A new poll shows a sharp decline in the approval ratings of both Alaska Democratic Sen. Mark Begich and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski over the last couple of months, according to a telephone survey of more than 1,000 Alaskans.
At the same time, the Public Policy Polling numbers attempt to link the drop to each senator's recent vote against expanding background checks for firearm buyers to include purchases made at gun shows and online.
The poll, which asked 1,166 Alaskans on April 25 and 26 their take on whether or not they approved or disapproved of Begich and Murkowski's performances, also surveyed Alaskans on whether or not they would support the expanded background checks. On April 17, the Senate opted not to adopt the Manchin-Toomey amendment, which would have led to those more extensive checks. Both Alaska senators voted against the measure, which failed 54-46.
According to PPP, 60 percent of Alaskans support the expanded checks, with 35 percent opposed and 5 percent unsure. The respondent pool was reported as 25 percent Democrat, 30 percent Republican, and 45 percent independent or other affiliation.