Poll: Most Americans Disapprove of Obama on Guns

Most Americans disapprove of how President Obama has handled gun-policy issues, a new poll from CNN finds.

The president has been pushing new limits on gun ownership since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last year captured the nation's attention and spurred calls for new laws from Democratic members of Congress. The president will travel today to Connecticut to renew that push, as agreement between Republicans and Democrats in both chambers of Congress has been scarce.

CNN and Opinion Research Corp. found that 45 percent approve of Obama's handling of "gun policy," while 52 percent disapprove.

It's unclear why, exactly: CNN didn't ask respondents whether they're disappointed with the president because they oppose the gun-control measures he has advocated, or because he hasn't yet succeeded in enacting new laws.

A mix of the two reasons is the likeliest explanation.

Polls have found broad support for gun-control measures Obama and Democrats have pushed. Most recently, a Quinnipiac University poll found that 53 percent support "stricter gun laws in the United States," 91 percent support background checks for all gun buyers, 59 percent a nationwide ban on "assault weapons," and 58 percent support a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 bullets.

In other words, Most Americans support the measures Obama and Democrats have talked about. Some of the dissatisfaction with Obama is likely the result of slow going in the push for gun controls: 16 percent of Democrats and 23 percent of liberals said they disapprove of how Obama has handled guns.

But with 60 percent of independents and 44 percent of moderates disapproving, those most likely to say they disapprove of the president on this issue are Republicans (86 percent) and conservatives (77 percent), the groups most likely to oppose the restrictions Obama and his party have sought to enact.