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Bloomberg-Backed Gun Control Effort Struggles in Washington State Poll

Bloomberg dumps another $1 million into the effort

Semiautomatic rifle
AP
• October 14, 2014 3:40 pm

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A Washington ballot initiative imposing stricter gun control, funded in large part by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, faces a drop in support. The latest polling finds support for I-594 down 10 points, according to Guns.com.

The latest Elway poll of 500 registered voters in Washington state, released Monday, showed a 10 point drop in surveyed support from 70 percent in a July poll to just 60 percent in the current survey for I-594, a gun control measure that would expand background checks to most private sales.

This spells bad news for the initiative.

Poll organizers warned that historically, 24 of 29 measures that polled with over 60 percent support in this close to an election have won.

"Under this theory, I‐591 looks like a goner and the question is whether I‐594 will hold on to enough of its 10‐point cushion over the next 3 weeks to prevail," noted pollster Stuart Elway said. He also cautioned that typically, the mid-term election set for Nov. 4 is seen as a low‐turnout election and the electorate will be more conservative, which may prove important.

The poll also registered a drop in support for an initiative opposing the gun control measure. However, major gun control supporters have been far more active in this race than their counterparts.

The debate for these two initiatives has seen the gun control measure funded by a growing war chest of more than $8 million provided by a handful of wealthy donors such as Microsoft alumni Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Last week, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown group pledged another million to the campaign. The national gun control group has also dedicated efforts to fund studies in which they contend there exists a loophole in Washington that makes it easier for criminals and other dangerous people to obtain firearms.