Huffpost Politics

Jeff Flake Background Check Vote Leads To Poll Number Dive

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Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) addressed a recent poll that declared him the most unpopular senator in the country after his vote against expanding background checks for firearm purchases, likening himself on Monday to "somewhere just below pond scum."

The Arizona Republican reflected on the Public Policy Polling survey in a Facebook post late Monday, noting that his approval ratings "have indeed taken a southerly turn" since he voted against the background checks legislation earlier this month.

"Nothing like waking up to a poll saying you're the nation's least popular senator," Flake wrote. "Given the public's dim view of Congress in general, that probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum."

Flake also noted the polling firm has a leftist bent, but conceded nonetheless that he had voted against a popular measure. Ahead of the vote, a series of polls showed support for expanded background checks among Americans hovering at 90 percent.

Still, Flake defended his decision by linking to a local Arizona op-ed, aptly titled "Defending Jeff Flake." The article pointed out that the freshman senator urged his colleagues to try again with another piece of legislation, rather than rejecting the need to pass new measures to reduce gun violence outright.

According to the poll, 52 percent of Arizona voters said they were less likely to support Flake for reelection after the April vote. The poll also found that 70 percent of Arizona voters approved of expanded background checks. Arizona was victim to the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, which killed six and severely wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in the head during the meet-and-greet with her constituents.

Flake is not the only lawmaker whose poll numbers have plummeted after the controversial gun vote. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) has seen her approval rating drop by 15 points, while Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), and Mark Begich (D-Alaska) have also suffered.

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