US elections: Two-thirds of US voters say they back some gun control

Guns displayed at a gun show on Oct 23, 2016 in Mansfield, Ohio.
Guns displayed at a gun show on Oct 23, 2016 in Mansfield, Ohio. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two-thirds of Americans voting in Tuesday's presidential election favour moderate or strong gun control measures, according to an early reading from the Reuters/Ipsos Election Day poll, up from 59 per cent who said so in 2012.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been a vocal opponent of increased limits on American gun ownership, while Democrat Hillary Clinton has advocated for an assault weapons ban and comprehensive background checks on would-be gun owners, following a slew of deadly mass shootings in the United States.

The Reuters/Ipsos Election Day poll was conducted online in English in all 50 states and included about 38,000 people who had already voted in the presidential election. The poll reading will be updated as more responses are tallied and more votes counted across the country.

The survey found that Americans' views on abortion - another divisive issue in American politics - have not changed significantly since 2012, with 39 per cent of voters saying it should be illegal. Mr Trump opposes abortion and has said it should be punished, while Mrs Clinton believes it should remain legal.