GOP SENATOR: Yes, My Gun Control Vote Sank My Poll Numbers 'Lower Than Pond Scum'

Jeff Flake

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) admitted Tuesday that his vote against an expansion of background checks on gun purchases had hurt his standing with voters in his home state.

Or, as he put it, he woke up to a poll that showed his standing “lower than pond scum.”

“Nothing like waking up to a poll saying you’re the nation’s least popular senator,” he wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday, referring to a recent survey from Public Policy Polling that showed sinking approval ratings for five senators who voted against background checks.

“Given the public’s dim view of Congress in general, that probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum,” Flake wrote. “Now, notwithstanding the polling firm’s leftist bent, I would assume that my poll numbers have indeed taken a southerly turn since my vote against the Manchin-Toomey background check proposal. It was a popular amendment, and I voted against it.”

Flake, a longtime friend of former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, was one of the Republican senators whom Democrats and gun-control advocates thought they could persuade to vote for the bill.

Since his “no” vote earlier this month, Flake’s approval ratings have plunged. 

The PPP poll showed that Flake has even taken the reigns from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as the Senator with the lowest approval ratings in his home state. Just 32 per cent of Arizonans said they approved of his job performance, compared with 51 per cent who said they disapprove.

Arizona voters also said they trust Flake’s Senate counterpart, John McCain, by a 45-24 margin on gun issues.

On his Facebook page Tuesday, Flake added a link to an op-ed in the Arizona Republic, titled “Defending Jeff Flake.”

“It captures the complexity of the issue better than anything I’ve read,” he wrote. “Or maybe I just liked the title.”

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