Senators from Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Ohio are facing a backlash for voting against gun control legislation, according to new polling.
Sens. Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeTrudeau, Trump speak for second night about US-Canada trade Trump says he may break up 9th Circuit Court after rulings go against him Trump administration weighing order to withdraw from NAFTA MORE (R-Ariz.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiTrump’s Army pick faces tough confirmation fight Republican Sen. Collins considering run for Maine governor in 2018 Alaska senators push bill to allow Arctic drilling MORE (R-Alaska), Mark BegichMark BegichPerez creates advisory team for DNC transition The future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (D-Alaska), Rob PortmanRob PortmanTrump tax plan prompts GOP fears about deficit Overnight Regulation: Senators call for 'cost-effective' regs | FCC chief unveils plans to roll back net neutrality Senators push 'cost-effective' reg reform MORE (R-Ohio) and Dean HellerDean HellerOvernight Energy: Trump orders review of national monuments, claiming ‘egregious abuse’ Draft House bill ignites new Yucca Mountain fight Ex-Nevada state treasurer may challenge Heller in 2018 MORE (R-Nev.) have all seen their approval ratings fall since voting against a proposal to expand background checks earlier this month, according to the liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP).
In Arizona, only 32 percent of voters said they approved of Flake, while a majority — 52 percent — said they're less likely to vote for him in a future election because of his vote against the background check bill. Just 19 percent said Flake's vote made them more likely to back him in the future.
The poll results were similar for Alaska's Begich, who is running for reelection in 2014.
While 49 percent approved of Begich in February, just 41 percent do so now. Nearly four in 10 voters said they're less likely to vote for both Murkowski and Begich after they rejected the background check legislation.
In Ohio, where 72 percent of voters support background checks, Portman has seen his approval drop a net 18 points in the past six months. Only 26 percent of Buckeye State voters now say they approve of the senator, with just 8 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of independents saying they approve of Portman's handling of his job.
Thirty-six percent of Ohio voters say Portman's opposition to the gun bill makes them less likely to support him, versus 19 percent who say it will increase their future electoral support.
The least dramatic drop came in Nevada, where Heller saw his approval numbers dip from 47 percent in November to 44 percent now. But 46 percent of Nevada voters say they're less likely to support Heller's re-election bid, versus 25 percent who say they are more likely. Among independents — a crucial swing vote in Nevada politics — Heller's approval has dropped 10 points since November.
“The background checks vote is a rare one that really is causing these Senators trouble back home,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, in a statement. “All five of these senators, as well as Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteBottom Line How Gorsuch's confirmation shapes the next Supreme Court battle THE MEMO: Trump set to notch needed win with Gorsuch MORE [(R-N.H.)], have seen their approval numbers decline in the wake of this vote. And the numbers make it clear that their position on Manchin/Toomey is a major factor causing the downward spiral.”