The NRA’s Grip Loosens?

Michael Tomasky sees hope in the public approval hit suffered by senators like Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) who voted against the Manchin-Toomey gun control bill:

How stupid does the Senate background-check vote look now, I ask the pundits and others who thought it was dumb politics for Obama and the Democrats to push for a vote that they obviously knew they were going to lose. I’d say not very stupid at all. The nosedive taken in the polls by a number of senators who voted against the bill, most of them in red states, makes public sentiment here crystal clear.

PPP finds that Senators Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu, who voted for the gun control bill, have benefited from that vote:

Polling we released earlier in the week showed what a backlash there was against Senators on both sides of the aisle who voted against the background checks bill. But what this polling shows is that voters aren’t just mad at politicians who voted against Manchin/Toomey- they’re also ready to reward Senators who supported it- even in states that voted for Mitt Romney last year like North Carolina and Louisiana. With Hagan and Landrieu facing tough reelection contests in 2014, that could go a long way.

Greg Sargent is less optimistic:

[T]here are no indications that these Senators are prepared to change their votes, and there is not another vote on Manchin-Toomey scheduled for anytime soon. Such a vote won’t happen until there are genuine signs that one or two or three Senators are prepared to flip. While I’m told that there are still multiple conversations underway, there’s no sign that this is imminent.

It’s good that gun control advocates are beginning to bring pressure to bear that shows that a political price will perhaps be paid for this vote. That’s crucial, and it cuts a bit against the conventional wisdom which held that the effort would die completely after Manchin-Toomey’s defeat. That said, it’s still unclear whether any of it will end up mattering.