As President Donald Trump has mulled acting on gun control legislation in the wake of a string of mass shootings, data gathered by the president’s campaign showed that supporting any gun control measures would pose a problem for him politically going into the 2020 election season, according to sources familiar with the results.
The data is comprised of campaign polling conducted before recent back-to-back mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, that left 31 dead — as well as more recent outreach to his base and independent voters, according to the sources. ABC News has not independently reviewed the data. The sources said it’s likely to inform Trump’s decision on whether to act on any gun control legislation, despite separate nationwide polling showing widespread public support for tougher gun sale background checks.
The White House requested data from the campaign on how Trump’s base and independent voters would react if Trump were to support gun control measures late last month, after the Dayton and El Paso shootings, the sources told ABC News. On Aug. 31, seven more were killed in Texas in a shooting rampage in Odessa.
Though the Trump campaign data suggests gun control measures would be unpopular with Trump’s base, the sources said, nationwide polls say the great majority of Americans support stricter background checks. An Aug. 29 Quinnipiac poll showed 93% of registered voters, including 89% of Republicans, support universal background checks.
On Thursday, Trump met with moderate West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin at the White House to discuss ongoing efforts to craft a bipartisan gun control bill. They discussed so-called red flag flaws and background checks, but Trump gave Manchin no commitment to back any particular measure, according to a senior Senate aide.