Following failure of U.S. gun plan, Toomey’s approval rating highest ever

    A new survey shows Pennsylvania’s junior U.S. senator has emerged from the gun control debate with his highest approval rating.

    If anyone is still asking whether Republican Pat Toomey did any damage to his reputation, a new Quinnipiac University poll puts the question to bed: not at all.

    His approval rating went up by five points in the past month to 48 percent, compared with 30 percent of voters who say they disapprove of the job he’s doing.

    The poll started just two days after Toomey’s controversial amendment failed — it would have expanded background checks on gun purchases online and at gun shows. At the time, Toomey was still receiving criticism from his gun-rights base.

    But Franklin and Marshall College pollster and political scientist Terry Madonna says if it’s re-election he’s worried about, Toomey shouldn’t fear losing conservative voters.

    “His bigger problem is winning independent-minded voters in the Philadelphia suburbs and the Lehigh Valley,” Madonna said Friday.

    About a third of the voters, 34 percent, surveyed say they approve specifically of the way Toomey is handling gun control issues, compared with 29 percent of those who said they disapprove.

    The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

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