting its image in a negative light for the first time.In separate polls conducted by Public Policy Polling and the Washington Post/ABC News, the association’s favorability ratings sit underwater with the majority of Americans.

The PPP poll shows a big shift from before CEO Wayne LaPierre’s press conference, which cast blame on the media, and violent video games and movies for the elementary-school massacre in Newtown, Conn., last month. Before the press conference, 48 per cent of Americans viewed the organisation in a positive light, compared with 41 per cent who viewed it unfavorably.

After the press conference and a subsequent appearance on “Meet the Press,” the NRA’s favorability shifted to a 42-45 negative split — a 10-point swing in three weeks.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post and ABC found that the NRA’s favorability rating is underwater for the first time ever in their limited polling of the question. According to the poll, only 36 per cent said they have a favourable opinion of the NRA, compared with 44 per cent who view it in a negative light.

When the WaPo/ABC last polled on the subject in 1999, the group’s favorability rating stood comfortably positive at a 48-39 split.

The hit to the organisation’s image comes as it is taking heat for an ad that calls President Barack Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for sending his children to a school with armed protection. The NRA has come out in force against Obama’s plans to introduce more restrictive gun legislation, which he will formally announce today at the White House.


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