Poll: Flake most unpopular Senator in the nation

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Just three months after taking office, Republican Jeff Flake has become one of the most unpopular Senators in the country, according to a new poll released Monday.

Flake's approval ratings have plummeted to 32 percent in large part because of his recent vote against a bill requiring stricter background checks on gun purchases, according to the survey by the Democratic leaning Public Policy Polling.

Anger aimed at Sen. Flake for vote against background checks

The new polling numbers come two weeks after Flake told the Los Angeles Times that he wasn't worried about the political consequences of his vote. In defending his decision on background checks, Flake told the newspaper, "that's the beauty of a six-year term."
Besides the low approval ratings, a majority of Arizonans (52 percent) said they disapproved of Flake's job performance. That, according to the pollsters, "makes him the most unpopular sitting Senator we've polled."

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) had previously held the title of Public Policy Polling's most unpopular member of the upper chamber. The survey also found that the popularity of other senators who voted against background checks has also taken a beating.

The poll found that 70 percent of Arizona voters like the idea of tighter background checks for gun buyers, while 26 percent oppose them.

Additionally, more Arizonans said they trusted the state's senior Senator, John McCain, over Flake when it came to gun issues. When asked who they trusted more, 45 percent said McCain while 24 percent identified Flake.

Flake and McCain split on the issue of background checks. McCain voted for expanded checks while Flake voted against. Last year, Flake won a closer than expected Senate race against political newcomer Richard Carmona.

During the hotly contested race, The National Rifle Association spent more than $320,000 to help Flake win the open Senate seat. Despite the money, Flake has insisted that he is not beholden to the powerful gun lobby.