In a highly informative piece on the state of play in the Senate over the president’s upcoming proposal for a universal system of background checks for gun purchasers, WaPo’s Greg Sargent goes through the list of Democratic Senators up for re-election in 2014, and expresses optimism that enough could come around to give such legislation a fighting chance in that chamber (the House, of course, being another matter).

But Greg also points out how vastly popular such legislation would be, with the idea commanding in recent polls support from 85% of Republicans, 93% of households with guns, and even 85% of households with a NRA member.

Thus is the political “center” sometimes defined by factors other than anything remotely reflecting public opinion.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.