CNN Poll: Majority Approve of Obama, Biden Before Gun Control Announcement

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    (CNN) — As President Barack Obama announces a package of proposals to limit gun violence, a new national survey indicates that his approval rating may be edging up.

    The CNN/Time Magazine/ORC International poll also indicates that a majority of Americans support stricter gun control laws in the wake of the shooting rampage at an elementary school in Connecticut.

    And according to the survey, nearly six in ten approve of the job Vice President Joe Biden is doing, slightly higher than the number who approve of his boss. The vice president led a task force in the wake of the shootings that came up with specific proposals for the president on how to reduce gun violence in the country.

    The president’s approval rating stands at 55% in the poll, which was released Wednesday, with 43% saying they disapprove of the job Obama is doing in the White House. The president’s approval rating is up three points from mid December CNN/ORC poll that was conducted just days after a suicidal gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

    Of those who disapprove, 34% say they disapprove because Obama is too liberal, with 7% saying they give the president a thumbs down because he’s not liberal enough.

    More than nine in ten Democrats approve of the job Obama’s doing. That number drops to 51% for independent voters, with just 13% of Republicans approving of the president’s performance in office. The poll also indicates a gender gap, with women approving of the job Obama’s doing by a 59%-39% margin, and men divided (51%-48%).

    The Vice President’s approval rating stands at 59%, with 38% saying they disapprove of the job he is doing. Biden’s approval rating is up five points from last month. Besides leading the task force on curbing gun violence, Biden also had a high profile role, along with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, in striking a deal that temporarily averted the country going over the fiscal cliff.

    According to the poll, 55% favor stricter gun control laws, with 37% saying that they strongly support such laws. Forty-four percent oppose such measures, including 27% who say they strongly oppose stricter gun control laws.

    “Those numbers suggest that the change in public opinion in the wake of Newtown may come mostly in the intensity of feelings for and against gun control,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Gun control opponents in the past have developed a reputation for holding stronger views on the issue than supporters of gun control. But in the current poll, about two-thirds of those who favor stricter gun control laws feel strongly about that. That’s a bit higher than the six in ten gun control opponents who strongly oppose stricter gun control. How strongly Americans feel about gun control may matter more to the success or failure of legislation tan the overall numbers.”

    The CNN/Time Magazine poll was conducted by ORC International Monday and Tuesday (Jan. 14-15), with 814 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

    CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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