Senators take polling hit after voting against background checks bill
Justin Sink - 04/29/13 10:55 AM ET
Senators from Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Ohio are facing a backlash for voting against gun control legislation, according to new polling.
Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Dean Heller (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.
Murkowski has lost the majority approval she enjoyed in the months prior to the gun vote. In February, Murkowski scored a 54-33 percent approval/disapproval in the PPP poll; now, 46 percent approve of her work, while 41 percent disapprove. While Murkowski used to enjoy support from nearly six in 10 Alaska Democrats; now only 44 percent approve of her.
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
WASHINGTON -- A new poll has New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) down a total of 15 points from her previous approval rating in a survey that followed her vote against requiring background checks for firearms purchases.
Ayotte's plunge underscores the changing politics around gun control and gun safety. In years past, lawmakers worried that a vote for gun control would bring the anger of the National Rifle Association. In the new reality, votes against gun control also carry a political risk, as the Ayotte poll indicates.
A full three-quarters of New Hampshire voters support such background checks, along with 56 percent of Republicans, according to Public Policy Polling. A WMUR Granite State Poll taken in January and February found that more than 9 in 10 state residents supported implementing background checks at gun shows.
It's not entirely clear yet how opposition to background checks will play out at the polls, but there are signs Ayotte’s vote may have taken a toll.
In October, the last time that PPP surveyed voters about Ayotte, she had a 48-35 approval rating. She has now tumbled underwater, with 46 percent disapproving and 44 percent approving. The 11-point surge in disapproval threatens Ayotte's 2016 reelection, when she could face popular Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan.