Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia hasn't given up on passing an expansion of background checks on gun sales. With polls showing that some senators took a hit for opposing the measure, the NRA is working to convince their constituents they did the right thing.
It's a sign that both sides learned a key lesson. After the Senate two weeks ago failed to stop a filibuster of the compromise Manchin worked out with Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey, the president promised that "sooner or later, we're going to get this right." One point Obama made during his speech has come into sharp relief: Politics trump policy. Relying on senators to want to fight gun violence isn't going to cut it. Having them see a political cost just might.
Earlier today, Public Policy Polling, a generally left-leaning polling firm, released data from a series of surveys looking at how voters in some states reacted to their senator's vote on the compromise bill, adding to one it conducted last week in New Hampshire. The PPP data focuses on a decline in approval ratings for the senators — Jeff Flake of Arizona, Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Dean Heller of Nevada. That's a tricky measure; lots of things can contribute to a drop in approval ratings.