Poll: Majority has favorable view of the NRA

While the National Rifle Association faces a growing interest in gun control following the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shootings, the gun lobby is still viewed favorably by 54 percent of Americans, according to a new Gallup poll

The survey was taken Dec. 19 to 22; NRA President Wayne LaPierre's call for armed guards in schools came while the poll was in the field. 

Support for the NRA follows partisan lines; 83 percent of Republicans view the organization favorably while only 36 percent of Democrats do. Independents tilt slightly in favor, at 54 percent. 

At the same time, only 6 percent of respondents said that the NRA "always" represents their views. Twenty-nine percent said it represented their views most of the time, 32 percent said sometimes and 29 percent said never. A quarter of gun owners have an unfavorable view of the NRA, and half say the group represents their views only sometimes, or never. 

The NRA has been viewed favorably overall in Gallup polling since 1995, when the group hit a low of 42 percent. That was the year former president George H.W. Bush  resigned from the group over LaPierre's description of federal agents as "jack-booted thugs." 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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