Turns out that voting lockstep with the NRA and against your constituents’ wishes has consequences.
New PPP polls in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Ohio find serious backlash against the 5 Senators who voted against background checks in those states. Each of them has seen their approval numbers decline, and voters say they’re less likely to support them the next time they’re up for reelection. That’s no surprise given that we continue to find overwhelming, bipartisan support for background checks in these states.
-After just 3 months in office Jeff Flake has already become one of the most unpopular Senators in the country. Just 32% of voters approve of him to 51% who disapprove and that -19 net approval rating makes him the most unpopular sitting Senator we’ve polled on, taking that label from Mitch McConnell.
70% of Arizona voters support background checks to only 26% who are opposed to them. That includes 92/6 favor from Democrats, 71/24 from independents, and 50/44 from Republicans. 52% of voters say they’re less likely to support Flake in a future election because of this vote, compared to only 19% who say they’re more likely to. Additionally voters say by a 21 point margin, 45/24, that they trust senior colleague John McCain more than Flake when it comes to gun issues.
Part of that fall-off might also have to do with the fact that Mr. Flake penned a handwritten letter to the mother of a victim of the shooting in Aurora last summer and said he was with her on background checks, then voted against them. People remember shit like that.
Granted, Mr. Flake is five months into his term and as he himself noted, he isn’t up for re-election until 2018. He’s either planning on redeeming himself in the eyes of the world, or he’s counting on the voters’ short memory. (Cynic that I am, I believe the latter.) But as the poll shows, voters do take note, and there will be plenty of time to remind them between now and then.